Stefan was born and raised in Ruse – a small town in the north of Bulgaria, where he attended the High School of Mathematics ‘Baba Tonka’. During this time, his passion about chemistry flourished and his deep interest in the field led him to enrol on an integrated master’s course (MChem) at Lancaster University. He graduated with first-class honours in July 2022. In the summer of 2021, Stefan underwent a project under the supervision of Dr. Susannah Coote where he explored the photochemistry of 1,2-dihydropyridazines and the flow hydrogenation of their photoproducts. As part of his final year research project, Stefan worked with Dr. Vilius Franckevicius on the development of an asymmetric palladium-catalysed strategy to prepare enantioenriched azetidines. Both research experiences further developed his curiosity to discover novel chemistry and now he is continuing his career by undertaking a PhD at UCL, aiming to develop sustainable C–O bond activation strategies.
Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, Marie-Therese’s passion for chemistry, specifically synthesis, stemmed from her interest in nature’s own pervasive chemical architecture. During her undergraduate studies at the University of Vienna, her thesis focused on testing inorganic ruthenium & osmium complexes with modified naphthoquinone ligands on different cell lines. Upon graduation, she received a research position at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology where her focus was synthesizing hemostatic agents for post-trauma wound-sealing and tissue regeneration in animal models. She is currently a master’s student in the Kumar research group focusing on synthesizing new reagents and exploring potential new radical reactions. Outside the lab, her main passion is all things culinary; from her own creations to sampling the diverse offering of global cuisine. Her guilty pleasures include, but are not limited to, playing Mahjong and Minesweeper.”
Qilong Sun is a native of Xuzhou, China. He attended King’s College London for undergraduate studies and graduated in 2022 with a B.Sc. in Chemistry. Under the supervision of Dr Helen Coulshed, he worked on developing homogeneous catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation to methanol during his undergraduate years. Currently, Qilong is currently a master’s student in the Kumar research group, focusing on biomass functionalisation. Outside of studying, he also enjoys volunteering, hiking, and cuddling with his cat, Elfin. One day he hopes to train his cat how to clap.
Anson is originally from Hong Kong. He’s been in the UK for seven years. He completed his secondary education in Somerset, Taunton and obtained a BSc in Chemistry degree from the University of York in 2022. During his final year at York, he worked at Dr William Unsworth’s research lab for his undergraduate research project, which focused on the synthesis of macrocyclic compounds using ring expansion reactions. The project aimed to discover novel 16- and 17- membered macrocyclic rings with potential musk-smelling properties, by exploring the insertion of linear hydroxy acids into 13-membered lactam ring. His strong interests in research and practical work have expanded through this project which led him to postgraduate education. Anson is currently a master’s student in the Kumar research group focusing on synthesizing new reagents and exploring potential new radical reactions. In his spare time, he enjoys going to the gym to maintain his physical health, as well as reading books and watching movies for entertainment.