Attempting to successfully design and synthesise a Benzothiophene antibiotic a third year Chemistry research project, carried out by Umar Warsame

As soon I heard “third year”, I was thinking how intellectually stimulating this placement has already been, but, for me to carry out a high-level project aimed at students who have covered inorganic, organic, physical and analytical Chemistry to great detail – WAY more than myself – made me realise for a brief moment that I wasn’t capable and that I didn’t have the skill to – I was wrong.

Starting the second week of my Chemistry placement and reminiscing about the insightful Chemistry I have learnt: from observations, techniques and methods, theory and mechanisms, and also the things I have learnt from the discussions I had with my supervisor, Dr Barry Marsh, and the PhD students, working with on topics ranging from catalysis to bio sensing. The experience gained from a small framework of time has implemented the idea that I have the ability to successfully synthesise the precursor (finally understand what precursor means, and why “the methylamine keeps flowing”) needed and then from there, start to design my OWN Benzothiophene antibiotic through several intricate steps.

With the whole group behind me and the whole lab open for my use, I put on my safety glasses and lab coat, put on gloves and started reading the instructions intently and began the AWESOME project…

by Umar Warsame