Dr Coyne is world renowned for his use of fragment-based drug discovery for the treatment of infectious disease.

A Cambridge fellow and alumnus of Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) returned to his alma mater today to deliver the first in a series of exciting guest lectures to final-year pharmaceutical science students.

Dr Anthony Coyne, who graduated from AIT in 1996 with a degree in analytical chemistry, covered the intricacies of green, sustainable chemistry and the use of water in organic chemical reaction.

The guest lecture, delivered via Zoom Education, detailed the pros and cons of using water as a solvent and the benefit to industry in terms of cost, environmental issues, safety issues, and scale up.

Dr Coyne is a Fellow of Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge and a senior research associate focussed on drug discovery.

Upon graduating from AIT, Dr Coyne went on to complete a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry at NUI Galway before working in industry and then embarking on an exciting career in academia.

“Anthony is world renowned for his work on the use of fragment-based drug discovery seeking treatment for infectious diseases,” explained Jim Roche, lecturer in pharmaceutical sciences at AIT.

Every year, AIT invites speakers who have gone on to achieve a positive impact within the pharmaceutical industry to participate in an annual seminar series for the module Contemporary Issues in Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

“These seminars represent the ultimate inspiration for current students,” Mr Roche said. “They get to witness first-hand (and get to question) graduates who themselves are always appreciative of the framework of cross-sectional theoretical and practical knowledge they were grounded within while studying at AIT.”

“It is absolutely superb to see a former student reach such lofty heights in his career. Both lecturers and students benefited hugely from Dr Coyne's lecture on synthetic organic chemistry," remarked Dr Noreen Morris, an organic chemistry lecturer in AIT. "It was really interesting to be the student and not the lecturer for a change!" she added. 

The Contemporary Issues in Pharmaceutical Sciences module aims to match students’ transferable skills with current demand in the jobs market and within the research community in AIT and beyond, principally through guest lectures from industry experts, regulatory specialists and those with advanced academic attainments.

Professor Tom Moody, the vice president of technology development and commercialisation at global pharmaceutical company ALMAC, will be giving a guest lecture as part of the seminar series later this semester.  

Previous speakers include Dr Barbara Cooper of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Dr Helen Hamilton from Abbot Longford, Gráinne Ryan of Alexion, and Aaron McKeown (formerly of the Marine Institute).

Athlone Institute of Technology is a research-led third level institute with an applied, industry-focussed offering, world-class research and development capabilities, and state-of-the-art facilities. Winner of The Sunday Times Institute of the Year 2020 and 2018, AIT is Ireland’s top-ranked institute and is on track to become the country’s next technological university. AIT tops Ireland’s official league table for research and was listed in U-Multirank’s Top 25 Performing Universities in the World for Interdisciplinary Research in 2018 and 2019. For information relating to the institute’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, visit www.ait.ie

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