PhD student gains insights on IOP-funded conference trip


The PEPMAT 2016 congress was organised by a very welcoming Universitat Politecnica Catalunya and took place from 14–16 March in a genteel hotel – a 19th-century, colonial-style building in central Barcelona just by the famous la Rambla.

The conference covered cutting-edge peptide-based science – everything from fundamental science governing peptides, such as electron transport through simplified molecules, to models of self-assembly obtained with molecular dynamics simulations, and a variety of formed structures up to biomedical applications.

On the second day, all delegates were invited for a poster session that included 29 presenters, followed by the conference dinner.

I was selected to present my work in a poster entitled: Probing interactions in Beta-sheet peptide / graphene derivative hybrid hydrogels. The conference was useful to be able discuss my results with other academics in the area, and allowed me to form new ideas for measurements for the final year of my PhD. Moreover, it gave me deeper insights into fundamental work in the field that will enhance my thesis introduction.

I would like to thank the organisers of the conference and the rest of the delegates for the exceptional science presented over these three days. The conference was a big success. I would also like to thank the Macro Group UK, a joint interest group of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Society of Chemical Industry, and the IOP Materials and Characterisation Group for awarding me travel bursaries that allowed my attendance at this congress.

  • Further information on the IOP’s Research Student Conference Fund – and our other support and grants – can be found on the IOP website.
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Jacek Wychowaniec

Jacek Wychowaniec

Jacek Wychowaniec is a postgraduate student at the University of Manchester.

He was awarded BSc in mathematics and physics from Aberystwyth University in 2013. During his undergraduate studies, he worked on several experimental projects, such as the role of packing problems in a cereal grains, absorption-contrast scattering of thin film photovoltaic coatings performing x-ray scattering experiments at Diamond Light Source. He was a member of ASTeC team from STFC’s Daresbury laboratory working on the Transverse Energy Spread Spectrometer as his final-year project.

In September 2013 he joined the polymers and peptides group to pursue a PhD focused on designing nanostructured graphene-peptide hydrogel composites for biomedical and tissue-engineering applications. Currently, as a third-year PhD student, having won a project award grant in early 2016 to a competition organised by the University of Manchester IP to scout for novel idea with exploitation potential, Jacek has started his own initiative (gelART), being interested in developing graphene-peptide hydrogel platform for artificialtissue growth.
Jacek Wychowaniec

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