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Prestige Scholar hosts Prof John Helliwell of Manchester University
2015-12-08

From left is Prof John R. Helliwell (School of Chemistry, University of Manchester), Dr Madeleine Helliwell (School of Chemistry, University of Manchester), Prof Andre Roodt (Department of Chemistry, University of the Free State) and Dr Alice Brink (Department of Chemistry, University of the Free State).
Photo: Steven Collett

At the invitation of Dr Alice Brink of the Department of Chemistry, Prof John Helliwell, the 2015 Max Perutz Prize winner, and his wife, Dr Madeleine Helliwell, visited the University of the Free State (UFS).
The Helliwells, both chemists of note, took part in a series of lectures and exchanges on the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses.
This visit from 9-19 November 2015 was the consequence of Dr Brink’s participation in the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholars Programme (PSP) initiative to encourage the broadening of the international footprint of the next generation of scholars in the academy.

Two year collaboration

Dr Brink and Prof Helliwell from Manchester University have a standing collaboration going back two years. Dr Brink, an NRF Thuthuka grant holder and a member of the PSP since 2013, has spent almost eight months in Manchester, collaborating with Prof Helliwell on her study of the successful interaction of rhenium tricarbonyl complexes with proteins determined via protein crystallography.
Their collaboration resulted from the close association of Prof Helliwell and Prof Andre Roodt from the UFS Department of Chemistry, both former presidents of the European Crystallographic Association.

Sharing academic expertise

Prof Helliwell, the 2014 American Crystallographic Association Patterson Award winner for his “pioneering contributions to the global development of the instrumentation, methods and applications of synchrotron radiation in macromolecular crystallography”, gave three lectures in the Department of Chemistry, two on the Boemfontein Campus, and the other on the Qwaqwa Campus on 13 November 2015.

Dr Helliwell, former co-editor of the Acta Crystallographica Section C: Crystal Structure Communications journal, consulted with postgraduate students from the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

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