Kevin Back, SCI Scholar 2009-2011
Kevin was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1980, but grew up mainly in Bridlington, East Yorkshire. He attended Bridlington School, where he was an active member of the cadet force, learning to fly with the RAF.
He was awarded the Charlesworth Scholarship for Academic Excellence by the school to assist him in his studies at Trinity College, Oxford. At Oxford he was awarded an exhibition after his distinction in Preliminary exams, and achieved a distinction in Quantum Chemistry during the course of his MChem degree.
He worked for AstraZeneca for five years, first as an analytical chemist, then moving into solid state chemistry, studying the properties of pharmaceuticals at an early phase of development. He was promoted to senior scientist, overseeing the solid state analysis of new candidate drugs. During his time in industry, he gave a talk at an external conference, and was given a regional innovation award for work in developing salt screening tools.
He chose to return to university in order to further his scientific knowledge and skills, and currently works for Prof Roger Davey at the University of Manchester, studying the effects of impurities on the crystal habit of pharmaceutical materials as a GlaxoSmithKline CASE student.
Kevin is currently working on the effect of impurities on the crystal habit of pharmaceutical materials, though his interests span polymorphism, salts, cocrystals and other solid state properties from my time in the pharmaceutical industry.
After a year he was able to determine the structure of one of the key compounds he was working on, which, as he says, together with his industrial model and initial impurity spiking data, puts him in an excellent position to model the crystallisation of this and other compounds, monitoring the effects that various impurities alone or in combination may have on the final habit of the crystals.
He presented these results as a poster at the Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association in Toronto in 2009, and through feedback and the other presentations got a number of new ideas for future directions for his project.
Kevin's personal interests include fell walking, running and rowing.