SCI Scholar, Burhan Hussein, presents his end of year report

10 August 2021

For over thirty years, SCI has supported and recognised the excellence of early career people, by aiding their studies in the form of an SCI Scholarship.

Since 1985 over 80 scholarships have been awarded which have not only given the recipients financial assistance, but have enabled them to broaden their network, and strengthen their skills and knowledge. SCI Scholars receive access to publishing and mentoring opportunities and are given a platform to present their work amongst esteemed scientists and industrialists, thus raising their profile within the scientific community.

Burhan Hussein was awarded an SCI Scholarship in 2020. At the end of their first year, SCI Scholars present an end of year report to SCI. Read on to find out more about what Burhan has done in his first year as an SCI Scholar.

SCI Scholar 2020 Burhan Hussein“Being awarded the SCI scholarship was an amazing honour, I really appreciate the support! Due to the pandemic, there have not been any in person meetings with SCI and the amazing staff. However, I still have been able to participate in virtual SCI activities such as the SCI scholar showcase. It was very nice to meet my fellow SCI scholars as well. I have participated also with the local SCI group of Yorkshire & Humber. As SCI scholar and ambassador, I presented my work at the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Postgraduate Online Research Symposium 2021. Now that COVID restrictions are easing, I am hoping to participate in in-person events soon.

“Over the year, my research has been focused on the development of molecular devices for increasing plant performance and yields. My research output has been limited due to COVID, however we have reached a stage where we have started testing our compounds in plants cells and that work is ongoing. We are currently investigating the capability of our compounds to perform active ion transport across lipid membranes. These experiments will require regular access to a fluorimeter, which has unfortunately been off limits to me for over a year while there has been reduced working capacity in our university buildings. In order to mitigate the effects of covid on progress towards my PhD aims, I have been making good progress on other projects with solely synthetic objectives that do not require fluorimeter access. These projects involve the synthesis, control and utilisation of shapeshifting molecules which have great promise in functional materials.

“In this academic year, I have had two publications based on my masters and PhD work in Molecules and Inorganic Chemistry. I have also contributed to work currently under review with Nature Chemistry. Listed below are the publication details.

  1. Bismillah, A. N.; Chapin, B. M.; Hussein, B. A.; McGonigal, P. R. Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 324– 332.
  2. Hussein, B. A.; Shakeel, Z.; Turley, A. T.; Bismillah, A. N.; Wolfstadt, K.; Pia, J.; Pilkington, M.; McGonigal, P. R.; Adler, M. Inorg. Chem. 2020, 59, 13533–13541.
  3. Al-Faouri, T.; Buguis, F. L.; Soldouz, S. A. Sarycheva, O. V. Hussein, B. A.; Reeda Mahmood Koivisto, B. D. Molecules 2020, 25, 2260,
  4. Bismillah, A. N.; Johnson, T. G.; Hussein, B. A.; Turley, A. T.; Wong, H. C.; Aguilar, J. A.; Yufit, D. S.; McGonigal, P. R. 2021 under review, DOI:10.21203/

“I have also been involved in science outreach involving supporting black youth in STEM career fields which is becoming a passion of mine. This includes events such as demystifying graduate school for black youth considering postgraduate degrees as well as mentoring black students in high school thinking of doing STEM degrees.

“The SCI scholarship funding has helped me in upgrading my computer which was needed during these times. I am hoping to use the funding to go a conference or internship in the future.”

Burhan Hussein
PhD Student
Durham University

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