I did my BSc in Chemistry at Warwick (Hons) and decided to choose MOAC due to its broad area of research, especially as it provides a solid background in Mathematics and Biology.
I previously did a UROP project at Imperial College London during the summer of 2009, with Professor Nicholas Harrison and Dr Giuseppe Mallia, modelling the band structures for Hydrogen-doped titanium dioxide lattices using the CRYSTAL06 package (now CRYSTAL09, highly recommended!). I am extremely grateful for their help in the project.
The current project I am involved with is the study of the enzyme Acetolactate decarboxylase (ALDC) under the supervision of Professor Martin Wills, Professor Vilmos Fulop and Professor Mark Rodger. This enzyme is present in many strains of bacteria as part of the synthesis of amino acids involved and also as a part of the biosynthetic pathway. We are trying to synthesise a number of substrate analogues i.e. molecules of similar chemical structure and composition to the actual substrate so that we can elucidate the mechanism of the enzyme. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetolactate_decarboxylase)
Other areas of interest are in the dissociation of DNA bases (adenine, cytosine, etc..) under UV radiation, which has shown interesting properties, namely the lack of formation of significant radicals formed in the process. I have had the privilege to work with Dr Vasilios Stavros for a undergrad poster presentation which proved to be quite fruitful and also provided the inspiration for me to go into research into chemistry.
From personal experience I would say the key part of making the taught part of MOAC a success is keeping a good and dynamic relationship with your course mates, since there *will* be some parts of the course that is just not in your comfort zone. As long as you have your friends support, and the will to do accurate and meticulous science then you will most probably go a long way in research. Don't get intimidated and keep trying.
Outside of MOAC I am mainly interested in Classical music, and many sporting activities such as jump rope and badminton.
Misc websites I am interested in (due to any reason or no reason at all!):
http://www.blockmrecords.org/bach/index.htm - For all you Bach Organ Fanatics (Gasp, so much of them out there!).
http://www.dailygood.org/more.php?n=4224 - Live life as a carefully controlled, yet reckless experiment!
http://matt.might.net/articles/ways-to-fail-a-phd/ - As in any case, its better to analyse cases of failures rather than successes to truly learn something, and this website has some good advice into a successful PhD.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any information. I'll be happy to answer any of your queries.