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Edward Tiekink
Edward Tiekink

UTSA First-Year Faculty: Edward Tiekink makes big career move from Australia to UTSA

By Lydia Fletcher
Special Projects Writer

(July 2, 2007)--Edward Tiekink, UTSA associate professor of chemistry, received his bachelor's of science and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He joined UTSA in the Fall 2005 semester.

LF: How did you come to UTSA? Where did you come from and what brought you here?

ET: I was from Australia, so I worked a very, very long time at the University of Adelaide, and felt it was time for a move and so I went to Singapore for three-and-a-half years. I thought it would be interesting to explore the United States and so I came to Texas, because it resembles reasonably closely where I came from in Australia -- South Australia -- with very large open space, friendly people, lovely weather, et cetera. And so this was open at the time that I applied... I like San Antonio. It was a deliberate career move.

LF: What sort of research do you do here or hope to do here?

ET: We have two major programs. The one that's really flying at the moment is crystal engineering. A lot of chemists connect atoms to form molecules, and what we are all about is taking the molecules and arranging the molecules in a specific fashion. And rather than using covalent interactions, we're using interactions that may be hydrogen bonding, and so if you can arrange the molecules in a specific fashion in a solid state you can tell their magnetic properties... their luminescence properties and such.

The second program, which is moving, but a little bit slowly at the moment because the funding has to come through, is metal-based drugs. So, we're making compounds that have metal such as gold or antimony or bismuth, and trying to make these materials so that they are water soluble. Previous experience has shown that they have excellent anti-cancer activity and some of them also have anti-viral activity, and I think that it's the anti-viral activity that we wish to pursue... it actually works... that's unbelievable.

LF: Who is your favorite author and favorite composer?

ET: My favorite author is Graham Greene. And music... probably Biber, an Austrian composer.

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Read more about Edward Tiekink's research interests.

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