A Newcastle University student and local publican is set to complete her Chemistry EngD thanks to the support of a local chemical research and development company.

A graduate of Newcastle University, Jennifer Wallis has spent the last four years studying the synthesis of fluorescent dyes for use as imaging agents, potentially to help identify cancer cells. Her research, undertaken with EngD supervisor Dr Lee J. Higham of the School of Chemistry, has been co-funded through the EPSRC EngD programme and Durham-based High Force Research.

Jenny co-owns The Manor House Inn with her partner Chris, who also owns the Dyvels Inn, Corbridge, and is set to complete her EngD by the end of this year, having previously studied a chemistry degree and MPhil at the University. She is keen to pursue a career in Business Development within the science industry.

Jenny commented: “I’ve always been fascinated by science and the numerous different career paths that you can follow. After achieving my chemistry degree and MPhil I was keen to continue and complete my EngD but without the funding for my position which was provided by High Force Research, this would never have been possible. As part of the course I was able to complete a number of business development modules and I’m hoping to pursue a career in business development once my EngD is completed. I’ll probably still need to put a few shifts in at the pub as well!”

Founded nearly three decades ago, High Force Research is one of the UK’s longest established chemical research companies. The company is expert in developing and scaling up complex syntheses of molecules used by researchers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostics and chemical sectors.

High Force Research regularly works with Durham and Newcastle Universities and has supported eight students during their undergraduate and postgraduate studies to date. Many go on to gain employment with companies in the North East, including High Force Research.

Head of Business Development, Stella James commented: “At High Force Research we place a high priority on nurturing home-grown talent and helping young people develop careers in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. We’re lucky to have a thriving chemical research industry in the North East but we need to continue to invest in the next generation if we’re to build a sustainable industry.

“We’re delighted to have been able to provide support for Jenny’s EngD at Newcastle University. The research she has undertaken, along with Lee, could have some fascinating applications and we look forward to continuing to work with Jenny as she forges ahead in her scientific career.”