We’re only two weeks away from the SSG & ChromSoc’s Advances in Clinical and Forensic Analysis 2018 meeting, which will take place on the 27th of November at Burlington House in London. This one-day meeting features the latest innovations in the field, presented by leading researchers from across the UK. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the meeting this year is a special one for the SSG, as it celebrates the career and achievements of our Keynote speaker, Prof Dave Perrett. While most separation scientists know of Prof Perrett as a world-renowned expert in bioanalytical science, his students at Barts Medical School know him even better as an inspiring and creative educator. It is thus fitting that students can now register for this meeting at no cost. Retired members of the RSC can also register for free, and registration details for everyone can be found at: http://www.rsc.org/events/detail/35855/advances-in-clinical-and-forensic-analysis-2018

If you’re still undecided about attending, we’ve put together a selection of recent high-impact separation science publications from some of our speakers – hopefully this will convince you to register today!



On the 15th October 2018, we lost one of the father-figures of chromatography. At the age of 90 John Knox sadly passed away.

John was a great man, one who managed to walk the very difficult line of being quite brilliant, but also humble enough not to covet the recognition and attention that comes along with such reputation. He was quietly respected by so many people who knew him to be ‘the man’. His legacy continues in the work of many of the current leaders in their field. Barely a lecture is delivered at a chromatography meeting, where some early and important reference isn’t made to him and his co-workers. For many, John is recognised through the Knox equation:


This, with the van Deemter equation, is widely accepted and used to describe the dependence on plate height on linear velocity of the mobile phase.

John was a dedicated academic and an innovator in chromatography. He led many new areas, building one of the first gas chromatographs with Howard Purnell whilst a student at Cambridge in the early 1950s. In the 60s he worked on liquid chromatography with J. C. Giddings in Utah and in the 70s produced new column chromatography materials, which we now know as Hypersil and Hypercarb.

In 2010 the Separation Science Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry awarded its first Knox Medal, to honour individuals deserving special recognition of their innovation or influential work in the field of separation science.



Below are a few quotes from Knox Medal winners:
“…the doyen of chromatography will be greatly missed” – Keith Bartle
“…John lived life to the full, and will leave his imprint on all of us who were lucky enough to meet such a great scientist and modest gentleman” – Ian Wilson
“…John was so very kind to me when I was just starting my career” – Jim Jorgenson”

John Knox will be remembered to be a great scientist, a leader in the field, a kind and decent man, with a good sense of humour whose work has and will continue to make an impact on scientific research.

– Prof. John Langley and Dr Bob Boughtflower, Separation Science Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry

After the success of our previous Advances in Clinical Analysis meetings, we are very pleased to announce Advances in Clinical and Forensic Analysis 2018, organised along with the Chromatographic Society, to be held on Tuesday 27th November 2018 at the RSC’s Burlington House venue in London.

Clinical and forensic analysis together cover some of the most exciting and important topics in the life sciences, and this meeting will provide insights into the latest methodologies and technological developments across these application areas. The meeting will focus on separation and complementary/alternative techniques, along with case studies from the hospital, commercial and academic areas. The programme has been designed to give attendees an update for both routine and problem solving in clinical and forensic analysis, and includes talks from established experts and emerging professionals, including Prof Leon Barron (King’s College London), Dr Melanie Bailey (University of Surrey), Dr Gordon Ross (Agilent Technologies) and Dr Joost Brandsma (University of Southampton), amongst others.  This year, the meeting will also celebrate the career and achievements of Prof David Perrett, our keynote speaker.

Advances in Clinical and Forensic Analysis 2018 will also provide attendees with a unique means of sharing real experiences with other professionals and will provide excellent networking opportunities. We believe this will be a highly interesting and well-attended event, and registration is now open here. Poster abstracts will be accepted till the 11th of November.

The warm weather has come and gone, but we’re not missing it (too much), because the next few months are packed full of exciting events for separation scientists. The events calendar on our website already lists several of these events, along with links to registration and abstract submission pages. But the SSG members have their own favorites amongst these, including:

* The 39th BMSS Annual Meeting (11-13 September 2018): The BMSS annual meeting is a fixture in our autumn calendars, as it remains one of the important MS events here in the UK. The Intro to MS course that precedes the conference is an excellent resource for beginning practitioners of MS, and this year, BMSS39 in Cambridge will focus on the life sciences and (bio)pharma. The scientific program is being organised in collaboration with the Joint Pharmaceutical Analysis Group (JPAG), and the International Reid Bioanalytical Forum (ChromSoc). While registration for the main conference has already closed, there might be spots left on the Intro to MS course; more details can be found at http://www.bmss.org.uk/bmss2018

* The 2018 International Symposium on Chromatography (23-27 September): the ISC is one of the premier meetings for discussion of all modes of chromatography and separation sciences with a broad coverage of techniques and applications. Through a combination of oral and poster presentations, tutorials, short courses, vendor lectures and seminars, and an international exhibition on Instrumentation and Services, ISC 2018 will cover the advances, fundamentals, challenges, trends and applications of separation techniques, chromatography and mass spectrometry on a wide range of topics. The Symposium will take place in Cannes-Mandelieu, Côte d’Azur, on the French Riviera. Register at: http://isc2018.fr/registrations/

*ChromSoc Grassroots Meeting (5-8 October): In October 2016, as part of the Society’s Diamond anniversary celebrations, The Chromatographic Society held its first Grass Roots event in Grasmere in the Lake District. The course focussed on teaching the fundamentals of liquid chromatography to graduate students and novice chromatographers from industry. The Society repeated the course in Church Stretton in October 2017. The Grass Roots 3 event will look to build on the fundamentals taught on the previous Grass Roots courses. The course will focus on reversed-phase method development for small molecules. This will be of particular relevance for attendees working with pharmaceutical compounds, but the concepts and approaches will be equally relevant to those working in the food, environmental and other industries. The event will be delivered by a number of chromatographers with extensive training and industrial experience (Prof. Mel Euerby (Shimadzu), Tony Taylor (Crawford Scientific), Prof. Roman Szucs (Pfizer) and Dr Paul Ferguson (AstraZeneca)). While the meeting will be primarily educational, there will also be extensive opportunities for networking (primarily on walks included in the schedule) and socialising. Register at: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=341155&

* 8th International Conference & Exhibition on Water, Wastewater and Environmental Monitoring (21-22 November): WWEM 2018 is a two-day event, organised together with industry partners including the Sensors for Water Interest Group, the Water Industry Process Automation & Control group, The Pump Centre, the BMSS and the SSG. The exhibition features 150 participating companies, involved in providing instruments, equipment and services to monitor, test and analyse water and wastewater, plus over 80 free technical seminar sessions on applications and case studies. Register today at: https://www.ilmexhibitions.com/wwem/

And if you can’t make it to one of these events,the SSG website and Twitter feed @RSCSepSci are both good places to stay up to date with all the latest news from these events and many others.

Less than three weeks to go before our 2018 Knox Symposium, and we can’t wait to welcome all of our speakers, attendees and Knox Medal winners (past winners and of course, our 2018 awardee, Prof Jim Jorgenson) to beautiful Burlington House for a day of exciting talks! If you haven’t already registered, there’s still time: all registration information can be found on the RSC Events site, here, along with an event agenda and venue details. As usual, we are pleased to offer special registration rates for RSC members and students: this year’s Symposium has been designed to have something of interest to both expert and novice separation scientists, and our two masterclasses on capillary electrophoresis (Prof David Perrett) and plate theory (Prof Deirdre Cabooter) should provide plenty of food for thought for even the most expert users. A minor change to the agenda means that Dr Monika Dittmann (Agilent) and Dr Isabelle Francois (Waters) will be speaking about the impact of Prof Jorgenson’s work on the evolution of modern, high-performance analytical instrumentation. Our afternoon session will be devoted to the current state-of-the-art in chromatography, with talks by Dr Lewis Couchman and Prof Peter Schoenmakers, followed by Prof Apryll Stalcup’s take on the future of separation science. And finally, our 2018 Knox Medal winner, Prof James Jorgenson will be taking the stage to receive the Medal and deliver the 2018 Knox Medal Lecture. We hope to see you there on the 29th of June, both to celebrate Prof Jorgenson’s pathbreaking career, and to join us in an appreciation of some excellent separation science!

The Knox Medal is awarded by the RSC Separation Science group to individuals deserving special recognition for their innovative and influential work in the field of separation science. It was first awarded in 2010, and this year at HTC-15, we were delighted to announce that the 2018 Knox Medal will be presented to Prof James Jorgenson for his many achievements over the course of a highly successful career as an innovator and separation scientist, with a particular acknowledgement of his seminal contributions to the development of ultrahigh pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC) and capillary electrophoresis (CE).

The RSC SSG will be presenting the award to Prof Jorgenson at a special one-day symposium in honour of his work on the 29th of June 2018 at Burlington House. The symposium features eight talks on the history, current state-of-the-art and future directions of separation science, by world-leading experts from academia and industry. As described in the preliminary agenda, the talks will emphasize the extensive impact of Prof Jorgenson’s research and his role in developing advanced LC instrumentation, which has had far-reaching consequences for the practice of separation science. Full registration details can be found here; as usual, special registration rates apply for members of the RSC and student attendees.

There’s less than a week before our Spring meeting on ‘Advances in the Chemical Analysis of Food’, organised together with the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Food Group. Analytical chemistry is vitally important to the food industry, the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector, and this biannual meeting features the most recent analytical innovations to help ensure food is safe, authentic, nutritious and enjoyable. The final agenda is now available and includes talks by Prof Andy Taylor (Flavometrix/University of Nottingham), Dr James Donarski (Fera), Dr Kathy Ridgway (Anatune), Dr Dara Fitzpatrick (University College Cork), Dr Laura McGregor (SepSolve Analytical), Dr Simon Hammann (University of Bristol), Prof John Dean (Northumbria University), and the SSG’s own Prof John Langley (University of Southampton). We have special registration rates for RSC members and students, and a limited number of travel bursaries are still available for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Registration is open till April 26th, and more details regarding the meeting agenda, venue location and registration can be found at the RSC’s Event listing here.