Chirality ProgramMediaEnantioselective AnalysisDirhodium CatalysisLipase CatalysisPolymer MonolithSilica MonolithMiniaturized systemsDr Ashraf GhanemPublicationsCollaborationsFundOpen positionsMSc/PhD/Post. docNewsGroup photosPhoto AlbumsRACI/ACTCrystal Growing CompetitionCommunity engagement
Ashraf received the DTF award

  From Bench to Market: Discovery Translation Fund (DTF) was awarded to Ashraf Ghanem

Ashraf was awarded the Discovery Translation Fund (DTF) ($100.000) managed by ANU connect on behalf of the ACT government. The Discovery Translation Fund was set up as a way of funding and developing high potential, but earlier stage commercial projects as a pipeline into the Seed Fund. This is a very competitive grant and an ACT gov. initiative to invest in promising commercial opportunities arising out of research institutions and companies in the ACT area. The selection process is consisting of two stages with a final presentation at the ANU innovation center. This is the first in the UC history and is clearly showing that we are at the same level as top universities in terms of research innovation. Ashraf will work on a research project dealing with the production of hyperthermophilic biocatalysts for industrial application. The project is in collaboration with A/Prof. N. Muralli and Assist Prof. Reena  Gildyal. We acknowledge the support of ANU and the ACT Government through the Discovery Translation Fund awarded to Ashraf.

Robert Working on the Nano LC system
JASSO award for Robert

Robert Healey, an honours student at the Chirality group, University of Canberra, received the JASSO award from Japan

As part of a collaborative agreement with the Kyoto Institute of technology Japan, Robert Healey, an honours student in the Chirality program ( working under the supervision of Dr Ashraf Ghanem at the Faculty of Applied Science, University of Canberra was awarded the JASSO scholarship from the Japan Students services organization (JASSO) to spend three months doing research at the department of Biomolecular Engineering at the Kyoto Institute of Technology Japan. Robert will work on a technology transfer process dealing with the fabrication of chiral silica monolith for separation of chiral drugs. The JASSO program provides an opportunity for a wide range of students to develop an international perspective, enhancing academics while promoting mutual understanding and friendship between nations. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this short-term pilot project which will serve to establish active links between and networks among universities, advancing internationalization worldwide. In addition to his research work, Robert is an active member of the RACI ACT team promoting science in the community via the crystal growing competition, science demonstration show  and slime experiments. Congratulations Rob

 Agreement with Daicel Chemical Industries - Japan

The University of Canberra represented by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Parker has signed a confidential disclosure agreement with Daicel Chemical Industries, Japan to explore business opportunities in the field of fabrication of chiral capillary silica monolithitic columns for industrial pharmaceutical application. Dr Ashraf Ghanem visited the company in Osaka and Kyoto, Japan and presented two lectures about the business opportunities in the field of chiral separation using his new silica column. The CD agreement was followed by a signed commitment from Daicel to purchase the licence of the product upon successful completion and evaluation. Daicel Chemical Industries, Inc., formerly known as "Dainippon Celluloid Company" was established in 1919 through a merger of eight celluloid producers in Japan. Based on their expertise in celluloid chemistry, they have developed a variety of cellulose derivatives and brought them to the market over the years. Cellulose acetate is one of their major products. It is used for photographic film and cigarette filters. Daicel also manufactures organic chemicals e.g. acetic acid used in the synthesis of cellulose acetate. They produce more than 400,000MT/year of acetic acid along with products such as ketene, diketene and their derivatives. Daicel is one of the largest Japanese chemical companies with consolidated net sales of ca. US$3 billion p.a. The Chiral Pharmaceutical Ingredient - CPI Company is an internal company within Daicel. The CPI Company offers chiral solutions to worldwide customers. Their core technologies are chiral chromatographic separation and biotransformations (enzyme) as well as chemical synthesis capability under a rigorous quality control system. Their interest directly fit to our Chirality program at the University of Canberra (

Dr Ashraf Ghanem at Daicel Japan

Nano UHPLC systems

 New nano Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) systems at the Chirality lab.


Four new nano Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) systems arrived last week from Germany and recently installed at the Chirality lab. These $280,000 instruments were purchased from an industrial fund supported by Dionex company ($200,000), the University of Canberra strategic fund ($50,000) and the Faculty of Applied Science start-up fund ($30,000). Nano HPLC is a relatively new development in chromatography driven by recent advancements in proteomics that would require decreasing of inner diameter (ID) of liquid chromatography (LC) column (e.g. 100 microm ID) to allow for a smaller sample amount and to increase sensitivity. The other demand for nano LC comes from the new field referred as “lab-on-a-chip” that would require “on-chip” liquid chromatography separation as part of other chip-based pharmaceutical and chemical analysis. These environmentally benign instruments are the first in ACT region and will be used in the pharmaceutical analysis and chiral drug development. They provide accurate solvent delivery at nano-flow rates; low solvent consumption with the reflux flow control system; a rugged, high-performance, low-volume nano valve; and an autosampler, which features a low sample carry-over. The technology of monolithic capillary column fabrication in micro and nano HPLC separation was recently transferred from the laboratory of Prof. Tanaka at the Kyoto Institute of technology Japan (Endeavour and Japan Society of promotion of Science for Dr Ghanem).

Please contact Ashraf Ghanem for further info


Cosmos magazine April 2011

Ashraf talking to Prof. Peter Doherty (Nobel Laureate) and Chris Cowie (Manager Dionex)
Nobel Laureate Paul Doherty at the opening of RC
Industrial partner Dionex: Chris Cowie (Manager), Fritz and Colleen
Opening ceremony with Nobel Laureate P. Doherty
Prof. Peter Doherty talking to our PhD students