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National Deuteration facility

Science Highlights - National Deuteration Facility

Science Highlights

One pot metabolic assay


Screening of metabolic stability of deuterated molecules

A collaboration of ANSTO scientists led by the National Deuteration Facility has developed a new screening method to rapidly determine if a deuterated molecule has improved metabolic stability.

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Tamim Darwish


Cosmetic chemistry

The Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists has recognised Dr Tamim Darwish  with an award for the best technical paper at their annual conference in Perth in early May.

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Previous science highlights

For all previous news highlights featuring the National Deuteration Facility, please consult the ANSTO news page.

National Deuteration Facility publications list

News and technical highlights

07/07/2020- NDF participates in AINSE Winter School

Dr Anwen Krause-Heuer gave a presentation on the National Deuteration Facility to the AINSE Winter School. This year the school was held remotely, with approximately 80 students attending panel presentations and experimental sessions via Zoom.

Updates from AINSE can be found on their Facebook page and website.

30/06/2020 - NDF releases updated product catalogue

The National Deuteration Facility has released an updated Product Catalogue outlining their deuteration capabilities. It contains:

  • 190+ molecules, biologically and chemically deuterated
  • Twelve categories:
    1. Carboxylic acids, alcohols, amines, alkyl halides, thiols, alkanes
    2. Aromatic compounds
    3. Sugars and related compounds
    4. Ionic compounds/surfactants
    5. Phospholipids
    6. Silicon containing compounds
    7. Glycols and related compounds
    8. Glycerides
    9. Sterols
    10. Miscellaneous
    11. Biopolymers
    12. Proteins
  • Publication links

Only final deuterated molecules are listed with deuterated precursors also available upon request.
Molecule possibilities are not limited to those listed in the catalogue with enquiries about additional and new molecules always welcome.
Various modes of access for these custom-made deuterated materials are available.

The Product Catalogue can be found at this link: NDF Catalogue June 2020

30/06/2020 - NDF celebrates end of financial year 

The NDF team recognised members of the team through nominations for the annual end of financial year awards, with Tamim congratulating the whole team on their efforts over the past 12 months.
The following staff were recognised in four categories:

Mitch Klenner   for the Best journal paper of the year FY20
Michael Moir     for the Commercial/Industry interaction colleague of the year FY20
Michael Moir     for the Delivery and productivity colleague of the year FY20
Laura Hallam    for the Best team player of the year FY20

NDF 2020 rewards and recognition

Agata Rekas and Rob Russell were also recognised by NSTLI for their contributions, Agata for continuing to run yoga classes for staff via Zoom during the work from home period, and Rob for his work on keeping many critical instruments running during the work from home period, supervising contractors who needed to attend on-site.

01/05/2020 - 37 NDF proposals submitted for 2020-2 round

The NDF received a record 37 proposal submissions as part of the 2020-2 round. NDF staff have been working from home, including working on proposal reviews. Notifications on proposal outcomes to users will be delayed until the NDF resumes normal user program operations. Although working remotely the team is staying well connected.

NDF working from home

16/04/2020 - NDF authors contribute to article in Angewandte Chemie selected as very important paper (VIP)

The complete deuteration of a common organic light-emitting diode (OLED) emitter by ANSTO’s National Deuteration Facility (NDF) has allowed the detection of paramagnetic resonances at unprecedented field strengths which are comparable to the field strength of Earth. This has enabled the study of the effects of external magnetic fields on the conductivity of organic semiconductors. The study,lead by researchers from Universitt Regensburg in Germany in collaboration with researchers from the University of Queensland and University of Utah, has recently been published as Very Important Paper (VIP) in Angewandte Chemie.

Ultralow‐field electrically detected magnetic resonance (EDMR) of OLEDs

Ultralow‐field electrically detected magnetic resonance (EDMR) of OLEDs. a) Structure of perdeuterated d‐MEHPPV. b) EDMR setup of the OLED placed on an RF stripline with variable in‐plane angle α between the static field B0 and oscillating field B1. c) Comparison of EDMR spectra of h‐MEHPPV and d‐MEHPPV at 8 MHz.

25/03/2020 - COVID-19 update

Please see the article on the ANSTO website for current changes to access to ANSTO in response to COVID-19.

24/03/2020 - PhD conferral for Dr Michael Moir

Congratulations to NDF organic synthetic chemist Dr Michael Moir, who last week had his PhD conferred from the University of Sydney. Michael completed his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Michael Kassiou in the area of medicinal chemistry. His thesis was entitled, The Design and Synthesis of Novel Selective Cannabinoid Type 2 Receptor Ligands.

PhD graduation for Dr Mitch Klenner

Congratulations to Dr Mitch Klenner, who received his PhD award from Curtin University in Western Australia. Mitch was based in the Human Health research theme at ANSTO for his PhD studies and has been working at the National Deuteration Facility since September 2019.

Successful internship increases NDF capabilities in biosynthesis of sterols

The National Deuteration Facility recently hosted David Moeller for his 3 month internship, part of his undergraduate studies at University of Ilmenau in Germany. David worked under the supervision of Dr Rob Russell, performing biosynthesis and purification of sterols from genetically modified yeast.

​​​​​​David enjoyed the opportunity to learn about growing yeast in bioreactors, and was able to successfully extract and purify the plant sterol campesterol, a molecule very similar to cholesterol which occurs in animals. David’s efforts led to the first known production of a highly deuterated form of the molecules, which will be of interest to research groups at universities and biotech companies worldwide. The work was included in a poster presentation for the facility, and a manuscript is in progress which will be the first publication of David’s scientific career. Good luck with the rest of your studies David!

David Moeller working in NDF labs

Rhys Murphy presents at Adelaide Synthesis Symposium

Dr Rhys Murphy gave an invited talk at the Adelaide Synthesis Symposium, organised by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Organic Chemistry Division in South Australia. He also presented a talk in Sydney at the New South Wales version of this event. Rhys spoke on his recent postdoctoral work in the deuteration of molecules important for everyday life, including one important to global health and disease prevention, and which is contained in personal care products. He also showcased NDF capability to undertake hydrothermal molecular deuteration in a state-of-the-art microwave reactor, along with the analytical method he co-developed last year to screen for improved metabolic profile in deuterated radiotracers and biomolecules.

Rhys Murphy among the speakers at Adelaide RACI conference

02/12/2019 - ANSTO Users Meeting, Macquarie University

Members of the NDF team recently attended the ANSTO User Meeting 2019 held 2nd to 3rd December at Macquarie University, Sydney. Karyn Wilde presented a talk on NDF capabilities and user access titled:  “Molecular Deuteration at the National Deuteration Facility: Diversity of Molecules and Application”.  Rob Russell and Anthony Duff presented posters titled: “Microbial factories to complement chemical synthesis of deuterated molecules” and “The National Deuteration Facility, and support of neutron scattering for structural biology” respectively.

The meeting provided many opportunities for face-to-face discussion with existing NDF users. The strong NDF presence also allowed us to cultivate new relationships and develop ideas for further deuteration activities.

Further information on the meeting can be found here:  

Karyn Wilde ANSTO users meeting 2019

25/11/2019 - Anwen Krause-Heuer presents at ANZMAG, WA

Dr Anwen Krause-Heuer attended the 12th Australian and New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance (ANZMAG) conference, held in Bunker Bay, Western Australia. Anwen presented on the recent capability developments of the NDF with applicability to the NMR community, particularly in the area of labelling strategies available for proteins.

Further information on the meeting can be found here:


19/11/2019 - Anthony Duff presents at AOCNS, Taiwan

Anthony Duff attended the 3rd AOCNS in Kenting, Taiwan, 15-21 November 2019.  This was an excellent meeting.  In an excellent location, with perfect weather, hundreds of scientists doing, or interested in doing neutron scattering attended and engaged in all sessions.   A number of new contacts were made with scientists interesting in doing protein deuteration and SANS for the first time.  Interest in molecular deuteration, including all of deuteration by chemical synthesis, recombinant protein deuteration, and other biological deuteration was very strong, especially from the China Spallation Neutron Source.

19/11/2019 - Rob Russell attends 8th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Plant Lipids, ACT

Dr Rob Russell attended the Asia-Oceania Symposium on Plant Lipids, held in Canberra.

Rob presented recent work, in collaboration with the University of Geneva, where the NDF has produced biosynthesised deuterated cholesterol, using an engineered strain of common yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).   ​​​​Cholesterol-d40 is being used in studies of cell membrane structure and function, as well as a tracer in cell metabolism. Yeast and algae are recent additions to the NDF toolbox for producing deuterated fatty acids, sterols and polysaccharides. Campesterol (a plant sterol) and squalene (a C30H50 intermediate) are further targets for biosynthetic deuteration. ​​​​​​

Further information on the meeting can be found here:

12/11/2019 - Karyn Wilde attends Fragment-Based Drug Discovery Down Under Conference

Karyn Wilde represented the NDF at the Fragment-Based Drug Discovery Down Under Conference, held at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS).

08/11/2019 - Mitchell Klenner receives award at Australian Society for Molecular Imaging symposium

The NDF team congratulates Mitchell Klenner for his award of best oral presentation at the 2019 Australian Society for Molecular Imaging (ASMI) symposium, held at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide. Mitchell’s presentation was entitled “A Rhenium Complexation-Dissociation Strategy for the Synthesis of Fluorine-18 Labelled PET Molecular Probes”. The presentation highlighted his PhD work, undertaken at ANSTO, which led to the discovery of new methods for producing nuclear medicines.

Mitch Klenner receiving award at ASMI conference

6/11/2019 - Dr Rhys Murphy presents at the Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry conference, Melbourne

Dr Rhys Murphy is presenting at the Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry conference co-organised by The Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and the National Organic Symposium Trust (NOST) at RMIT.  Australia features some of the leading organic chemistry researchers from Australia and India. Rhys's talk is entitled "Enhancing Material Properties and Radiotracers by Deuteration".

4/11/2019 - NDF welcomes Michael Moir as Organic Synthetic Chemist

NDF is pleased to welcome Michael Moir, who has joined NDF as an organic synthetic chemist.  Michael is responsible for the custom synthesis of deuterated molecules as requested through the user access program. Michael completed his PhD at the University of Sydney earlier in 2019 and has experience in synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

The archive of previous news and technical highlights can be found here


Proposals for user access are submitted through the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering Customer Portal.
Submissions for access are currently closed. For all enquiries please contact:
A fact sheet on access and proposal submission is available for download:


The National Deuteration Facility is partly supported by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy – an initiative of the Australian Government.