Dr. Barry A. Blight
Photo Credit: A. Bosse, CBC NB
Barry was born and grew up on the east coast of Canada, and attended Mount Allison University (Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada) for his undergraduate studies. During his BSc he had the opportunity to volunteer as a research assistant synthesizing novel organo-sulfur compounds with the late Prof. Richard Langler. The following year, with Prof. Andrew Grant, he contributed to the synthesis of novel biotin transition-state analogues towards uncovering the mode of carboxylation of biotin by acetyl-CoA carboxylase. This work was performed as part of his fourth year honors project.
In June, 2003 he relocated to London, Ontario, Canada to begin his PhD work at the University of Western Ontario (now known as Western University), under the supervision of Prof. James Wisner. His work focused on the synthesis of a variety novel interlocked molecules using hydrogen bonding and coordination chemistry to template their assembly. This work led to seven peer-reviewed journal publications and a book chapter.
In 2008, Barry accepted a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) to study directed molecular motion influenced by different coordination geometries of transition metals and chelating ligands with Prof. David Leigh (now at the University of Manchester). In addition to this work, he also had an opportunity to continue pursuing his interests in systems that harness hydrogen bonding to enact extremely strong intermolecular interactions. His work carried out in Edinburgh led to three high impact journal publications and a review article.
Barry then, in 2010, accepted an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada) to work with Prof. Suning Wang at Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) studying triarylborane containing compounds that exhibit novel luminescent properties. In addition to synthesizing new borane-containining MOFs, Barry also contributed to the synthesis of boron-functionalized ligands that activate the lanthanide centered luminscence. His research efforts at Queen's resulted in six publications and both US and Canadain patents.
He accepted a Research Lectureship (assistant professor) in 2013 at the University of Kent in the School of Physical Sciences, where he joined the Functional Materials Group and lectured in the chemistry program. In 2016, Barry completed his postgraduate certificate in Higher education, and is a now a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In May 2017, Barry relocated to his home province of New Brunswick, Canada, where he accepted a tenure-track position at UNB as an Assistant Professor of Inorganic Chemistry. Effective July 1, 2019 Barry was promoted to Associate Professor of Inorganic Chemistry.