Molecular Synthesis and Catalysis

Research in this unit is focused on answering fundamental questions relating to molecular structure, chemical reactivity and physical properties. Our programmes concerning the discovery and develeopment of efficient enabling methods and the design of bespoke functional molecules provide novel chemical entities and processes to tackle major societal challenges, spanning sustainability (energy, chemical feedstocks, agriculture), next generation theraputics and diagnostics. Our research is supported by the Centre for Chemical and Materials Analysis, which offers high quality spectroscopic analysis, including NMR, Mass Spectrometry, X-ray Diffraction and HPLC.

Research Collaborations: MSC team leaders are actively engaged with both industrial and academic partners within the UK and overseas as well as in collaborative projects across the University (School of Biosciences, School of Chemical Engineering and the College of Medical and Dental Sciences). This includes cross-disciplinary areas of research activity covered by the School of Chemistry's research themes, in particular Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery  and Chemistry for Healthcare Technologies.

Areas of Expertise: Asymmetric synthesis; carbohydrate chemistry; cascade reactions; catalysis discovery; catalysis design; functional molecules; lipids; scaffold design and molecular diversity; natural products; organic reaction mechanisms; organocatalysis; organometallic chemistry; peptides; reactive intermediates; reaction design; sustainable chemistry; synthetic organic chemistry; transition metal-mediated reactions.

Research group leaders

Dr Paul Davies
Dr Liam Cox
Dr John Fossey
Dr Richard Grainger
Professor Nigel Simpkins

Contact: Enquiries about specific aspects of their research areas should be addressed to individual research group leaders. For more general enquiries about working with the MSC Unit, please contact Dr Paul Davies (MSC Unit Lead). Information on various postgraduate (PhD and Masters) degree opportunities can be found here.

Wider Engagement: Molecular synthesis can catalysis plays a crucial role in maintaining and impriving our standard of life. Members of the Unit work closely with the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Chemical Industry and the Royal Society as committee members, panel officers and Industry Fellows, to enable effective knowledge transfer across academia and industry and to enhance public awareness of this central area of Chemistry.