Jones Molecular Synthesis Group

Jones Group Research, University of Birmingham

Our research interests include combining electrosynthesis with medicinal chemistry to provide small molecular solutions and tools for research at the boundary of fundamental biology and drug discovery.

Group lead


Dr Alan M. Jones

School of Pharmacy
Senior Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry

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Our research group

Our research group develops new synthetic routes to bioactive small molecules. We are investigating the following themes:

New Electro-Synthetic Methodology

We are developing electrosynthetic routes to small molecules required in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries to accelerate drug discovery.

See recent work: ChemElectroChem 2019; Org. Biomol. Chem. 2017; ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng. 2020

Medicinal Chemistry

We are investigating the role of small molecules in oncology and cardiovascular disease.

See recent work: Sci. Rep. 2019; BBA Gen. Subj. 2017; Cell Physiol Biochem 2019; Biorxiv 2020

Adverse Drug Reactions in Pharmacy

Understanding of polypharmacology as a determinant of ADRs and drug toxicity

See: Pharmacol. Res. Perspect. 2020; J. Prescrib. Pract.2019

Chemical Biological Role of Sulfation

The sulfate group acts as an epigenetic marker in approximately ~1% of all known PTMs and as a metabolic detoxification route for small molecules. We are exploring new methods to install and handle these polar functional groups.

See: ChemBioChem 2020; Chem. Commun. 2019; Sci. Rep. 2020

Current projects

  • Drug metabolite synthesis using an electrochemical mimic of CYP-p450.
  • Drug discovery of new EAAT1 small molecule inhibitors for T-ALL.
  • Drug discovery of novel dopamine receptor modulators for oncology.
  • Development of novel approaches to labelled sulfated steroids.

Recent and selected publications

  • Wetzel, A., Jones, A. M. Electrically driven N(sp2)-C(sp2/3) bond cleavage of sulfonamides. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2020,8, 3487-3493.
  • Chopra, V., Sangarappillai, R. M., Romero-Canelon, I., Jones, A. M. Lysyl Oxidase Like-2 (LOXL2): An Emerging Oncology Target. Adv. Therap. 2020, 3, 1900119.
  • Benedetti, A. M., Gill, D. M., Tsang, C. W., Jones, A. M. Chemical methods for N- and O-sulfation of small molecules, amino acids and peptides. ChemBioChem 2020, 21, 938–942.
  • Ferro, C. J., Solkhon, F., Jalal, Z., Al-Hamid, A. M., Jones, A. M. Relevance of physicochemical properties and functional pharmacology data to predict the clinical safety profile of direct oral anticoagulants. Pharmacol. Res. Perspect. 2020, 8, e00603.
  • Gill, D. M., Male, L., Jones, A.M. Sulfation made simple: a strategy for synthesising sulfated molecules. Chem Commun.2019, 55, 4319– 322.


  • Prinicpal Investigator: Dr Alan M. Jones
  • Students: Jaber Alshehri; Chloe Ayre; Jiaqian Xie; Sami Darweish; Yavuz Ugurlu; Suleiman Zandam; Yifei Zhou; Aobo Gu; Daranjit Sandhu; Karan Maharu

Further links