Professor John S. Fossey

Professor John Fossey

School of Chemistry
Professor of Synthetic Chemistry
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) lead for the School of Chemistry

Contact details

School of Chemistry
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

It is with great sadness that the University of Birmingham announces the passing away of Professor John Fossey on Friday 15 April, 2022.

John was a great chemist, a wonderful colleague and a fantastic mentor.  He was a creative thinker, passionate about equality and providing opportunity for all.  John made many contributions to the School of Chemistry at Birmingham. He also collaborated extensively so his loss will be felt by many across the academic community.

An in memoriam page has been set up to commemorate Professor Fossey’s contribution to the University and wider Chemistry community.


  • Oct 2000 - Dec 2003 PhD with Dr Christopher J. Richards at Queen Mary University of London
  • Oct 1996 - June 2000 MChem at Cardiff University of Wales
John's full professional profile.


Professor John S. Fossey has been a Royal Society Industry Fellow, he has four granted patents and just over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Expertise in synthesis applied to sensing, catalysis and drug discovery. Among several research projects in catalysis and sensing for health and sustainability he has recently begun to tackle drug delivery for type 1 diabetes management. Furthermore, he is working closely with the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedical Health (GIBH) and collaborators at the University of Birmingham to translate synthetic chemistry and methodology development into new therapies for tuberculosis. 

Professor Fossey has secured funding from multiple organisations including the Leverhulme Trust, the Royal Society, the JDRF, the EPSRC, EU H2020, the Sasakawa Foundation, the JSPS and the National Natural Science Foundation China. He is a visiting Professor at Henan Normal University, a Guest Professor East China University of Science and Technology and a Guest Lecturer at Sun Yat-sen University. Professor John Fossey was part of the team that won the 2013 Daiwa Adrian prize for UK-Japan collaborative research and he is the inaugural Czarnik Emerging Investigator Prize winner. 


Research Interests

  • Multi-component, atom economic organic synthesis
  • Chiral induction in molecular processes
  • Cation π-stacking
  • Carbohydrate and glycoconjugate recognition
  • Carbohydrate analytical chemistry

Detailed information can be found on John's ResearcherID profile.


Recent publications


Meloni, F, Brittain, WDG, Male, L, Duff, CSL, Buckley, BR, Leach, AG & Fossey, JS 2022, 'Enantiomer stability of atropisomeric 1,5-disubstituted 1,2,3-triazoles', Tetrahedron Chem, vol. 1, 100004.

Banach, Ł, Williams, GT & Fossey, JS 2021, 'Insulin delivery using dynamic covalent boronic acid/ester‐controlled release', Advanced Therapeutics.

Quy, A, Li, X, Male, L, Stankovic, T, Agathanggelou, A & Fossey, J 2020, 'Aniline-containing derivatives of parthenolide: Synthesis and anti-chronic lymphocytic leukaemia activity', Tetrahedron, vol. 76, no. 48, 131631.

Payne, DT, Webre, WA, Gobeze, HB, Seetharaman, S, Matsushita, Y, Karr, PA, Chahal, MK, Labuta, J, Jevasuwan, W, Fukata, N, Fossey, JS, Ariga, K, D'Souza, F & Hill, JP 2020, 'Nanomolecular singlet oxygen photosensitizers based on hemiquinonoid-resorcinarenes, the fuchsonarenes', Chemical Science, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. 2614-2620.

Xu, S, Sedgwick, A, Elfeky, S, Chen, W, Jones, A, Williams, G, Jenkins, T, Bull, S, Fossey, J & James, T 2019, 'A boronic acid-based fluorescent hydrogel for monosaccharide detection', Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, vol. 2020, pp. 112-116.

Hadzhiev, Y, Qureshi, HK, Wheatley, L, Cooper, L, Jasiulewicz, A, Van Nguyen, H, Wragg, JW, Poovathumkadavil, D, Conic, S, Bajan, S, Sik, A, Hutvàgner, G, Tora, L, Gambus, A, Fossey, JS & Müller, F 2019, 'A cell cycle-coordinated Polymerase II transcription compartment encompasses gene expression before global genome activation', Nature Communications, vol. 10, no. 1, 691, pp. 691.

Zhao, Y, Wakeling, M, Meloni, F, Sum, TJ, Nguyen, VH, Buckley, BR, Davies, P & Fossey, J 2019, 'Balancing bulkiness in gold(I) phosphino-triazole catalysis', European Journal of Organic Chemistry, vol. 2019, no. 31-32, pp. 5540-5548.

Brittain, WDG, Dalling, AG, Sun, Z, Duff, CSL, Male, L, Buckley, BR & Fossey, JS 2019, 'Coetaneous catalytic kinetic resolution of alkynes and azides through asymmetric triazole formation', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 15086.

Li, X, Payne, DT, Ampolu, B, Bland, N, Brown, JT, Dutton, MJ, Fitton, CA, Gulliver, A, Hale, L, Hamza, D, Jones, G, Lane, R, Leach, AG, Male, L, Merisor, EG, Morton, MJ, Quy, A, Roberts, R, Scarll, R, Schulz-utermoehl, T, Stankovic, T, Stevenson, B, Fossey, JS & Agathanggelou, A 2019, 'Derivatisation of parthenolide to address chemoresistant chronic lymphocytic leukaemia', Medchemcomm, vol. 10, no. 8, pp. 1379-1390.

Other contribution

Quy, A, Li, X, Male, L, Stankovic, T, Agathanggelou, A & Fossey, J 2020, Aniline-Containing Derivatives of Parthenolide: Synthesis and Anti-Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia Activity..

Fossey, J 2020, Azetidines kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis without detectable resistance by blocking mycolate assembly..


Li, X, Williams, G, Quy, A, Zhao, Y, Male, L, Anslyn, E, Stankovic, T, Leach, A, Agathanggelou, A & Fossey, J 2021 'Boronic ester derivative-dependent activity of parthenolide analogues' ChemRxiv.

Meloni, F, Brittain, W, Male, L, Duff, CL, Buckley, B, Leach, A & Fossey, J 2021 'Enantiomer stability of atropisomeric 1,5-disubstituted 1,2,3-triazoles' ChemRxiv.

Review article

Milton, JP & Fossey, JS 2021, 'Azetidines and their applications in asymmetric catalysis', Tetrahedron, vol. 77, 131767.

Williams, GT, Kedge, JL & Fossey, JS 2021, 'Molecular boronic acid-based saccharide sensors', Sensors, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 1508–1528.

View all publications in research portal