Professor Rachel O'Reilly FRS PhD, FRS, FRSC CChem CSci MA MSci

Professor Rachel O'Reilly

School of Chemistry
Head of School
Professor of Polymer Chemistry

Contact details

Address
School of Chemistry
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT

Rachel O’Reilly holds a Chair in Chemistry within the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham. From 1st August 2018 she became the Head of the School of Chemistry. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1998 with a BA in Natural Sciences, and in 1999 with an MSc in Chemistry and completed her PhD in 2003 from Imperial College London. She has held a number of prestigious fellowships from the EPSRC, Royal Society and Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.

She has published over 225 research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews and book chapters in the fields of polymer synthesis, self-assembly, catalysis and DNA nanotechnology. She has given over 200 invited lectures and was recognised as one of the Royal Society of Chemistry's 175 faces of Chemistry. She has received major grants and research support from the ERC, BP and EPSRC. She leads a large interdisciplinary team working at the interface of chemistry, materials and biology. Since 2006 she has graduated over 40 PhD students and mentored over 25 postdoctoral researchers.

Rachel was appointed on the EPSRC strategic advisory network (SAN) in 2009 and served for almost 7 years. During this time she most significantly contributed to white papers on developing more flexible support for early career researchers, managing diversity and delivering impact. She holds a position as a review editor for Science and is an associate editor of the leading journal in Chemistry, the Journal of the American Chemical Society,.

Rachel leads the Rachel O'Reilly Group. Her group’s work has received numerous national and international awards for her polymer and material efforts, including, uniquely, four from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and, young researcher medals from the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the world authority on chemical nomenclature and terminology.

Rachel is also part of the Birmingham Plastics Network, an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 academics working together to shape the fate and sustainable future of plastics.  This unique team brings together chemists, environmental scientists, philosophers, linguists, economists, and experts in many other fields, to holistically address the global plastics problem.

Qualifications

2003

Ph.D. in Chemistry, Supervisor: Professor Vernon C. Gibson, FRS
Title : Novel catalyst design for utilisation in controlled radical polymerisations
Imperial College, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AY, UK

1999

M.Sci. hons, 1st class in Chemistry
B.A. hons, 1st class in Natural Sciences
University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, CB3 0DG, UK

Other activities

Selected Professional Societies, Activities and Service

  • Member of REF 2021 sub-panel UOA 8, Chemistry
  • Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences, 2021
  • Member of the Novo Nordisk Committee on Interdisciplinary Research, 2021-
  • Member of the Science and Engineering Fellowship Committee for the 1851 Commission, 2019
  • Panel Member of the ERC Advanced Grant program, 2019-
  • Council member of the High Polymer Research Group, 2018-
  • Associate Editor for the ACS journal, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2021-
  • Editorial advisory board member for the ACS journal, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2019-2021
  • Associate Editor for the ACS journal, Macromolecules, 2018-2021

Honours and Awards

  • Awarded the ACS Global Outstanding Mentor Award in Polymer Science and Engineering, 2022
  • Awarded the Macro Macro Group UK Medal, 2021
  • Awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry, Corday-Morgan Prize, 2020
  • Awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry lectureship, 2020
  • Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, UK Finalist Chemistry, 2019

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Sikder, A, Pearce, AK, Kumar, SCM & O'Reilly, R 2022, 'Elucidating the role of multivalency, shape, size and functional group density on antibacterial activity of diversified supramolecular nanostructures enabled by templated assembly', Materials Horizons. https://doi.org/10.1039/D2MH01117D

Pervez, M, Pearce, AK, Husband, JT, Male, L, Torrent-Sucarrat, M & O'Reilly, RK 2022, 'Enhancing dual-state emission in maleimide fluorophores through fluorocarbon functionalisation', Chemistry: A European Journal. https://doi.org/10.1002/chem.202201877

Su, Y, Jiang, Y, Liu, L, Xie, Y, Chen, S, Wang, Y, O'Reilly, R & Tong, Z 2022, 'Hydrogen bond regulated platelet micelles by crystallization-driven self-assembly and templated growth for poly(ε-caprolactone) block copolymers', Macromolecules, vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 1067-1076. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02402

Wu, J, Lei, H, Fang, X, Wang, B, Yang, G, O'Reilly, R, Wang, Z, Hua, Z & Liu, G 2022, 'Instant strong and responsive underwater adhesion manifested by bioinspired supramolecular polymeric adhesives', Macromolecules. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02361

Akar, I, Foster, J, Leng, X, Pearce, AK, Mathers, RT & O'Reilly, R 2022, 'Log Poct/SA predicts the thermoresponsive behavior of P(DMA-co-RA) statistical copolymers', ACS Macro Letters, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 498–503. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmacrolett.1c00776

Sikder, A, Esen, C & O'Reilly, R 2022, 'Nucleobase-interaction-directed biomimetic supramolecular self-assembly', Accounts of Chemical Research, vol. 55, no. 12, pp. 1609-1619. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.2c00135

Jimaja, S, Varlas, S, Foster, J, Taton, D, Dove, A & O'Reilly, R 2022, 'Stimuli-responsive and core cross-linked micelles developed by NiCCo-PISA of helical poly(aryl isocyanide)s', Polymer Chemistry, vol. 13, no. 27, pp. 4047-4053. https://doi.org/10.1039/D2PY00397J

Miclotte, MPJ, Varlas, S, Reynolds, CD, Rashid, B, Chapman, E & O'Reilly, RK 2022, 'Thermoresponsive Block Copolymer Core-Shell Nanoparticles with Tunable Flow Behavior in Porous Media', ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, vol. 2022. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.2c15024

Li, Z, Pearce, AK, Du, J, Dove, A & O'Reilly, R 2022, 'Uniform antibacterial cylindrical nanoparticles for enhancing the strength of nanocomposite hydrogels', Journal of Polymer Science. Part A: Polymer Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1002/pol.20210853

Clamor, C, Cattoz, B, Wright, P, O'Reilly, R & Dove, A 2021, 'Controlling the crystallinity and solubility of functional PCL with efficient post-polymerisation modification', Polymer Chemistry, vol. 12, no. 13, pp. 1983-1990. https://doi.org/10.1039/D0PY01535K

Arkinstall, LA, Husband, JT, Wilks, TR, Foster, JC & O'Reilly, RK 2021, 'DNA-polymer conjugates via the graft-through polymerisation of native DNA in water', Chemical communications (Cambridge, England), vol. 57, no. 44, pp. 5466-5469. https://doi.org/10.1039/d0cc08008j

O'Reilly, R, Pearce, AK, Vdovchenko, A, Freeley, M & Resmini, M 2021, 'Effect of heterogeneous and homogeneous polymerisation on the structure of pNIPAm nanogels', Polymer Chemistry, vol. 12, pp. 6854-6864. https://doi.org/10.1039/D1PY01333E

O'Reilly, R & Pearce, AK 2021, 'Polymers for biomedical applications: the importance of hydrophobicity in directing biological interactions and application efficacy', Biomacromolecules. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.biomac.1c00434

Editorial

Yu, S-H, O'Reilly, R, Jiang, L & Kotov, NA 2022, 'The new era of self-assembled nanomaterials', Accounts of Chemical Research, vol. 55, no. 13, pp. 1783-1784. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.2c00327

Review article

Tungsirisurp, S, O'Reilly, R & Napier, R 2022, 'Nucleic acid aptamers as aptasensors for plant biology', Trends in Plant Science. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2022.10.002

View all publications in research portal