Biography

Ph.D and Postdoctoral Opportunities

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Biography

Joseph Wright joined UEA as postdoctoral research assistant in 2005, and studied solid-support catalysis and energy materials in the groups of Professor Manfred Bochmann and Professor Chris Pickett, respectively. He was appointed to a faculty position as a Lecturer in Energy Materials in 2012. Prior to his time at UEA, he obtained his PhD the University of Cambridge studying organometallic reaction mechanism, and carried out a two year post-doctoral research post in Southampton.

My research is focussed on understanding reaction mechanism at metal centres, and exploiting this insight to develop new catalytic materials. A key area of interest is biologically-inspired metal complex, many of which have direct relevance to producing new energy materials. As part of the Energy Materials Laboratory I'm also involved in collaborative work across organometallic and bioinorganic projects.

Selected publications

Electronic control of the protonation rates of Fe-Fe bonds

A. Jablonskytė, L. R. Webster, T. R. Simmons, J. A. Wright and C. J. Pickett

J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 13038-13044

DOI: 10.1021/ja506693m

 

[FeFe] Hydrogenase: Protonation of 2Fe3S Systems and Formation of Super-reduced Hydride States

A. Jablonskytė, J. A. Wright, S. A. Fairhurst, L. R. Webster and C. J. Pickett

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2014, 53, 10143-10146

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201406210

 

Gold peroxide complexes and the conversion of hydroperoxides into gold hydrides by successive oxygen-transfer reactions

D.-A. Roşca, J. A. Wright, D. L. Hughes and M. Bochmann

Nat. Commun., 2013, 4, 2167

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3167

Paramagnetic Bridging Hydrides of Relevance to Catalytic Hydrogen Evolution at Metallo-sulfur Centers
A. Jablonskytė, J. A. Wright, S. A. Fairhurst, J. N. T. Peck, S. K. Ibrahim, V. S. Oganesyan and C. J. Pickett
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 18606–18609
DOI: 10.1021/ja2087536

All Publications

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Hunt, N. T., Wright, J. A., Pickett, C.

(2016)

Detection of transient intermediates generated from subsite analogues of [FeFe]-hydrogenases,

in Inorganic Chemistry

55

(2)

pp. 399-410

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Prior, C., Webster, L. R., Ibrahim, S. K., Wright, J. A., Alghamdi, A. F., Oganesyan, V. S., Pickett, C. J.

(2016)

EPR detection and characterisation of a paramagnetic Mo(III) dihydride intermediate involved in electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution,

in Dalton Transactions

45

(6)

pp. 2399-2403

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Wright, M., Wright, J.

(2016)

PhotoCORMs: CO release moves into the visible,

in Dalton Transactions

45

(16)

pp. 6801-6811

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Fritzsch, R., Brady, O., Adair, E., Wright, J. A., Pickett, C. J., Hunt, N. T.

(2016)

Encapsulating subsite analogues of the [FeFe]-hydrogenases in micelles enables direct water interactions,

in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters

7

(14)

pp. 2838-2843

Full Text

(Letter)

(Published)


Wright, J. A., Peck, J. N. T., Cottrell, S. P., Jablonskyte, A., Oganesyan, V. S., Pickett, C. J., Jayasooriya, U. A.

(2016)

Muonium Chemistry at Diiron Subsite Analogues of [FeFe]-Hydrogenase,

in Angewandte Chemie International Edition

55

(47)

pp. 14580–14583

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Rosca, D., Fernandez Cestau, J., Morris, J., Wright, J., Bochmann, M.

(2015)

Gold(III) CO and CO2 Complexes and Their Role in the Water-Gas Shift Reaction,

in Science Advances

1

(9)

article no. e1500761

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Rosca, D., Wright, J., Bochmann, M.

(2015)

An element through the looking glass: Exploring the Au-C, Au-H and Au-O energy landscape,

in Dalton Transactions

44

pp. 20785-20807

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Wright, J. A., Pickett, C. J.

(2014)

Mechanistic Aspects of Biological Hydrogen Evolution and Uptake,

in Bioinspired Catalysis : Metal-Sulfur Complexes.

Wiley-VCH

pp. 161-198

ISBN 9783527333080

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Jablonskyte, A., Webster, L. R., Simmons, T. R., Wright, J. A., Pickett, C. J.

(2014)

Electronic Control of the Protonation Rates of Fe–Fe Bonds,

in Journal of the American Chemical Society

136

(37)

pp. 13038-13044

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Jablonskyte, A., Wright, J. A., Fairhurst, S. A., Webster, L. R., Pickett, C. J.

(2014)

[FeFe] Hydrogenase: Protonation of {2Fe3S} Systems and Formation of Super-reduced Hydride States,

in Angewandte Chemie International Edition

53

(38)

pp. 10143-10146

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Frederix, P., Adamczyk, K., Tuttle, T., Wright, J. A., Ulijn, R. V., Pickett, C. J., Hunt, N. T.

(2014)

Investigation of the Ultrafast Dynamics Occurring during Unsensitized Photocatalytic H2 Evolution by an [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Subsite Analogue,

in Organometallics

33

(20)

pp. 5888-5896

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Ma, J., Zhao, K., Wright, J. A., Frese, J. W. A., Elsegood, M., Xing, Q., Sun, W., Redshaw, C.

(2014)

Vanadyl complexes bearing bi-dentate phenoxyimine ligands: synthesis, structural studies and ethylene polymerization capability,

in Dalton Transactions

43

pp. 8300-8310

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Walton, M. J., Lancaster, S. J., Wright, J. A., Elsegood, M. R., Redshaw, C.

(2014)

Zinc Calixarene Complexes for the Ring Opening Polymerization of Cyclic Esters,

in Dalton Transactions

43

pp. 18001-18009

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Ma, J., Zhao, K., Walton, M., Wright, J. A., Hughes, D., Elsegood, M. R. J., Michiue, K., Sun, X., Redshaw, C.

(2014)

Tri- and tetra-dentate imine vanadyl complexes: synthesis, structure and ethylene polymerization/ring opening polymerization capability,

in Dalton Transactions

43

(44)

pp. 16698-16706

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Rosca, D., Wright, J., Hughes, D., Bochmann, M.

(2013)

Gold peroxide complexes and the conversion of hydroperoxides into gold hybrides by successive oxygen-transfer reactions,

in Nature Communications

4

article no. 2167

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Dann, T., Roşca, D., Wright, J. A., Wildgoose, G. G., Bochmann, M.

(2013)

Electrochemistry of AuII and AuIII pincer complexes: determination of the AuII–AuII bond energy,

in Chemical Communications

49

(86)

pp. 10169-10171

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Turrell, P. J., Hill, A. D., Ibrahim, S. K., Wright, J. A., Pickett, C. J.

(2013)

Ferracyclic carbamoyl complexes related to the active site of [Fe]-hydrogenase,

in Dalton Transactions

42

(22)

pp. 8140-8146

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Redshaw, C., Elsegood, M., Wright, J., Baillie-Johnson, H., Yamato, T., Giovanni, S., Mueller, A.

(2012)

Cellular uptake of a fluorescent vanadyl sulfonylcalix[4]arene,

in Chemical Communications

48

(8)

pp. 1129-1131

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Broomfield, L., Bochmann, M., Wright, J.

(2012)

Tris[3,6-di-tert-butyl-1-(isoquinolin-1-yl)naphthalen-2-olato-κ2N,O]aluminium(III) toluene sesquisolvate,

in Acta Crystallographica Section C: Crystal Structure Communications

68

(8)

pp. m226-m228

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Frederix, P., Kania, R., Wright, J., Lamprou, D., Ulijn, R., Pickett, C., Hunt, N.

(2012)

Encapsulating [FeFe]-hydrogenase model compounds in peptide hydrogels dramatically modifies stability and photochemistry,

in Dalton Transactions

41

(42)

pp. 13112-13119

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

CO Releasing Molecules

The synthesis of deliverable organometallic compounds which release the therapeutic small molecule carbon monoxide (CO) when subjected to a suitable ‘trigger’ is currently of significant interest. Carbon monoxide, like nitric oxide (NO), is a vasodilatating substance and has been implicated in the regulation of large number of physiological and pathological processes, including inhibition of platelet aggregation and hormone release. Recognition of these roles has begun to drive research into CO-releasing therapeutics, including initial exploration of metallosystems, but the area is in its infancy.

Based on earlier work in modelling enzyme active sites, we have identified a new family of iron-containing molecules with benign co-ligands and which offer a starting point for research on the dynamics of triggered release. These possess ferracyclic structures analogous to those found at the active site of certain enzymes: an iron atom is held within an organometallic five-membered ring formed and importantly these systems bind up to three CO molecules. The project focuses on synthesising water- and lipo-soluble systems by modification of the ferracyclic ring to ensure deliverability. 

Functionalised models for formate dehydrogenase chemistry

There is an urgent need to develop new approaches to storing and releasing energy, particularly those usable in fuel cells. Formate is a ‘hydrogen carrier’, capable of delivering an equivalent of H2 as a liquid fuel to such devices, and so new routes to this molecule are extremely attractive. The formate dehydrogenase enzymes (FDH) can interconvert CO2 and formate with selectively, with low overpotential and without requiring precious metals (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2008, 105, 10654).The enzyme themselves are too large and oxygen-sensitive to be used in technological applications, and so new catalytically-active chemical models of the active site are urgently needed.

Chemical modelling related to the FDH active site has to date been concentrated on reproducing the metal coordination sphere (see for example Chem. Rev., 2004, 104, 1175). Crucially, there has been no work to introduce hydrogen-bond donors around this core, features which are established as vital in enzyme turn-over (J. Biol. Inorg. Chem., 2006, 11, 849). In a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust, we are developing new ligand architectures to introduce secondary coordination sphere donors to enable new catalytic manifolds.

Modelling metalloenzyme functionality

The unique ability of metalloproteins to catalyse economically-important chemistry has attracted a great deal of research attention over the past several years. The possibility of reproducing the functional chemistry of the protein systems offers the chance to harness these abilities in practical catalytic system.

The group has two ongoing research interests focussed on the [FeFe]-hydrogenase and nitrogenase enzymes. In the nitrogenase area, our focus is on mononuclear molybdenum complexes which have the potential to active dinitrogen. The core architectures involved are pincer-based motifs which will support the reactive metal centre. Our work on iron systems is concentrated on the introduction of novel ligand systems around a di-iron core to replicate both the structure and function of the natural systems. We are also interested in understanding the reactivity of these systems using a wide range of advanced mechanistic tools.

Computational probing of organometallic reactivity

The use of computational methods to support synthetic chemistry forms a vital part of modern research. We are interested in applying these approaches to real systems, simulating the structure, spectroscopy and reactivity of target molecules. Recent success in this area is exemplified by our collaboration with the Bochmann group on the identification of key intermediates in gold chemistry.

Research Group Membership

  • Mark Wright, PhD student 2013 to present
  • Sarah Woodhouse, MChem project student, 2015 to present
  • Ross Watcham, MChem project student, 2015 to present
  • Matt Surman, RSC sumer student and MChem project student, 2015 to present
  • Trevor Simmons, PDRA, 2015 to present
  • Farhana Haque, PhD student 2015 to present
  • Rafael Farias Fujita, international exchange student, 2014–15
  • Marie Belcher, MChem project student, 2014–15
  • Kieran Bradley, MChem project student, 2014–15
  • Dhinisa Patel, MChem project student, 2014–15
  • Zoe Vincent, MChem project student 2013–14
  • Kate Sanders-Wilde, BSc project student 2013–14

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

Committee membership:

  • National Chemical Database Service Advisory Board, 2012 to present
  • ISIS Facilities Access Panel: mouns, 2014 to present

Professional bodies:

  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • American Chemical Society
  • British Crystallographic Association