This exciting PhD opportunity will generate novel organic synthetic chemistry, develop new methodology within our group and expand your practical skill sets allowing you to fine-tune new techniques and methods in state-of-the-art chemistry.
You will generate sought-after, optically active heterocycles with multiple, new stereocenters derived from a single, readily installed stereocenter which is, critically, remote i.e. >6 atoms away from the reaction site using a cheap ‘off the shelf’ catalyst. This unresolved challenge is a radical departure from conformationally restrained ‘conventional’ catalysis; as such, this PhD project seeks an enthusiastic and independent thinker who will develop, probe & optimize a straightforward entry point to highly functionalised and chemically versatile heterocycles. Our new chemical platform unlocks an opportunity to repurpose abundant/cheap feedstocks, exploit reaction diversity and via ‘chiral relay’ rapidly/efficiently generate, at will, either simple or complex linear or macrocyclic heterocycle-derived peptides with stable isotope labels.
We know the chemistry works and have a handful of different examples but the mechanism is unclear, resolving this you will have the opportunity to undertake a computational study with our collaborator in the US.3 Worthy of note, this chemistry affords only water and nitrogen gas by-products, it is, therefore, very much at the forefront of green chemistry. Developing this aspect further you will develop and apply the chemistry to a microfluidic synthetic route. With the methodology in hand its application to the synthesis of biologically active anti-bacterial and anti-viral compounds will commence. Dependent on the compounds generated the products can be tested for their bioactivity at Public Health England or via our industrial connections, this will allow you to probe, establish and refine their antiviral / antibacterial activity.