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School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Aryne-mediated synthesis of biologically active heterocycles

Supervisor: Dr Christopher R Jones

Project description

The Jones group is interested in developing new synthetic organic chemistry methodology that has the potential to impact upon contemporary socioeconomic issues such as new drug discovery and the need to find more sustainable chemical starting materials. This research project focuses on the use of reactive aryne intermediates to access a range of biologically active benzo-fused 7-membered heterocyclic compounds in a single complexity-generating step from simple and readily available reagents. These new methods will afford opportunities to generate diverse substrate libraries based on the core heterocyclic motifs adorned with functionality typically associated with pharmaceutical and agrochemical activity; the properties of these new compounds will then be tested.

Facilities and training

Dr Jones’ group is based in a modern building that is fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for carrying out outstanding research in organic, inorganic, computational and biological chemistry. Students will receive extensive training in a large number of organic chemistry techniques, and routinely use equipment such as high field NMR, EPR, AFM, IR, UV-Vis and mass spectrometers, in addition to LCMS, GCMS and HPLC. Single crystal X-ray diffractometry is also available. We hold joint research group meetings on a weekly basis that cover theoretical organic chemistry problems, research update presentations and discussions of highlights from the recent literature. All researchers are part of the QMUL Doctoral College, which provides high quality training in transferable key skills such as communication, critical thinking, teamwork and entrepreneurship. Free English language courses are also available through the Queen Mary Language Centre.

Eligibility and applying

Information on eligibility is listed on the entry requirements page. International students must provide evidence of proficient English language skills. A strong background in organic synthesis and practical research experience are essential.

Potential candidates should contact Dr Jones by e-mail ( and submit their CV (including details of two referees) and a cover letter explaining their eligibility and interest in this project.

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by e-mail to arrange for a video interview.

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