School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Synthesis and Catalysis

Synthesis & Catalysis


Our research is focused on the development of new, more efficient and sustainable methodologies for organic synthesis, with focus on three sub-themes: Harnessing reactive intermediates (such as arynes) for the direct functionalisation of C-H bonds; use of organometallic and biohybrid catalysis for the preparation of molecules with biological activity and optoelectronic properties; and use of visible light as the source of energy for the development of new, sustainable catalytic reactions.


Researcher Title Department

Research Interests

Arseniyadis, Dr Stellios Reader in Organic Chemistry Chemistry

Asymmetric catalysis - Bio-hybrid catalysis - C-H activation - Synthetic methodology development - Natural product synthesis

Bray, Dr Christopher

(Teaching and Scholarship)

Senior Lecturer and Director of Taught Programmes Chemistry

Organic Chemistry, Total Synthesis, Synthetic Methodology

Cambeiro, Dr Xacobe Lecturer in Organic Chemistry Chemistry

Sustainable chemistry, Photoredox, Iron, reductive couplings, Base metal catalysis

Howell, Dr Lesley

(Teaching and Scholarship)

Senior Lecturer and Director of Chemical Research MSc

Chemistry Protein-proetin and protein-DNA interactions, GPCRs, Solid-phase peptide synthesis, Organic synthesis

Jones, Dr Christopher

Senior Lecturer  Chemistry

Organic Synthesis, Methodology, Catalysis, Reactive Intermediates, C-H functionalisation

Wyatt, Dr Peter

Senior Lecturer  Chemistry

Organic Synthesis, Amino acids, Luminescent Materials


We collaborate with multinational chemical industries including:


Fahima I, Majesté C, Craven G, Jones C (2018). Intramolecular hydride transfer onto arynes: redox-neutral and transition metal-free C(sp3)–H functionalization of amines. Chemical Science

Duchemin N, Skiredj A, Mansot J, Leblanc K, Vasseur, Dr JJ. Beniddir M, Evanno L, Poupon E, Prof. Smietana M, Arseniyadis S (2018). DNA‐Templated [2+2] Photocycloaddition: A Straightforward Entry into the Aplysinopsin Family of Natural Products. Angewandte Chemie

Kerim MD, Cattoen M, Fincias N, Dos Santos A, Arseniyadis S, El Kaïm L (2017). Palladium‐catalysed O‐Allylation of α‐Hydroxyphosphonates: An Expedient Entry into Phosphono‐oxaheterocycles. Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis

Cambeiro X, Ahlsten N, Larrosa I (2015). Au-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling of Arenes via Double C–H Activation. Journal of the American Chemical Society

Smith G, Burton P, Bray C (2015). Sultones and Sultines via a Julia–Kocienski Reaction of Epoxides. Angewandte Chemie

Ye HQ, Li Z, Peng Y, Wang CC, Li TY, Zheng YX, Sapelkin A, Hernández A, Wyatt P, Gillin W (2014). Organo-erbium systems for optical amplification at telecommunications wavelengths. Nature Materials