Professor Vaughan Griffiths
Emeritus Professor of Organic Chemistry, CChem, FRSC
Our current research interests can be divided into two main areas.
The development of new radiopharmaceutical agents for imaging and therapy
We have been collaborating with GE Healthcare (formerly Amersham plc) for over 20 years on the development of a range of new radiopharmaceutical agents for imaging and therapy, particularly those based on the isotope Tc-99m, which are used for medical imaging. Our work involves the synthesis of novel functionalised polydentate ligands containing a combination of phosphorus, nitrogen, sulphur and oxygen donor atoms, which can be linked to biological targeting units. We have recently extended our studies to include the development of routes to imaging agents suitable for PET studies.
Mechanistic and synthetic studies in organophosphorus chemistry
We have been interested for some time in the way in which trivalent phosphorus compounds react with electrophilic organic compounds and the nature of the intermediates involved. NMR spectroscopy is particularly well suited for this type of work and it is often possible to identify the reaction pathways followed and the types of reactive intermediate involved by monitoring the reactions of the phosphorus compound with the organic molecules over a range of conditions. We have then been able to exploit this information to develop novel synthetic routes to some interesting new products. Current work involves studies on heteroaromatic aroylphosphonates and a range of other carbonyl-containing systems. Such reactions have been shown to involve carbene intermediates and the synthetic potential of these reactions is currently being assessed.
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