News (09/16) - A collaboration between the Robertson and Wong groups has led to its first publication. The work highlights the power of mutant P450 enzymes as tunable site-selective oxidants.
Professor of Chemistry, and Tutorial Fellow in Organic Chemistry at Brasenose College.
Biography - Undergraduate (1983–1987) and graduate (1987–1990) degrees at Oxford then post-doctoral research at Columbia University, New York (1990–1992). Undergraduate research with Prof. Laurence Harwood on the synthesis of substrates for intramolecular cycloadditions; graduate research with Prof. Sir Jack Baldwin on free radical ring-expansion reactions; post-doctoral research with Prof. Gilbert Stork on the total synthesis of taxol.
Independent research - My labs were initially housed in the Dyson Perrins Laboratory (1992 onwards) then moved to the Chemistry Research Laboratory ('the CRL') in February 2004.
Other activities - I was a Business Fellow with the London Technology Network (2008–2010) and, in 2012, co-founded OxSynC for connecting external researchers with Oxford's synthetic chemists.
Natural product synthesis - My group pursues natural product synthesis problems that promote the invention of new synthetic strategies and methodologies, provide stringent tests of our newly-developed methods, and generate synthetic analogues for collaborative projects requiring compounds with a specified biological activity. Particular areas of focus include targets with relevance to cancer chemotherapy, neurodegenerative disorders, and cognition.
Synthetic methodology - We develop mechanism-based hypotheses in order to discover new chemistry and gain insights into reaction selectivity and efficiency. We are especially interested in free radical chemistry and electron transfer mediated processes, pericyclic cascades, ‘high chemical potential’ intermediates, and catalysis for complexity generation.
Collaborative projects - Over the past four years, our group has been collaborating with the Wong group to develop efficient routes to synthetic targets using a combination of chemical synthetic reagents and modified haem iron enzymes. In a separate project we provide synthetic chemistry input into the development of nutraceuticals in collaboration with Prof. Kieran Clarke and her company, TdeltaS.
Working in the group - These areas act cooperatively and students in my group receive a broad training in mechanistic organic chemistry, multistep synthesis, methodology development, chemoenzymatic synthesis, and the interface of organic synthesis and biological systems.