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Professor Steve Ley FRS

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In the Ley Group, we specialise in developing new synthesis methods and applying them to the construction of biologically important molecules. Over the last 4 years we have completed the total synthesis of 38 natural products including spongistatin 1 (anti-mitotic agent), rapamycin (immunosuppressant), thapsigargin (SERCA pumps inhibitor), azadirachtin (insect antifeedant) and bengazole A (fungicide), taking our group total to 140 completed total syntheses. In addition to our research on natural product synthesis, we have the Innovative Technology Centre (ITC); a new state-of-the-art flow chemistry facility. Our group is also part of the Cambridge PhD Training Programme in Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine.

For more detailed research information, group members and our publication list please see the group website (Whiffen Lab and ITC)


Iterative reactions of transient boronic acids enable sequential C-C bond formation.
C Battilocchio, F Feist, A Hafner, M Simon, DN Tran, DM Allwood, DC Blakemore, SV Ley – Nature Chemistry (2016) 8, 360
Synthesis of Natural and Unnatural Cyclooligomeric Depsipeptides Enabled by Flow Chemistry.
D Lücke, T Dalton, SV Ley, ZE Wilson – Chemistry (2016) 22, 4206
A Novel Internet-Based Reaction Monitoring, Control and Autonomous Self-Optimization Platform for Chemical Synthesis
DE Fitzpatrick, C Battilocchio, SV Ley – ORGANIC PROCESS RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT (2016) 20, 386
An orthogonal biocatalytic approach for the safe generation and use of HCN in a multistep continuous preparation of chiral O-acetylcyanohydrins
A Brahma, B Musio, U Ismayilova, N Nikbin, SB Kamptmann, P Siegert, GE Jeromin, SV Ley, M Pohl – Synlett (2016) 27, 262
Synthesis of a Precursor to Sacubitril Using Enabling Technologies
SH Lau, SL Bourne, B Martin, B Schenkel, G Penn, SV Ley – Organic Letters (2015) 17, 5436
Design, synthesis and evaluation of semi-synthetic triazole-containing caffeic acid analogues as 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors (vol 101, pg 573, 2015)
D de Lucia, OM Lucio, B Musio, A Bender, M Listing, S Dennhardt, A Koeberle, U Garscha, R Rizzo, S Manfredini, O Werz, SV Ley – EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY (2015) 103, 223
Dynamic flow synthesis of porous organic cages.
ME Briggs, AG Slater, N Lunt, S Jiang, MA Little, RL Greenaway, T Hasell, C Battilocchio, SV Ley, AI Cooper – Chemical communications (Cambridge, England) (2015) 51, 17390
SV Ley – (2015) xiii
Machine-Assisted Organic Synthesis
SV Ley, DE Fitzpatrick, RM Myers, C Battilocchio, RJ Ingham – Angewandte Chemie - International Edition (2015) 54, 10122
Callipeltosides A, B and C: Total Syntheses and Structural Confirmation
JR Frost, CM Pearson, TN Snaddon, RA Booth, RM Turner, J Gold, DM Shaw, MJ Gaunt, SV Ley – Chemistry (2015) 21, 13261
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Research Group

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Telephone number

01223 336398

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