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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)


Total syntheses of linear polythiazole/oxazole plantazolicin a and its biosynthetic precursor plantazolicin b.
ZE Wilson, S Fenner, SV Ley – Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (2014) 54, n/a
Process intensification for the continuous flow hydrogenation of ethyl nicotinate
T Ouchi, C Battilocchio, JM Hawkins, SV Ley – Organic Process Research and Development (2014) 18, 1560
A Systems Approach towards an Intelligent and Self-Controlling Platform for Integrated Continuous Reaction Sequences
RJ Ingham, C Battilocchio, DE Fitzpatrick, E Sliwinski, JM Hawkins, SV Ley – Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (2014) 54, n/a
The rapid synthesis of oxazolines and their heterogeneous oxidation to oxazoles under flow conditions
S Glöckner, DN Tran, RJ Ingham, S Fenner, ZE Wilson, C Battilocchio, SV Ley – Org Biomol Chem (2014) 13, 207
Design and application of a low-temperature continuous flow chemistry platform
JA Newby, DW Blaylock, PM Witt, JC Pastre, MK Zacharova, SV Ley, DL Browne – Organic Process Research and Development (2014) 18, 1211
Reconfiguration of a continuous flow platform for extended operation: Application to a cryogenic fluorine-directed ortho-lithiation reaction
JA Newby, DW Blaylock, PM Witt, RM Turner, PL Heider, BH Harji, DL Browne, SV Ley – Organic Process Research and Development (2014) 18, 1221
A general continuous flow method for palladium catalysed carbonylation reactions using single and multiple tube-in-tube gas-liquid microreactors
U Gross, P Koos, M O'Brien, A Polyzos, SV Ley – European Journal of Organic Chemistry (2014) 2014, 6418
Flow chemistry meets advanced functional materials.
RM Myers, DE Fitzpatrick, RM Turner, SV Ley – Chemistry (2014) 20, n/a
Expedient preparation of nazlinine and a small library of indole alkaloids using flow electrochemistry as an enabling technology
MA Kabeshov, B Musio, PR Murray, DL Browne, SV Ley – Organic Letters (2014) 16, 4618
Regioselective preparation of saturated spirocyclic and ring-expanded fused pyrazoles
RR Merchant, DM Allwood, DC Blakemore, SV Ley – J Org Chem (2014) 79, 8800
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Research Group

Research Interest Group

Telephone number

01223 336398

Email address