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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry

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Yusuf Hamied 1702 Professor of Chemistry

New Catalytic Strategies for Chemical Synthesis

Despite the changing face of chemistry, the importance of synthesis - the ability to generate molecules in a controlled fashion - has not diminished. However, the increasingly complex synthetic problems being posed by nature, medicine and materials demand new reactivity concepts and strategies in order to meet these challenges.

Our group is interested in the development of new catalytic strategies for chemical synthesis that engage novel reactivity concepts to enable the rapid generation of architecturally complex molecules and natural products. One of our key aims is to be able to construct natural products from simple building blocks in a single step, without the need for reactivity inducing functional groups and with the ability to control the stereochemistry.

In this way, we hope to be able to develop a chemo-catalytic equivalent to Nature's biosynthetic machinery that will enable us to build any molecule we want. Our approach to this is focussed on three main research programmes:

(A) metal catalyzed C-H bond functionalization,

(B) catalytic asymmetric synthesis using small molecule organic catalysts,

(C) cascade strategies for natural product synthesis.

In addition to this, many of the molecules that we are able to synthesise have interesting biological properties, and so we are also able to develop chemical biology applications from our synthetic chemistry projects.

Professor Gaunt discusses his research

Take a tour of the Yusuf Hamied Lab for Chemical Synthesis & Catalysis


Modular Photocatalytic Synthesis of α-Trialkyl-α-Tertiary Amines.
J Henry Blackwell, GR Harris, MA Smith, MJ Gaunt
– J Am Chem Soc
Visible-Light-Mediated Modification and Manipulation of Biomacromolecules
VM Lechner, M Nappi, PJ Deneny, S Folliet, JCK Chu, MJ Gaunt
– Chemical Reviews
Multicomponent alkene azidoarylation by anion-mediated dual catalysis
A Bunescu, Y Abdelhamid, MJ Gaunt
– Nature
Myths of high-throughput experimentation and automation in chemistry
MJ Gaunt, JM Janey, DM Schultz, T Cernak
Visible-Light-Mediated Carbonyl Alkylative Amination to All-Alkyl α‑Tertiary Amino Acid Derivatives
J Blackwell, M Gaunt, R Kumar
– Journal of the American Chemical Society
Visible-Light-Mediated Carbonyl Alkylative Amination to All-Alkyl α‑Tertiary Amino Acid Derivatives
JH Blackwell, R Kumar, MJ Gaunt
– Journal of the American Chemical Society
Visible light-mediated radical fluoromethylation via halogen atom transfer activation of fluoroiodomethane
PJ Deneny, R Kumar, MJ Gaunt
– Chemical Science
Selective Chemical Functionalization at N6-Methyladenosine Residues in DNA Enabled by Visible-Light-Mediated Photoredox Catalysis
M Nappi, A Hofer, S Balasubramanian, MJ Gaunt
– J Am Chem Soc
Visible-light mediated carbonyl trifluoromethylative amination as a practical method for the synthesis of β-trifluoromethyl tertiary alkylamines
K Kolahdouzan, R Kumar, MJ Gaunt
– Chem Sci
Synthesis and Reactivity of Stable Alkyl-Pd(IV) Complexes Relevant to Monodentate N-directed C(sp3)–H Functionalization Processes
WG Whitehurst, MJ Gaunt
– J Am Chem Soc
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01223 336318

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