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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry


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


Scalable Palladium-Catalyzed C(sp3)–H Carbonylation of Alkylamines in Batch and Continuous Flow
J Zakrzewski, P Yaseneva, CJ Taylor, MJ Gaunt, AA Lapkin
– Organic Process Research & Development
A Chiral Amine Transfer Approach to the Photocatalytic Asymmetric Synthesis of ?-Trialkyl-?-tertiary Amines
GR Harris, AD Trowbridge, MJ Gaunt
– Org Lett
Multicomponent synthesis of a-chloro alkylboronic esters via visible-light-mediated dual catalysis
B Li, A Bunescu, MJ Gaunt
– Chem
C(sp3)–C(sp3) coupling of non-activated alkyl-iodides with electron-deficient alkenes via visible-light/silane-mediated alkyl-radical formation
S Mistry, R Kumar, A Lister, MJ Gaunt
– Chemical science
Pd(II)-Catalyzed Enantioselective C(sp3)–H Arylation of Cyclopropanes and Cyclobutanes Guided by Tertiary Alkylamines
J Rodrigalvarez, LA Reeve, J Miró, MJ Gaunt
– Journal of the American Chemical Society
The effect of chemical representation on active machine learning towards closed-loop optimization
A Pomberger, AA Pedrina McCarthy, A Khan, S Sung, CJ Taylor, MJ Gaunt, L Colwell, D Walz, AA Lapkin
– Reaction Chemistry and Engineering
Thiol-Mediated α‑Amino Radical Formation via Visible-Light-Activated Ion-Pair Charge-Transfer Complexes
K Kohara, A Trowbridge, MA Smith, MJ Gaunt
– Journal of the American Chemical Society
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
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01223 336318

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