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Professor Steve Ley CBE FRS FMedSci

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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)


Real-time spectroscopic analysis enabling quantitative and safe consumption of fluoroform during nucleophilic trifluoromethylation in flow.
B Musio, E Gala, SV Ley
– ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Diastereoselective Synthesis of Functionalized Indolines Using in situ Generated Allyl Boronic Species
JA Forni, SH Lau, JS Poh, C Battilocchio, SV Ley, JC Pastre
– Synlett
A Lewis Base Catalysis Approach for the Photoredox Activation of Boronic Acids and Esters
F Lima, UK Sharma, L Grunenberg, D Saha, S Johannsen, J Sedelmeier, EV Van der Eycken, SV Ley
– Angew Chem Int Ed Engl
Visible-Light-Mediated Annulation of Electron-Rich Alkenes and Nitrogen-Centered Radicals from N-Sulfonylallylamines: Construction of Chloromethylated Pyrrolidine Derivatives
LNS Crespin, A Greb, DC Blakemore, SV Ley
– J Org Chem
A Versatile Route to Unstable Diazo Compounds via Oxadiazolines and their Use in Aryl-Alkyl Cross-Coupling Reactions.
A Greb, J-S Poh, S Greed, C Battilocchio, P Pasau, DC Blakemore, SV Ley
– Angew Chem Int Ed Engl
Continuous Preparation and Use of Dibromoformaldoxime as a Reactive Intermediate for the Synthesis of 3-Bromoisoxazolines
C Battilocchio, F Bosica, SM Rowe, BL Abreu, E Godineau, M Lehmann, SV Ley
– Organic Process Research and Development
Rapid Continuous Ru-Catalysed Transfer Hydrogenation of Aromatic Nitriles to Primary Amines
R Labes, D González-Calderón, C Battilocchio, C Mateos, GR Cumming, O De Frutos, JA Rincón, SV Ley
– Synlett
Chemoselective Continuous Ru-Catalyzed Hydrogen-Transfer Oppenauer-Type Oxidation of Secondary Alcohols
R Labes, C Battilocchio, C Mateos, GR Cumming, O De Frutos, JA Rincón, K Binder, SV Ley
– Organic Process Research and Development
Unveiling the role of boroxines in metal-free carbon-carbon homologations using diazo compounds and boronic acids
C Bomio, MA Kabeshov, AR Lit, SH Lau, J Ehlert, C Battilocchio, SV Ley
– Chem. Sci.
Flow synthesis of cyclobutanones via [2
C Battilocchio, G Iannucci, S Wang, E Godineau, A Kolleth, A De Mesmaeker, SV Ley
– Reaction Chemistry & Engineering
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01223 336398

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