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Duncan began his career as an analytical chemist at Reckitt and Colman Pharmaceutical Division (now Reckitt Benckiser), working in both Manufacturing and R & D. He became a Graduate of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1991. Following this he carried out graduate studies with Prof. Chris Rayner at the University of Leeds, and was awarded a PhD for studies on the Payne-type rearrangement and nucleophilic trapping of 2,3-epoxysulfides. Between 1994 and 1998 he undertook postdoctoral studies with Professor Garry Procter at the University of Salford, studying the application of hetero-Diels-Alder cycloadditions to the total synthesis of aminoglycoside antibiotics; and with Professor Jim Thomas at the University of Manchester, working on the total synthesis of the bryostatins.
Duncan joined the Process R&D department of AstraZeneca Charnwood in 1999 as a process chemist. He specialised in early phase development projects, working closely with Medicinal Chemistry teams to design innovative routes to new pharmaceutical compounds, and leading teams of chemists, analysts and engineers in manufacturing campaigns at laboratory, kilo-lab and pilot plant scale. He developed an interest and expertise in metal catalysis as leader of the AZ Global Catalysis Group, acted as the AZ technical leader in a consortium that successfully bid for EU FP7 funding to investigate catalysis in continuous flow manufacturing processes, and ran an independent research program devising new routes to chiral heterocyclic scaffolds. Duncan joined the University of Huddersfield in 2011 as Senior Research Fellow.
Duncan serves as a committee member of the RSC Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group, and as treasurer of the Gregynog Synthesis Workshop, an annual conference for young synthetic organic chemists.
Duncans research is inspired by his extensive experience as a research and development chemist in the pharmaceutical industry, and is predicated on core expertise in synthetic organic chemistry and catalysis. Key themes are:
Projects involve a combination of cutting-edge synthetic chemistry and catalysis; advanced analytical techniques; reactor technology; computational methods and drug design.
Abdulla, O., Clayton, A., Faulkner, R., Gill, D., Rice, C., Walton, S. and Sweeney, J. (2017) ‘Catalytic sp3 -sp3 Functionalisation of Sulfonamides: Late-Stage Modification of Drug-Like Molecules’ Chemistry - A European Journal , 23 (7), pp. 1494-1497. ISSN 0947-6539
Adams, K., Ball, A., Birkett, J., Brown, L., Chappell, B., Gill, D., Lo, P., Patmore, N., Rice, C., Ryan, J., Raubo, P. and Sweeney, J. (2016) ‘An iron-catalysed CC bond-forming spirocyclization cascade providing sustainable access to new 3D heterocyclic frameworks’ Nature Chemistry , 9 (4), pp. 396-401. ISSN 1755-4330
Sweeney, J., Gill, D., McLay, N., Waring, M. and Wilkinson, C. (2014) ‘An Improved Method for Difluorocyclopropanation of Alkenes’ Synlett , 25 (12), pp. 1756-1758. ISSN 0936-5214
Bogacki, R., Gill, D., Kerr, W., Lamont, S., Parkinson, J. and Paterson, L. (2013) ‘Flexible access to conformationally-locked bicyclic morpholines’ Chemical Communications , 49 (79), pp. 8931-8933. ISSN 1359-7345
Sulur, M., Sharma, P., Ramakrishnan, R., Naidu, R., Merifield, E., Gill, D., Clarke, A., Thomson, C., Butters, M., Bachu, S., Benison, C., Dokka, N., Fong, E., Hose, D., Howell, G., Mobberley, S., Morton, S., Mullen, A., Rapai, J. and Tejas, B. (2012) ‘Development of Scalable Manufacturing Routes to AZD1981. Application of the Semmler?Wolff Aromatisation for Synthesis of the Indole-4-amide Core’ Organic Process Research and Development , 16 (11), pp. 1746-1753. ISSN 1083-6160
Gill, D (2012) ‘Stereoselective synthesis of a dialkylhydantoin featuring an asymmetric Strecker reaction on an acyclic dialkyl ketone’ Tetrahedron Letters , 53 (15), pp. 1951-1953. ISSN 0040-4039
Brice, H., Gill, D., Goldie, L., Keegan, P., Kerr, W. and Svensson, P. (2012) ‘Stereocontrolled access to optically-enriched oxabispidines’ Chemical Communications , 48 (40), pp. 4836-4838. ISSN 1359-7345
Brown, J., Chudasama, V., Giles, M., Gill, D., Keegan, P., Kerr, W., Munday, R., Griffin, K. and Watts, A. (2012) ‘E- and Z-Stereoselectivity in the preparation of enamides from glycidyl sulfonamides and carbamates’ Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry , 10 (3), pp. 509-511. ISSN 1477-0520
Gill, D., Taylor, N. and Thomas, E. (2011) ‘Synthesis of 2,6-cis-disubstituted 4-methylenetetrahydropyrans by oxy-Michael addition’ Tetrahedron , 67 (27-28), pp. 5034-5045. ISSN 0040-4020
Gill, D., Dyke, A., Harvey, J., Hester, A., Lloyd-Jones, G., Paz Munoz, M. and Sheperson, I. (2008) ‘Decoupling Deprotonation from Metalation: Thia-Fries Rearrangement’ Angewandte Chemie International Edition , 47 (27), pp. 5067-5070. ISSN 14337851
Alcaraz, M., Atkinson, S., Cornwall, P., Foster, A., Gill, D., Humphries, L., Keegan, P., Kemp, R., Merifield, E., Nixon, R., Noble, A., O'Beirne, D., Patel, Z., Perkins, J., Rowan, P., Sadler, P., Singleton, J., Tornos, J., Watts, A. and Woodland, I. (2005) ‘Efficient Syntheses of AZD4407 via Thioether Formation by Nucleophilic Attack of Organometallic Species on Sulphur’ Organic Process Research and Development , 9 (5), pp. 555-569. ISSN 1083-6160