UoA 8 - Chemistry

Since 2014 we have focussed on building our strengths resulting in developing our research landscape within Chemistry leading to the creation of four defined research areas.

Chemical Synthesis and Design

The focus of this research is to develop new synthetic routes and chemistries to generate novel chemicals with applications in both industry and academia. As examples, the activities of the centre include medicinal chemistry, where the aim is to develop novel compounds for drug development, and heterocyclic chemistry which supports many of the advances in modern functional materials. Topics under active study include:

  • Translational catalysis
  • Asymmetric synthesis
  • Heterocyclic chemistry
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Mechanistic organic chemistry
  • Carbohydrate and natural product chemistry
  • Analytical chemistry

 Structural, Molecular and Dynamic Modelling

The activities of this research area focus on supramolecular and structural chemistry with a specific interest in the formation of transition metal complexes and/or the structural characterisation of these metal containing species. In addition, dynamic modelling of molecules and their interaction with the environment, biological and other molecules is a new development in this centre. Our research activities include:

  • X-ray diffraction
  • Molecular self-assembly
  • Coordination chemistry
  • Solid state chemistry
  • Novel semi-conductor materials
  • Structural characterisation
  • Dynamic modelling in silico

 

Functional Materials

This interdisciplinary research that links with UoA12 – Engineering has interests in various areas of materials chemistry including the study of ordered and amorphous porous solids and functionalised solids for application in catalysis and absorption, surface science, synthesis and electrical and magnetic characterisation of mixed metal oxides, the synthesis and characterisation of new transition metal complexes of relevance to light emitting devices and solar cells and the computational modelling of solid-state and molecular materials. The research also embraces exploration of chromic phenomena and stimuli responsive molecules which have wide ranging applications in variable transmission devices. Our research activities include:

  • Photochromic and electrochromic materials chemistry
  • Dye-sensitised photovoltaics and light emitting materials
  • Optical and electron transfer materials
  • Electronic solid-state materials
  • Computational materials modelling
  • Advanced thermal methods for materials synthesis and characterisation
  • Inorganic biomaterials
  • Biosensors

 Biorefinery Engineering and Bioprocessing

Research in this area falls into two main themes: bioprocess technologies (e.g. fermentation, extraction), and biorefinery integration. Here the aim is to create a dynamic, and integrated bioprocess industry that underpins global food security, health and wellbeing, sustainable chemicals and energy through novel technologies deployed within integrated biorefineries. Specific areas of interest include:

  • Bioethanol production and the exploitation of co-products such as arabioxylans
  • Fermentation and the synthesis of biochemicals and biofuels from sustainable raw materials
  • Industrial ecology
  • Cereals as a raw material for food and non-food processes

Pharmacology and Therapeutics

There has been a significant expansion in pharmacology thereby promoting interdisciplinary research within AS. Collaboration with a multitude of scientists across the Chemistry-Biology-Pharmacology-Pharmacy interface is facilitated allowing a direct line-of-sight between target identification, chemical synthesis and pharmacological evaluation. Chemistry is instrumental in this pipeline as it provides new compounds for evaluation encouraging a holistic approach to interdisciplinary work. Research within this area focuses on the development and evaluation of therapeutics designed to target cancer and neurological disorders. Both phenotypic evaluation of novel chemicals and the development of targeted therapeutics designed to target specific biochemical pathways that are altered in disease are areas of specific interest in this centre. Our research activities include:

  • Tumour metabolism and associated molecular vulnerabilities of cancer cells.
  • Phenotypic evaluation of novel molecules and target deconvolution.
  • Drugs from Nature Targeting Inflammation
  • Cannabinoids in the management of disease
  • Biomarker discovery
  • Identifying biomarkers and treatments for psychiatric disorders