Imperial College London

Dr James A Bull

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 5811j.bull Website




313Royal College of ScienceSouth Kensington Campus





Dr James A Bull is a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry.

Dr Bull’s research focuses on the development of efficient synthetic and catalytic methods to access novel structural motifs and heterocycles of interest in drug discovery.

Group Webpages

For further details of the Bull group, see:

Biographical details

James Bull graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2001 with a First Class Honours MSci degree in Natural Sciences, Chemistry and the Raphael Prize for Organic Chemistry. He then spent a year working at GlaxoSmithKline Stevenage as a Research Scientist in the Medicinal Chemistry Department.

He returned to Cambridge in 2003 to undertake PhD research with Professor Steven V Ley. He completed the total synthesis of bisoxazole antifungal natural product bengazole A and analogues.

In 2007 he joined the group of Professor André B. Charette as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Université de Montréal, Canada. Here he developed an intramolecular Simmons-Smith cyclopropanation reaction.

In 2009 he began independent research at Imperial College London as a Ramsay Memorial Research Fellow (2009-2011), working in the laboratories of Professor Alan Armstrong. From 2011 to 2015 Dr Bull held an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship on "Novel strategies to access chiral heterocycles as potential lead compounds in drug discovery". In January 2016 Dr Bull started a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.

Group News

For more Bull group news, see:

April 2018: Our latest work on NH transfer with hypervalent iodine reagents is now out in Org. Lett.

January 2018: Rosie's paper on the synthesis of sulfanyl-oxetanes as thioester isosteres is now out in Chem. Eur. J.

September 2017: Our review on NH-sulfoximines with Prof Luisi is now online.

July 2017: Stephens paper on the divergent synthesis of cyclopropanes is accepted in Eur. J. Org. Chem.

June 2017: Rosie and Sahra win prizes at the PG symposium.

May 2017: Our paper on the use of transient directing groups for C-H arylation of tertiary alkyl aldehydes is out in Chem. Sci. 

January 2017: Our work on the synthesis of NH-sulfoximines through chemoselective N and O transfer is out now in Chem. Commun.

October 2016: Rosie's work in collaboration with Pfizer on the catalytic synthesis of 3,3-diaryloxetanes is out now in Chem. Eur. J. as a "Hot paper".

September 2016: Our Chemical Reviews paper all about oxetanes is online. 

Congratulations to Dr Davis and to Dr Affron who both pass their PhD vivas.

May 2016: Our work on the synthesis of sulfoximines is out online in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (Open Access). [Video of the protocol]

April 2016: Rosie and Stephen both win prizes for presenting their work. 

January 2016: James starts a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.

December 2015: James receives the Eli Lilly OIDD Award for Outstanding Contribution to Compound Screening

December 2015: James receives the Thieme Chemistry Journal Award 2016

For more Bull group news, see:

Also see: @jamesabull



Tota A, St John-Campbell S, Briggs E, et al., Highly Chemoselective NH- and O-Transfer to Thiols Using Hypervalent Iodine Reagents: Synthesis of Sulfonimidates and Sulfonamides, Organic Letters, ISSN:1523-7052

Vysniauskas A, Lopez Duarte I, Thompson AJ, et al., 2018, Surface functionalisation with viscosity-sensitive BODIPY molecular rotor., Methods Appl Fluoresc

Croft RA, Mousseau JJ, Choi C, et al., 2018, Lithium-Catalyzed Thiol Alkylation with Tertiary and Secondary Alcohols: Synthesis of 3-Sulfanyl-Oxetanes as Bioisosteres, Chemistry - a European Journal, Vol:24, ISSN:0947-6539, Pages:818-821

Croft RA, Mousseau JJ, Choi C, et al., 2018, Oxetane ethers are formed reversibly in the lithium-catalyzed Friedel-Crafts alkylation of phenols with oxetanols: Synthesis of dihydrobenzofurans, diaryloxetanes, and oxetane ethers, Tetrahedron, ISSN:0040-4020

Chawner SJ, Cases-Thomas MJ, Bull JA, 2017, Divergent Synthesis of Cyclopropane-Containing Lead-Like Compounds, Fragments and Building Blocks through a Cobalt Catalyzed Cyclopropanation of Phenyl Vinyl Sulfide, European Journal of Organic Chemistry, ISSN:1434-193X, Pages:5015-5024

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