Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Research Associate



+44 (0)20 7594 1210p.gaffney




ACEX 128ChemistrySouth Kensington Campus





I describe myself as a biological chemist. This means I use organic synthetic chemistry to help solve biological problems. Because biological scientists use a wide range of primary metabolites in their work, I have focussed on their synthesis. My targets have included peptides, ribonucleic acids and oligosaccharides, although my greatest experience is in the area of phospholipids, especially phosphoinositides. However, supplying synthetic natural products does not necessarily provide the key to solving many biological problems. So we also make analogues of natural products incorporating features that help biological scientists analyse behaviour in vivo, such as fluorescent or affinity probes, and protein cross-linking reactive groups. Chemically related to this core interest, I have also developed multi-functional labels for proteomics and lipidomics.

Recently I have joined the group of Prof. Andrew Livingston in the Chemical Engineering Department where I have been applying organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) to the large scale synthesis of oligoribonucleotides and mono-disperse poly-ethylene glycols.



Kim JF, Gaffney PRJ, Valtcheva IB, et al., 2016, Organic Solvent Nanofiltration (OSN): A New Technology Platform for Liquid-Phase Oligonucleotide Synthesis (LPOS), Organic Process Research & Development, Vol:20, ISSN:1083-6160, Pages:1439-1452

Arduin A, Gaffney PRJ, Ces O, 2015, Regulation of PLC beta(2) by the electrostatic and mechanical properties of lipid bilayers, Scientific Reports, Vol:5, ISSN:2045-2322

Gaffney PRJ, Kim JF, Valtcheva IB, et al., 2015, Liquid-Phase Synthesis of 2-Methyl-RNA on a Homostar Support through Organic-Solvent Nanofiltration, Chemistry-a European Journal, Vol:21, ISSN:0947-6539, Pages:9535-9543

Furse S, Mak L, Tate EW, et al., 2015, Synthesis of unsaturated phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphates and the effects of substrate unsaturation on SopB phosphatase activity, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, Vol:13, ISSN:1477-0520, Pages:2001-2011


Gaffney P, Livingston A, Chen R, et al., 2017, Defined Monomer Sequence Polymers, WO/2017/042583

More Publications