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.
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et al., 2017, Defined Monomer Sequence Polymers, WO/2017/042583