Sue Gibson grew up in Lancashire and was educated at Darwen Vale High School. After studying Natural Sciences in Cambridge, and obtaining a D.Phil. from Oxford on 'Transition metal promoted oxidation and reduction reactions', she spent a year at the ETH Zürich supported by a Royal Society Research Fellowship.
She began her independent research career, which is focussed on transition metal chemistry and its applications in organic synthesis, at the University of Warwick in 1985 before moving with her research group to Imperial College in 1990. She took a brief break from Imperial College between 1998 and 2003 to occupy the Daniell Chair of Chemistry at King's College London, and she enjoyed a three-year period of parental leave between 2010 and 2013.
Sue is the main author on over 160 publications, including a text book that has been translated into French and German, and she has travelled extensively in response to invitations to present her work. Her group has graduated 42 Ph.D. students and hosted 15 post-doctoral workers. Their work has won several awards from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the pharmaceutical industry, and Sue was awarded the first Rosalind Franklin Award of the Royal Society in 2003.
Between 2007 and 2010, Sue served as the President of the Organic Divison of the Royal Society of Chemistry and from 2011 to 2014 she chaired the RSC's Awards Committee. She has been a member of numerous panels in the past including EPSRC Council and the Royal Society's Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship Panel, and she has acted as an external examiner for undergraduate chemistry courses in Strathclyde, Durham, Oxford and York. In 2013 she was awarded an OBE for her services to Chemistry and Science Education.
In November 2013, Sue assumed the role of Director of the Graduate School at Imperial College.
Abecassis K, Gibson SE, 2010, Synthesis of (+)- and (-)-Gossonorol and Cyclisation to Boivinianin B, European Journal of Organic Chemistry, Vol:2010, ISSN:1434-193X, Pages:2938-2944
Gibson SE, Haycock PR, Miyazaki A, 2009, Cyclisation of bisphosphonate substituted enynes, Tetrahedron, Vol:65, ISSN:0040-4020, Pages:7498-7503
Martin-Fontecha M, Abecassis K, Gibson SE, 2009, Substitution of a benzylic hydrogen by nucleophiles on a chromium tricarbonyl complex of a benzyl ether, Tetrahedron Letters, Vol:50, ISSN:0040-4039, Pages:3690-3692
Abecassis K, Gibson SE, Martin-Fontecha M, 2009, Synthesis of enantioenriched secondary and tertiary alcohols via tricarbonylchromium(0) complexes of benzyl allyl ethers, European Journal of Organic Chemistry, ISSN:1434-193X, Pages:1606-1611