The Group


The research group comprises a mixture of postdocs, PhD students and undergraduates with diverse research interests. Please contact Prof. Alan Spivey for further information.


Current Postdocs


Mahesh Mohan

Mahesh Mohan

After postdoctoral positions within the Spivey Group and with Prof Jason Chin at the University of Cambridge, Mahesh returned to the Spivey Group in 2017 as a senior research associate. His current research is on sulfonylative kinetic resolution using chiral DMAP-N-oxide catalysts, and development of androgen receptor inhibitors for prostate cancer therapy. He also has responsibilities for undergraduate supervision and tutoring.

Noora Naghavi

Noora Naghavi 2

After completing her PhD within UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, and postdoctoral positions within this division and UCL Institute for Materials Discovery, Noora joined the Spivey Group in March 2020. Her current research is focused on the development of a haemolysis triple filter for use in extracorporeal circuits to remove haemolytic by-products during cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. This project is funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and is in collaboration with Dr. Gregory Quinlan (Imperial - Medicine) and Prof. Nathan Davies (UCL - Medical Sciences).



Current PhD Students (Including 4-year ICB MRes/PhD Students)


Natalia Swiatek - 1st year

Natalia Swiatek 2

Natalia graduated from the University of York with an MChem in Chemistry, during which she undertook a research placement with Dr Chris Spicer. She started her PhD in the group in October 2021 and is working on the development and biological evaluation of novel alpha-helix mimetic prodrugs as leads for prostate cancer treatment. Her project is in collaboration with Prof Charlotte Bevan in the department of cancer and is co-funded by CRUK.

Adi Sahay - 1st year (REACT CDT)

Adi Sahay 2

Adi started his PhD in the group in 2020 after completing his MSci at UCL and working for a year in process chemistry. His current project involves investigating C-H functionalisation of boronates as part of the REACT CDT.

Owen Griffiths - 2nd year (ICB CDT)

Owen Griffiths

Owen is currently in the second year of his PhD as part of the Chemical Biology CDT. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc in Biochemistry in 2014, and went on to work as an R&D scientist in industry developing blood glucose biosensors before joining the group in October 2019. His current research, in collaboration with Roche, is focused on developing a biosensor for quantification of free haemoglobin.

Mahdi Haghgoo - 3rd year

Mahdi Haghgoo

Mahdi joined the group in October 2019. He obtained his BSc in Chemistry in 2017 at Imperial College London, and his MSc in Chemistry in 2019 at Durham University. He is currently working towards the total synthesis of ()-lycorine.

Nararat Thongrisoon - 3rd year

Nararat Thongsrinoon

Nararat received her BSc and MSci at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand after completing projects in analytical chemistry involving biosensors, and took on academic roles at the university before joining us in October 2019. She is developing a method for rapid haemoglobin quantitation in blood for her PhD project in collaboration with Prof Tony Cass (Imperial), and is sponsored by a Royal Thai Government Scholarship.

Joshua Linfoot - 4th year

Josh Linfoot

Josh attained his MSci in Chemistry with Industrial Experience from the University of Birmingham, and spent his industrial year working at Evotec. He joined the group in October 2018 and is developing a chemical proteomics workflow for investigating the proteins involved in insecticide resistance, in collaboration with Prof Ed Tate (Imperial), Dr Christoph Zimmer (Syngenta) and Dr Peter Kilby (Syngenta) as part of the BBSRC iCASE scheme.

Stanislav Piletsky - 4th year

Stanislav Piletsky

Stas started his PhD with us after completing his MSci in Chemistry at Imperial in 2018, during which he undertook a research placement with Prof Tony Cass (Imperial). He is researching the use of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for cancer theranostics, in collaboration with Prof Eric Aboagye (Imperial - Medicine). His project is funded by an Imperial President's Scholarship, the EPSRC and the Medical Research Council's DTP.

Alex Swan - 4th Year (ICB CDT)


Alex joined the group in October 2017 after completing an MSci in Natural Sciences at the University of Bath. He is part of the ICB and his project is co-funded by the British Heart Foundation. His project focuses on the characterisation of the interactions between popeye domain-containing proteins and small molecule ligands. He is co-supervised by Prof Thomas Brand (Imperial - Medicine).



Current Final Year MSci/BSc Undergraduate Students & MRes Postgraduate Students


Chen Dai - MSci

Chen Dai 2

Chen joined the Spivey Group in October 2021 after completing a 12-month industrial placement in medicinal/organic synthesis at GSK's R&D site in Stevenage. Her project will focus on the total synthesis and separation of evoninic acid with the selective reduction of vinyl nitriles.

Cerian Healey - MSci

Cerian Healey 2

Cerian is currently a 4th year MSci student at Imperial and joined the group in October 2021. They are working on the total synthesis of hydroxyevoninic acid, focusing on the diastereoselectivity of methyl addition to a ketone α to a stereocentre.

Darko Vukovic - MSci

Darko Vukovic 2

Darko joined the Spivey Group in October 2021 as a final year undergraduate. His project includes the formation of novel pyridine N-borane adducts as protecting groups within the total synthesis of hydroxyevoninic acid via the benzilic ester rearrangement pathway.



Current Erasmus, UROP and other Exchange Students


Daghan Taser - Erasmus

Daghan Taser 2

Daghan completed his BSc in Chemistry at the Leibniz Universität Hannover in 2020 and is about to finish his MSci there at the end of 2022. He arrived for a 5-month placement in October 2021 and his research focuses on the total synthesis of (−)-lycorine.