Catalytic asymmetric synthesis of Non-proteinogenic amino acids PhD

Entry requirements:
3 years
not available
Reference number:
Start date:
01 July 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
01 April 2018



in the UK for Chemistry

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Project detail

Chiral amino acids whether proteinogenic (derived from proteins) or non-proteinogenic are ubiquitous and integral building blocks of numerous natural products and drug candidate molecules (e.g. antibiotics vancomycin / amoxicillin). Currently the bench mark synthetic methodology for installing this chiral centre is the asymmetric Strecker reaction, which relies on using highly toxic HCN or TMSCN as its key reagent.

This research programme will address this issue by the formation of this key chiral centre contained within non-proteinogenic aryl- and hetero-aryl glycine amino acids via an asymmetric addition of arenes / heteroarenes to allenamides: a reaction commonly known as ‘hydroarylation’. Allenamides have become an increasingly valuable group of compounds that contain two double-bonds on an adjacent carbon which are then attached directly to a nitrogen atom tempered with an electron withdrawing functionality. We have previously shown that it is possible to selectively activate allenamides to nucleophilic attack using ‘gold-catalysis’. We will introduce this new chiral centre by an asymmetric ‘gold-catalysed’ hydroarylation reaction manifold. Once this ‘gold catalysed asymmetric hydroarylation’ transformation has been achieved the products of this transformation will then be converted, in only one synthetic step, to the desired aryl- and hetero-aryl glycine targets.

See: Kimber et al., Org. Lett. 2014, 16, 4606; Tet. Lett, 2015, 56, 350; Synlett 2012, 565; J. Org. Chem. 2010, 75, 5406; Org. Lett. 2010, 12, 1128.


Primary supervisor: Dr Marc Kimber

Find out more

For further project details email Dr Marc Kimber or register your interest and ask us a question.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry.

A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage:
Chemistry / Medicinal Chemistry.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select Chemistry. Please quote reference number: CM/MCK-2/2017