Department staff

Professor Ray Jones

Photo of Professor Ray Jones

Emeritus Professor of Organic and Biological Chemistry

Ray Jones was an undergraduate at Cambridge (1967-70) and then completed a PhD (1970-73) in the field of alkaloid biosynthesis under the supervision of Professor Sir Alan Battersby. After a postdoctoral year as an ICI Fellow with Professor Albert Eschenmoser at ETH in Zurich, he started his academic career at University of Nottingham in 1974. As well as his developing own research in heterocyclic and natural product chemistry, he had collaborations with Professor Leslie Crombie. He moved in 1995 to the Chair of Organic Chemistry at The Open University, where he was also Head of Department. In 2000 he moved to his position as Professor of Organic & Biological Chemistry at Loughborough University, from which he retired in 2016 and is now Emeritus Professor.

Ray led the Jones research group at Loughborough, which was part of the Health research theme in the Chemistry Department. His research interests include:

  • Synthesis and methodology towards natural products and analogues, with emphasis on those biogenetically derived from amino-acids. Many of these compounds show biological activity. Recent work was based around the cyclic tricarbonyl metabolites (acyltetramic acids and acylpyridones, coleophomones) using isoxazole building blocks.
  • New stereospecific approaches to natural and unnatural products containing the piperidine and pyrrolidine sub-units using 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reactions.
  • New synthetic methods for carbon-carbon bond formation (with heterocyclic synthons) and medium-ring heterocycle construction (by ring expansion).
  • The use of heterocycles as new amide bond isosteres in peptide mimics. This overlapped with our dipolar cycloaddition work, and with an interest in unusual modified peptides, e.g in siderophores such as the pyoverdins, where oxidative cyclisation of amidines is observed.
  • The design and synthesis of novel amino-acids with functional side-chains such as heterocycles, including the nucleic acid purines and pyrimidines as potential monomers for new peptide-nucleic acids (PNAs).
  • Past-President (2004-07 and 2013-16), Council Member and current Immediate Past President (2016-17) of the Organic Division of Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
  • Elected member of RSC Council (2007-11) and of RSC Awards, Conferences and Travel Committee (to 2016)
  • Committee member of the Fine Chemicals Group of the Society for Chemical Industry
  • Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College (to 2016)
  • Chair of Heads of Chemistry UK (HCUK; 2001-03)

A full list of publications is available here:

Jones, RCF Publications