Tuned Iridium Catalysts to Deliver an Array of Synthetic Efficiency and Selectivity

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Pure and Applied Chemistry


Recently established iridium species from the Kerr laboratories have emerged to become some of the most active species in isotopic labelling chemistry. Indeed, such direct and flexible labelling processes now represent a central tool for pharmaceutical chemists whereby the fast and efficient incorporation of a tracer into drug candidates enables various metabolic, stability, and toxicity studies to be performed earlier in the drug design process. Having applied our developed catalysts to enable the highly efficient labelling of a broad range of both aromatic and non-aromatic unsaturated systems, we have also initiated preliminary investigations into the labelling of more challenging substrate classes as well as probed the use of our catalysts for C-H activation in a wider sense.

This programme will build on Kerr's recent track record in the area of iridium catalysis by expanding the range of available catalyst species through tuned ligand modification, informed and guided by the interdisciplinary combination of preparative organometallic chemistry and theoretical chemistry methods. In this latter regard, quantitative DFT computational methods will allow the development of algorithms that will drive the design of future catalysts for new organic reactions based on substrate binding energies, the requisite C-H activation processes, and emerging reaction kinetics. The emerging new iridium-based species will be specifically designed for application in a portfolio of important transformations in organic synthesis and of direct relevance to the pharmaceutical industry. These will include further labelling techniques, isomerisation processes, C-N and C-O bond forming reactions, and mild and accessible asymmetric reduction methods.

The main EPSRC Research Areas addressed are: Catalysis, Chemical Reaction Dynamics and Mechanism, and Synthetic Organic Chemistry and as of importance within the Themes of Healthcare Technologies, Physical Sciences, and Manufacturing the Future.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512114/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2022
2104235 Studentship EP/R512114/1 01/09/2018 31/08/2022 John Conor Townsley