Recent Posts

More Posts

A reflection on the book Make it Stick by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel


5 Tips for students preparing for an oral presentation - from an examiner/audience point of view.


Highlights from the Magic Science Show, as part of the launch of National Science Week 2017.


A new way to synthesise spirocyclic compounds from simple, acyclic starting materials.


A YouTube video tutorial showing how to set up and use an Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) to record data for contributing to the Open Source Malaria (OSM) initiative.


Selected Publications

Acyclic methylene acetals bearing two diazoester subunits were converted to [5,5]-spiroacetals via bidirectional C-H insertion under Rh(II) catalysis. Using a chiral Rh(II) catalyst, the major diastereomer was produced in high enantiomeric excess (89%).
Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 4219-4221
A review. The selective functionalization of C-H bonds is a powerful strategy for the construction of organic molecules and the Rh(II)-catalyzed C-H insertion reaction is a particularly robust and useful tool for this purpose. This review discusses the insertion of Rh(II) carbenes into C-H bonds that are activated by α-oxygen substituents, focusing on the trends that have been observed in reactivity and selectivity, and the applications of this reaction to the total synthesis of complex natural products.
Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, 13, 6419-6431
A number of analogs of angelmarin were synthesized and evaluated for their ability to inhibit the tolerance of PANC-1 cells to survive nutrient deprivation. The most potent of the novel compounds was 8b (I) which possibly acts as a prodrug with improved cell permeability.
ChemMedChem 2012, 7, 766-770
A sequence of Sonogashira coupling, Pd(II)-catalyzed carbonylative annulation, and benzofuran redn. (Mg, MeOH, NH4Cl) provides a convergent and modular synthetic route to trans-2-aryl-2,3-dihydrobenzo[b]furan-3-carboxylates, which share structural features with numerous biol. active natural products. This versatile strategy was applied to the formal total synthesis of the anti-HIV natural product (+)-lithospermic acid (I).
Org. Lett. 2011, 13, 3376-3379
Mitochondrially targeted vitamin E succinate (MitoVES) is modified so that it is preferentially localized to mitochondria, greatly enhancing its pro-apoptotic and anti-cancer activity. We propose that mitochondrial targeting of VES with an 11-carbon chain localizes the agent into an ideal position across the interface of the mitochondrial inner membrane and matrix, optimizing its biological effects as an anti-cancer drug.
J. Biol. Chem. 2011, 286, 3717-3728
An efficient 8-step enantioselective total synthesis of (+)-angelmarin (I), starting from commercially available umbelliferone, has been achieved. Key reactions include olefin cross-metathesis and a Shi epoxidation-cyclization sequence.
J. Org. Chem. 2009, 74, 5083-5086
An enantioselective total synthesis of spongistatin 1, a.k.a. (+)-altohyrtin A, was achieved via a multistep synthetic sequence which included Wittig olefination, aldol condensation, and macrolactonization.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2001, 40, 4055-4060

Recent Publications

More Publications

  • Stereoselective bidirectional synthesis of spiroacetals via Rh(II)-catalysed double C–H insertion

    Tetrahedron accepted 24 January 2018

    Details Full Text

  • Synthesis of spirocyclic orthoesters by ‘anomalous’ rhodium(II)-catalysed intramolecular C–H insertions

    Org. Biomol. Chem. 2018, 16, 256-261

    Details Full Text

  • Trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase as a broad-spectrum therapeutic target against eukaryotic and prokaryotic pathogens

    Em. Topics Life Sci. 2017, 1, 675-683

    Details Full Text

  • Enzyme characteristics of pathogen-specific trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatases

    Scientific Reports 2017, 7, 2015

    Details PDF Full Text

  • The design, synthesis, and anti-inflammatory evaluation of a drug-like library based on the natural product valerenic acid.

    Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2017, 27, 3185-3189

    Details PDF Full Text

  • Dichloro-naphthoquinone as a non-classical inhibitor of the mycobacterial carbonic anhydrase Rv3588c.

    MedChemComm 2017, 8, 1318-1321

    Details PDF Full Text

  • A bidirectional synthesis of spiroacetals via Rh(II)-catalysed C-H insertion.

    Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 4219-4221

    Details PDF Full Text

  • Probing function and structure of trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatases from pathogenic organisms suggests distinct molecular groupings.

    FASEB J. 2017, 31, 920-926, S1-S12

    Details PDF Full Text


Med Chem with Potential

Recent developments in synthetic organic electrochemistry have huge potential applications in drug discovery.

New Drugs for the Treatment of Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is a very deadly brain cancer with few treatment options. This project aims to synthesise new compounds as potential leads against this disease.

Open Source Malaria

Adopting open source principles for the discovery and development of new medicines for malaria.


I teach the following courses at Griffith University: