£6,000 FindAPhD Scholarship | APPLICATIONS CLOSING SOON! £6,000 FindAPhD Scholarship | APPLICATIONS CLOSING SOON!

[2 PhD scholarships in Electrosynthesis / Supra-PhotoRedox Chem with industrial placements] - Electrochemical fluorination with AstraZeneca / Supramolecular control of selectivity in HAT catalysis with GSK

   Department of Pharmaceutical, Chemical and Environmental Sciences

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  Dr Kevin Lam  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

About the Projects.

Electrochemical fluorination in Collaboration with AstraZeneca (Dr Kevin Lam / Dr Xacobe Cambeiro)

Organofluorine compounds display unique physical, chemical and biological properties compared to their hydrogenated analogues. Therefore, it is not surprising to find numerous fluorinated molecules among the top best-selling drugs.1 However, the installation of a fluorine atom remains far from being trivial. Hence, this project proposes developing a new practical, cheap, scalable and green method for the electrofluorination of aliphatic and aromatic compounds.

Supramolecular control of selectivity in HAT catalysis with GSK (Dr Ana Castilla / Dr Xacobe Cambeiro)

Photocatalytic C-H functionalisation methods based on hydrogen atom transfer are emerging as a promising addition to the medicinal chemist toolbox, facilitating and accelerating synthesis and enabling strategies for late-stage derivatisation. However, the enormous potential of these methods is lessened by their lack of selectivity, which poses severe obstacles to their application in complex settings.

We propose a strategy to develop highly selective photocatalytic C-H functionalisation methods using supramolecular chemistry. This approach will allow the development of catalyst libraries based on molecular recognition tailored for different selectivities.

We are now looking for highly motivated PhD students to join our team.

The Candidates

The projects would suit students with a strong background in synthetic chemistry. In addition, an interest in supramolecular chemistry, medicinal chemistry, photochemistry or electrochemistry would be an advantage.

The Students will be supervised by Dr Ana Castilla, Dr Xacobe Cambeiro or Dr Kevin Lam (http://www.lamresearchgroup.com). They will join a group of young, international and dynamic researchers!

The Laboratory

The Research Group is housed within a newly refurbished laboratory and is very well equipped with more than 14 Electrasyns 2.0, an electrochemical and photochemical flow system, a glovebox, a solvent purification system, a dedicated GC-MS and HPLC-MS as well as several automatic chromatography systems, numerous photoreactors, etc.

The university will also provide the Students with routine access to 4 NMR spectrometers, several UPLC-MS, high-resolution mass spectrometers, etc.

How to Apply?

Please send a copy of your CV to k.lam 'at' greenwich.ac.uk

Interviews will start immediately, and the position might close as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified

Funding Notes

The grant will cover the Home (UK and Ireland) tuition fees and offer a stipend in line with UKRI. Non-UK/IE applicants are welcome but will have to secure additional funding to cover the international fees.


Tanbouza, N., Petti, A., Leech, M. C., Caron, L., Walsh, J. M., Lam, K., & Ollevier, T. Electrosynthesis of Stabilized Diazo Compounds from Hydrazones. Organic Letters. 2022, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.2c01803
Leech, M. C.; Lam, K. A practical guide to electrosynthesis. Nature Reviews Chemistry, 2022, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41570-022-00372-y
Leech, M. C.; Petti, A.; Tanbouza, N.; Mastrodonato, A.; Goodall, I. C. A.; Ollevier, T.; Dobbs, A. P.; Lam, K. Anodic Oxidation of Aminotetrazoles: A Mild and Safe Route to Isocyanides. Org. Lett. 2021, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.1c03475.
Quertenmont, M.; Toussaint, F. C.; Defrance, T.; Lam, K.; Markó, I. E.; Riant, O. Continuous Flow Electrochemical Oxidative Cyclization and Successive Functionalization of 2-Pyrrolidinones. Org. Process Res. Dev. 2021, 25, 2631–2638 https://doi.org/10.1021/ acs.oprd.1c00188.
Garcia, A. D.; Leech, M. C.; Petti, A.; Denis, C.; Goodall, I. C. A.; Dobbs, A. P.; Lam, K. Anodic Oxidation of Dithiane Carboxylic Acids: A Rapid and Mild Way to Access Functionalized Orthoesters. Org. Lett. 2020, 22 (10), 4000–4005. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.0c01324.
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