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4 year PhD in the development of Boronate Ester Assisted Enantioselective Brønsted Acid Catalysis

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  • Full or part time
    Dr James Taylor
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

A PhD position is available to work with Dr James Taylor at the University of St Andrews on a project directed towards the design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel Brønsted acid catalysts for applications in enantioselective synthesis.

The proton is the simplest and most prevalent Lewis acid in Nature and is utilised as a catalyst in numerous processes. As a consequence, a number of non-enzymatic asymmetric Brønsted acids has been developed, with the majority having an axially chiral backbone using either phosphoric acids, phosphoramides, or carboxylic acids as the proton source.

This project aims to synthesise and explore the reactivity of a new class of boronate ester-amides as chiral Brønsted acid catalysts. Reliable synthetic procedures will be developed to access a library of novel Brønsted acids, which will be evaluated as catalysts in various enantioselective synthetic processes that have potential applications in natural product/target molecule synthesis.

The School of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews is one of the leading chemistry research institutions in the UK. The Taylor group is currently based within a modern synthetic organic chemistry laboratory and has access to state-of-the-art analytical instruments including NMR, ATIR, X-ray, chiral HPLC and chiral GC facilities.

Students interested in undertaking a PhD in the Taylor group in this research area should register their interest as soon as possible. Informal enquiries can be made to Dr James Taylor (E-Mail: [email protected]).

Potential applicants are welcome to arrange to visit St Andrews at any time, although there will be a chemistry postgraduate open day in St Andrews on the afternoon of Friday the 12th of February 2016.

Please see: http://ch-www.st-andrews.ac.uk/PGadmissions.html for the application procedure or e-mail [email protected] for more information.


(1) For reviews on strong Brønsted acid catalysis, see: (a) T. Akiyama, Chem. Rev. 2007, 107, 5744; (b) T. Akiyama, K. Mori, Chem. Rev. 2015, 115, 9277.

(2) For a related Boronate-ester assisted Brønsted acid catalysis, see: T. Hashimoto, A. O. Gálvez, K. Maruoka, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 17667.

How good is research at University of St Andrews in Chemistry?
(joint submission with University of Edinburgh)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 37.30

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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