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Chiral allene derived-metal complexes for asymmetric catalysis and metallotherapy (MUNOZMU21SF)

   School of Chemistry

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  Dr M Munoz-Herranz, Dr R Lord  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are welcome for a self-funded PhD project to be developed at the School of Chemistry of the University of East Anglia to work in the research group of Dr M. Paz Muñoz.
This project builds up on our recent advances in the area (Dalton Transactions 2019, 49, 4034), and involves the synthesis of novel enantioenriched metal complexes bearing allenes and allene derivatives as ligands and the investigation of these complexes in asymmetric catalysis and as potential drugs in several areas (anticancer, antimicrobial and in their interaction with DNA and other biological targets).
The research will focus on the asymmetric synthesis of allenic bipyridines with different connectivities and their complexation with gold and platinum (other metals will also be explored) towards allene-metal and carbene-metal complexes. Synthesis of the racemic ligands followed by complexation and chiral resolution using prep-HPLC techniques will be explored in parallel to the synthesis of the chiral ligands using asymmetric organic synthesis. The new chiral complexes will be then tested as catalysts in the asymmetric version of model reactions. The biological activity properties (anticancer and antimicrobial) of the new chiral complexes will be tested in collaboration with the group of Dr Rianne Lord in CHE at UEA and other groups internationally. Investigations on the interaction of the complex with DNA and other biological targets will complete the training in the more medchem aspects of the project.

The project may be available at an earlier start point if an applications is submitted at the appropriate time and should be discussed with the primary supervisor in the first instance.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here
Type of Programme: PhD
Start Date: 1st October 2021
Mode of study: Full Time
Studentship length: 4 years NB. 3 year studentships have a (non-funded) 1 year ‘registration only’ period

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. Applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.

Entry requirements are Chemistry or related discipline or a good Masters degree in Chemistry.
The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1


Allene-derived gold and platinum complexes: synthesis and first applications in catalysis, H. K. Maliszewska, D. L. Hughes, M. P. Muñoz, Dalton Trans., 2019, 49, 4034-4038.
Influence of Ligand and Nuclearity on the Cytotoxicity of Cyclometallated C^N^C Platinum(II) Complexes, A. Kergreis, R. M. Lord and S. Pike, Chem. Eur. J. 2020, doi: 10.1002/chem.202002517.
Synthesis and Complexation Properties of Allenic Bipyridines, a New Class of Axially Chiral Ligands for Transition Metal Catalysis, S. Löhr, J. Averbeck, M. Schürmann, N. Krause, Eur. J. Org. Chem., 2008, 552-556.
A. Frei, J. Zuegg, A. G. Elliott, M. Baker, S. Braese, C. Brown, F. Chen, C. G. Dowson, G. Dujardin, N. Jung, A. P. King, A. M. Mansour, M. Massi, J. Moat, H. A. Mohamed l, A. K. Renfrew, P. J. Rutledge, P. J. Sadler, M. H. Todd, C. E. Willans, J. J. Wilson, M. A. Cooper, M. A. T. Blaskovich, Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 2627-2639.
Gold Coordination Complexes as Anticancer Agents, I. Kostova, Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 2006, 6, 19-32.
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