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New Catalytic Processes for Manufacturing Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals

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  • Full or part time
    Prof J Blacker
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

This proposal is representative of the projects currently on offer in our group. For more details of active research projects, please visit the Research and Publications sections of our webpage at:;

New Catalytic Processes for Manufacturing Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals
The Blacker group form part of the Institute for Process Research and Development which is dedicated to research and development of better, greener ways of manufacturing complex organic chemicals, critical to helping industry improve its performance.1 Our current research is in the area of:
(i) catalytic hydrogen transfer which is a low energy method for shuttling hydrogen between molecules, and this is being applied to: asymmetric reduction,2 oxidation,3 racemisations and dynamic resolution processes,4 N-alkylations and heterocycles,3 immobilised and improved catalysts,5 examples in Figure 1; (ii) efficient continuous flow chemo- and bio- catalytic processes such as electrophilic amination, hydrogenation and bio-oxidation, DKR, crystallisation induced diastereomeric and asymmetric transformation (CIDT and CIAT).
(iii) controlled deconstruction of biomass to produce renewable chemicals, for example in deoxygenation and decarboxylation of lignin and microbial products. The iPRD Process Laboratory is well equipped with process development and analytical equipment for carrying out scale-up studies, The R&D we undertake is often done in collaboration or closely associated with pharmaceutical, agrochemical, fine, and speciality chemical companies often with regular meetings and industrial placements. Through these activities PhD students are trained in employer-desired skills in synthesis, catalysis, analytical, physical-organic, sustainable process chemistry and engineering, and scale-up.


(1) Blacker, J., & Williams, M. T., Pharmaceutical Process Development, RSC Publishing, 2011; Ikariya, T., & Blacker, A. J., Acc. Chem. Res. 40(12), 1300-1308, 2007; C. Sambiagio, S. P. Marsden, A. J. Blacker and P. C. McGowan, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 3525-3550 (2-5) A. Nova, D. J. Taylor, A. J. Blacker, S. B. Duckett, R. N. Perutz, O. Eisenstein, Organometallics, 2014, 33 (13), 3433–3442; S. J. Lucas, B. D. Crossley, A. J. Pettman, A. D. Vassileiou, T. E. O. Screen, A. J. Blacker and P. C. McGowan, Chem. Commun., 2013, 49, 5562-5564; A. Rodriguez-Barzano, A. J. Blacker and P. C. McGowan, Dalton Trans, 2013, 42, 16669-16671; Blacker, A. J., Roy, M., Hariharan, S., Headley, C., Upare, A., Jagtap, A., Kadam, N., Org. Proc. Res. Dev., 15(2), 331-338, 2011; Valera, F. E., Quaranta, M., Moran, A., Blacker, J., Armstrong, A., Cabral, J. T., Blackmond, D. G. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 49(14), 2478-2485, 2010; Blacker, A. J., Clot, E., Duckett, S. B., Eisenstein, O., Grace, J., Nova, A.Whitwood, A. C., Chem. Commun., (44), 6801-6803, 2009; Blacker, A. J., Duckett, S. B., Grace, J., Perutz, R. N., & Whitwood, A. C., Organometallics, 28(5), 1435-1446, 2009; Saidi, O., Blacker, A. J., Farah, M. M., Marsden, S. P., & Williams, J. M. J., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 48(40), 7375-7378, 2009; Blacker, A. J., Farah, M. M., Hall, M. I., Marsden, S. P., Saidi, O., & Williams, J. M., Org. Lett. 11(9), 2039-2042, 2009; Saidi, O., Blacker, A. J., Lamb, G. W., Marsden, S. P., Taylor, J. E., & Williams, J. M. J., Org. Proc. Res. Dev.,14(4), 1046-1049, 2010; Blacker, A. J., Brown, S., Clique, B., Gourlay, B., Headley, C. E., Ingham, S., Thompson, G. Org. Proc. Res. Dev., 13(6), 1370-1378, 2009; Blacker, A. J., Stirling, M. J., & Page, M. I. Org. Proc. Res. Dev., 11(3), 642-648, 2007;

How good is research at University of Leeds in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.40

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