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Post-Doctoral Researchers

Mark Greenhalgh

Mark studied Chemistry with a year in Australia at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2010 after completing his fourth year project with Dr Simon Jones. He moved to the University of Bristol to join the Chemical Synthesis DTC in 2010 and in 2011 began his PhD with Dr Steve Thomas and Prof. Paul Pringle on the iron-catalysed hydrofunctionalisation of alkenes and alkynes. He moved with Steve to the University of Edinburgh in 2012 to complete his PhD studies. Mark joined the group in 2015 to work on the development of Lewis base-catalysed asymmetric methodologies.


Aileen Frost

Aileen completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry in 2011 at St Catherine's College, Oxford. She subsequently continued her studies at the University of Oxford, undertaking a DPhil under the supervision of Prof. Steve Davies, in which her research focused on developing new methodology for the asymmetric synthesis of amino acids and tetrahydroisoquinolines via aziridinium intermediates. Aileen joined the ADS group in 2015 to work on new organocatalytic transformations involving isothiourea catalysts.


Nitul Guha

Nitul completed his PhD in organic chemistry focusing on nano-impregnated transition metals as heterogeneous catalyst for coupling, reduction and oxidation reactions at CSIR-IHBT, India. He then worked as a National postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Vinod K Singh at IISER Bhopal, India exploring the enantioselective synthesis of heterocyles using chiral Lewis acids. He has joined the group as Newton International Postdoctoral Fellow and is working on the development of chiral heterogeneous catalysts.


Chang Shu


Final Year PhD students

Alix De La Houpliere

After obtaining a BSc at Heriot-Watt University, Alix gained her MSc degree from the University of Grenoble, carrying out a research placement in the Vollhardt Group at UC Berkeley. Her PhD project is focused on the development of asymmetric catalytic methodologies using cinchona alkaloids and isothioureas.


Nassilia Attaba

Nassilia gained an MSc from the University of Mulhouse (France) and an Engineering degree (Master) in organic chemistry from Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse (ENSCMu, France), carring out industrial placements with Actelion and Novartis in Basel, Switzerland. Her PhD project is focused upon developing and investigating the scope of novel asymmetric methods using N-heterocyclic carbenes.


Diego Barrios

Diego is originally from Barcelona and gained a European degree from Universitat de Barcelona (UB) completing his final degree project with Prof. Albert Moyano Baldoire. He also carried out a placement at GlaxoSmithKline (Stevenage) as a medicinal chemist. His PhD is concerned with the discovery of novel Lewis base catalysed processes.


Claire Young

Claire completed a Modern Apprenticship in analytical chemistry at GSK, Irvine and Forth Valley College, Falkirk. She then gained her MChem from the University of St Andrews carrying out an industrial placement with Chroma Therapeutics. Her project concerns the catalytic activation of carboxylic acids.


Stéphanie Spoehrle

Stéphanie gained an engineering diploma from the European School of Chemistry, Polymers and Materials Science in Strasbourg (France) and a Master of Science in organic chemistry from the University of Stuttgart (Germany), carrying out her final year project with Prof. Rene Peters. She carried out industrial placements with Firmenich in Geneva (Switzerland) and Unilever in Vlaardingen (Netherlands). Her PhD project is focused on Lewis base catalysed asymmetric processes.


3rd Year PhD students

Jude Arokianathar

Jude obtained his MSci degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Queen Mary, University of London, completing his final year project with Prof. Igor Larrosa. He also conducted a placement at GlaxoSmithKline (Stevenage) as a medicinal chemist. His PhD focuses on novel methods of asymmetric heterocycle synthesis.


Sam Smith

Sam obtained an MChem degree from the University of St Andrews and carried out an undergraduate project within the group during his 4th year. His project focuses on kinetic resolution through the use of carbenes and isothioureas.


Anastassia Matviitsuk

Anastassia is originally from Estonia but moved to Germany in 2009. There she gained her BSc and MSc degrees from Humboldt-Universität in Berlin, where her projects were carried out with Prof. Rainer Mahrwald in organocatalysis. Her PhD is focused upon developing new Lewis base catalysed asymmetric processes.


Ryan Kerr

Ryan graduated from the University of Strathclyde with an MChem in chemistry in 2014. During this programme he undertook a one year industrial placement with Syngenta (Jealotts Hill). He carried out his final year Masters project with Dr Mark Spicer in the synthesis and characterisation of novel N-heterocyclic carbenes. His PhD is in collaboration with Prof. Polly Arnold (Edinburgh) to develop homochiral bifunctional catalysts for a variety of applications in synthesis and polymerisation. Ryan’s hobbies include shredding on the guitar, playing football and running.


Stefania Musolino

Stefania comes from Italy and obtained her Masters degree in chemistry and pharmaceutical technologies from the University of Pisa in March 2014. She carried out her Masters thesis under the direction of Prof. Paolo Crotti. Her PhD project is focused on the catalytic activation of carboxylic acids under the supervision of Dr James Taylor and Prof. Andrew Smith. Outside of chemistry she is interested in reading and scientific communication.


Rifahath Mon NP

Rifahath received his M.Sci degree in organic chemistry in 2005 from the University of Pune (India). He then worked as a Research Associate in Medicinal Chemistry department of a pharmaceutical company named Lupin Research Park in India for two years. He subsequently moved to the Process Research and Development unit of AstraZeneca, India in Aug 2007 and worked there till June 2014 as an Associate Research Scientist. He is currently interested in homogeneous catalysis and his PhD focuses on novel methods of asymmetric heterocycle synthesis.


Danila Gasperini

Danila obtained her undergraduate and masters degrees in chemistry in Bologna. After completing an internship in Paris, with Prof. Giovanni Poli, she moved to St Andrews to start the postgraduate studies with Prof. Steven P. Nolan, studying organometallic chemistry, focussing on palladium and gold chemistry. She joined the Smith group and is working combining organometallic and organocatalytic systems for improved reactivity.


2nd Year PhD students

Jiufeng Wu

Jiufeng is originally from China and obtained his MChem degree from the University of St Andrews. He has previously carried out an undergraduate summer project within the group, and he has also conducted industrial placements at GSK, Montrose and Novartis, Horsham. His PhD project is focused on the use a,ß-unsaturated acyl ammonium species.


Shuyue Zhang (Peter)

Peter received his MSci degree in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry from Imperial College, London, completing his Master's project with Prof. Alan Spivey on the total synthesis of Lophirone H. His PhD focuses on the investigation of NHC catalyzed cascade reactions.


Liz Munday

Liz graduated from the University of Oxford in 2015, during this time she completed her part II project in the laboratory of Prof. Martin Smith, in the area of cation-directed kinetic resolution. Her PhD project focuses on kinetic resolution using isothiourea catalysis.


1st Year PhD students

Calum McLaughlin

Calum gained an MChem degree from the University of Strathclyde in 2016, completing a final year project with Dr Allan Watson. During this time, he undertook an industrial placement at GSK (Stevenage) and carried out summer placements with Dr Allan Watson, Prof. William Kerr and Prof. Eva Hevia. His PhD is focussed on the development of novel asymmetric organocatalytic processes.


Will Hartley

Will received his MChem degree from the University of Sheffield in 2016, completing his masters with Prof. Patrick W. Fowler FRS. During his degree, he undertook a summer project with Prof. Joe Harrity on the synthesis and cycloadditions of münchnones. His PhD project is focused on the synthesis of heterocycles through asymmetric Lewis base organocatalysis.


Post-Graduate Masters Students

Shen Qu (Jason)

Jason is originally from China. He obtained his BSc degree from the University of St Andrews carrying out his undergraduate project in the 4th year in the Smith group. His MPhil project focuses on the kinetic resolutions using isothiourea catalysis.


Undergraduate Project Students

Quynh Vu is working with Stephanie investigating ammonium enolate precursors in asymmetric catalysis.

Alexander Yu is working with Mark and Aileen examining intramolecular cycloadditions.

Megan McEvoy is working with Claire investigating catalyst recycling.

Former group members >