Members

Research Coordinator

Karim Bahou

Karim graduated from the University College London with a first-class honours MSci degree, which included a final-year project under the supervision of Prof. Stephen Caddick and Dr. Vijay Chudasama working on hydroacylation chemistry. Upon the completion of his undergraduate degree, he conducted his PhD guided by Prof. Chris Braddock at Imperial College London working towards the synthesis of marine algae-derived brominated natural products, ultimately focussing in olefin metathesis, which included a year based at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) under the supervision of Dr Adam Meyer and Dr G. Paul Savage. Subsequently, Karim re-joined the Braddock group in a post-doctoral research associate (PDRA) position to further investigate aspects of olefin metathesis. Karim then moved to The University of Liverpool to take up a Research Coordinator position in the group of Prof John Bower.

Publications:

  • J. García-Cárceles, K. A. Bahou, and J. F. Bower; Recent methodologies that exploit oxidative addition of C-N bonds to transition metals. ACS Catal. 2020, 10, 12738-12759.

Research Technician

Shirley Leung

Shirley LeungI took up my position as a research technician in the Bower group in April 2021. Prior to this, I undertook postdoctoral appointments with Profess Paul O’Neill, Professor Steve Ward (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) and Professor Neil Berry, working on a wide range of drug discovery and development projects, which included anti-malarial, anti-TB, anti-Wolbachia, neuropathic pain and acute pancreatitis. I am also interested in chemical biology and using chemical probes for drug target identification/deconvolution.


Postdoctoral Associates

Changcheng Jing

I obtained my PhD degree in 2016 from School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of East China Normal University under the supervision of Prof. Wenhao Hu. In May 2017, I moved to the group of Prof. Varinder K. Aggarwal at the University of Bristol as a postdoctoral research associate. My research here focused on total synthesis, associated biological studies and organo-boron chemistry. In June 2020 I move to Liverpool to start my second postdoctoral appointment in the Bower group.

Publications:

  • C. Jing, J. J. Farndon and J. F. Bower; Dearomatizing amination reactions. Chem. Rec. 2021, In press.

Daniel (Yuxiang) Zhu

I obtained my undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Oxford University and spent my final year in Professor Tim Donohoe’s group working on hypervalent iodine initiated [2+2] cycloadditions. After obtaining my MChem degree, I decided to stay in the same group to undertake my DPhil studies in the field of HFIP solvent enabled heterocyclization for the synthesis of tetrahydrofurans and pyrrolidines. In August 2020, I moved to Liverpool to start my first postdoctoral position in the Bower group.

David Dailler

I studied Organic chemistry at the University of Poitiers, Bordeaux and Lyon in France. I started my Ph.D in 2013 on the development and applications of C(sp3)-H activation under the supervision of Prof. O. Baudoin before completing my Ph.D thesis at the University of Basel. In December 2017, I joined the Gademann group as a postdoc working on novel fidaxomicin antibiotics via site-selective catalysis. In September 2020, I moved to the University of Liverpool to research asymmetric Rh-catalysed C-C bond activation methodologies.

Awards, Prizes and Fellowships:

  • Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2020-2022.

Raymond Chung

I graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2016 with an MChem degree. During this time, I undertook an industrial placement at GSK, Stevenage, working in the area of DMPK. My final year project was with Prof. John Murphy, investigating transition metal-free coupling using organic electron donors. I remained at Strathclyde for my PhD studies with Prof. William Kerr, where I worked towards a synthesis of the natural product agariblazeispirol C. In September 2020, I started  my postdoctoral position in the Bower group at the University of Liverpool.

Publications:

  • T. P. Aldhous, R. W. M. Chung, A. G. Dalling and J. F. Bower; Enantioselective intermolecular Murai-type alkene hydroarylation reactions. Synthesis 2021In press.

Charlotte Lorton

I graduated in 2017 from Paris-Saclay University with a Master’s degree in Organic Chemistry. After that, I obtained my PhD diploma under the supervision of Dr. Voituriez at the ICSN (CNRS). My studies focused on the development of methodologies using phosphine organocatalysis, especially tandem “Michael Addition/Wittig olefination” reactions. In February 2021, I moved to Liverpool to start a postdoctoral position in the Bower group.


Postgraduate Students

Lauren O’Neil

I graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2016 with an MSci in Chemistry. My industrial placement was at Sygnature Discovery and my final year project was with Dr James Dowden, where I investigated enantioselective organocatalytic conjugate additions. I then joined the Bristol Chemical Synthesis CDT and my PhD research is on the total synthesis of complex alkaloids using aza-Heck cyclizations and cascades. In my spare time I play the piano, trumpet and oboe, and enjoy swimming.

Publications:

  • L. G. O’Neil and J. F. Bower; Electrophilic aminating agents in total synthesis. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, In press.

Awards, Prizes and Fellowships:

  • First prize at the Liverpool Chemistry Department’s Postgraduate Symposium, held online, March 25-26, 2021.
  • Runner-up prize at the Charles River European Chemistry PhD Symposium, held online, November 13, 2020.
  • Syngenta Scholarship finalist, 2020.
  • Runner-up prize at the First GSK Synthetic Organic Chemistry Postgraduate Symposium, held online, October 7-8, 2020.

Ben Jones

I graduated in 2017 from Heriot-Watt University with an MChem in Chemistry with a year in industry. My industrial placement was at F. Hoffman La-Roche in Basel working in the small molecule research and early development department.  My final year research project was with Prof. Ai-Lan Lee, where I worked on dual gold and photoredox catalysed C-H activation of arenes for intramolecular aryl-aryl cross-couplings. My PhD concerns development of Pd-catalysed aza-Heck cyclisations and cascades.

Publications:

  • B. T. Jones, J. García-Cárceles, L. Caiger, I. R. Hazelden, R. J. Lewis, T. Langer and J. F. Bower; Complex polyheterocycles and the stereochemical reassignment of pileamartine A via aza-Heck triggered aryl C-H functionalization cascades. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, In press.

Awards, Prizes and Fellowships:

  • First prize at the second year “Syngenta Poster Competition”, April 30, 2019.

Madelene Waldron

I graduated in 2017 from the University of Nottingham with an MSci in Chemistry, during which I did a placement at RedX Oncology in Liverpool. My final year project was with Mr Tom McInally, working on the synthesis of biologically active compounds in collaboration with GSK. For my PhD, I am working on the development of new catalyst systems for the activation of C-C bonds. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the violin, creative writing, and playing quidditch.

Tim Aldhous

I graduated from The University of Sheffield in 2018 with an MChem in Chemistry. I undertook an industrial placement year at Bayer CropScience in Germany synthesising small molecules for agrochemical research. My final year project investigated Naloxone-based degradation products in Suboxone sublingual film under the supervision of Professor Joseph Harrity. I then joined the Chemical Synthesis CDT. My PhD is in collaboration with AstraZeneca and is focused on the development and applications of enantioselective alkene hydroarylation reactions.

Publications:

  • T. P. Aldhous, R. W. M. Chung, A. G. Dalling and J. F. Bower; Enantioselective intermolecular Murai-type alkene hydroarylation reactions. Synthesis 2021In press.

Awards, Prizes and Fellowships:

  • Prize for the best synthetic talk at the AstraZeneca CASE Symposium, held online, September 8-9, 2021.

Wenbin Tu

I graduated from Hunan University, China, in 2019 with an MSci in Materials Science. My project with Prof. Yingliang Cheng focused on plasma electrolytic oxidation and photocatalysis of tungstate oxide. I moved to Bristol in September 2019 to start my PhD, which is funded by the China Scholarship Council-University of Bristol Joint Scholarship. My research concerns molecular complexity via palladium catalysed C-N bond formations. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, swimming and watching movies.

Erin Boddie

I graduated in 2020 from the University of St Andrews with a First Class MChem degree. During my degree I did a placement year at Johnson Matthey, in Cambridge, where I worked on enantioselective and chemoselective hydrogenation catalysis using precious metals. For my final year project in St Andrews, I worked on organocatalysis, with Dr Allan Watson,  specifically researching the application of C-based nucleophiles in enantioselective H-bonding catalysis for the functionalisation of secondary alcohol substrates. I moved to Liverpool in October to start my PhD with the Bower group and, outside of Chemistry, I enjoy ballroom and Latin dancing, yoga and cooking.

Matthew Smith

I graduated from Imperial College London in 2020 where I obtained a First Class Honours MSci degree. During this time I undertook a UROP placement with Dr Kafizas synthesising metal oxide films by chemical vapour deposition. For my final year project I was working in Prof. Christopher Braddock’s laboratory where I worked towards the formal total synthesis of anti-HIV compound (±)-peyssonol A. In October 2020, I moved to Liverpool to undertake my PhD studies with Prof. John Bower.

Peter Ledwith

I graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2020 with a First Class Honours in Medicinal Chemistry. I completed a summer placement and final year project under the supervision of Prof. Isabel Rozas. During my time with the Rozas group, I designed and synthesised a series of guanidine-based derivatives and investigated their application as anti-mycobacterial agents. My PhD studies in the Bower group at the University of Liverpool started in October 2020. I enjoy running, cycling and photography in my free time.

Davide Sella

I obtained my BSc in Chemistry (2018) from the University of Trieste and my MSc (2020) from the University of Bologna. My MSc dissertation, under the supervision of the Prof. Marco Bandini, focussed on  Ni-catalyzed carboxylation reactions. In July 2021, I started my PhD position in the Bower group working on the total synthesis of alkaloids using aza-Heck cyclizations. In my spare time I listen to rock/heavy metal music and I am passionate about Norse mythology.

Ross Adams

I obtained my MSci in Chemistry (2021) from the University of Bristol. My final year project, under the supervision of Professor Robin Bedford, centred around earth abundant metals, with a particular focus on their ability to catalyse C-C cross-couplings and the mechanisms these reactions proceed by. In July 2021 I joined the Bower group as a vacation placement student, prior to commencing my PhD in October 2021. In my spare time I enjoy playing badminton, reading, and cooking.

Jake Painter

Jake Painter I graduated from Cardiff University in 2021 with a First-Class Honours MChem degree. During my degree, I undertook a 15-month placement at Syngenta, Jealott’s Hill, where I worked on the synthesis of novel compounds displaying herbicidal activity. My final year project, with Dr Louis Morrill, focused on the synthesis of inverse frustrated Lewis pairs and their application towards metal-free enantioselective hydrogenation catalysis. In October 2021, I moved to Liverpool to start my PhD studies. In my spare time, I enjoy playing guitar, going to gigs and swimming.


Co-Supervised Postgraduate Students


Undergraduate and Visiting Students

Kieran Barnett