Members

Postdoctoral Associates

Gangwei Wang

Gangwei WangI obtained my MSci degree in 2010 from Lanzhou University. I then undertook PhD studies in Prof. Yang Shangdong’s group at the State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry, Lanzhou University. During this time, my research focused on the development and mechanism of new metal-catalyzed C-H bond functionalisations to construct C-X bonds (X = C, N, O). In August 2015, I started my first postdoctoral appointment in the Bower group, where I am working on new C-C bond activation methodologies.

Publications:

  • G.-W. Wang, N. G. McCreanor, M. H. Shaw, W. G. Whittingham and J. F. Bower; New initiation modes for directed carbonylative C-C bond activation: rhodium-catalyzed (3+1+2) cycloadditions of aminomethylcyclopropanes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 13501-13504.

Awards, Prizes and Fellowships:

  • Royal Society K. C. Wong Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2015.

Xiaofeng Ma

Xiaofeng MaI obtained my PhD degree in 2012 from Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences under the supervision of Prof. Shao Huawu. I then moved on to a postdoctoral position in Prof. I. E. Marko’s group in Universite catholique de Louvain, where I designed new inibitors for GABA transporters. I also worked on organic electrochemistry, photochemistry and some other industry projects. In March 2016, I joined the Bower Group, where I am working on new C-N bond forming cascades.

Publications:

  • I. R. Hazelden, X. Ma, T. Langer and J. F. Bower; Diverse N-heterocyclic ring systems via aza-Heck cyclizations of N-(pentafluorobenzoyloxy)sulfonamides. Angew. Chem. 2016, 128, 11364-11368; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 11198-11202.

Adam Calow

I obtained my MChem (1st Class) in 2011 from the University of Hull. I then moved to Durham University for a PhD with Prof. Andy Whiting, where I investigated new routes to 1,3-amino alcohols. Some of this research was undertaken in the laboratory of Prof. M. E. Fernández. In 2015, I moved to the Max Planck Institute in Berlin (now Potsdam) to work with Prof. P. Seeberger on the synthesis of glycoconjugate vaccines. In October 2016, I moved to the Bower group where I am developing novel methods for C-C bond activation.

Simon Grélaud

I obtained a Masters degree in Molecular and Macromolecular chemistry from the University of Bordeaux in 2013. I then did a PhD under the supervision of Pr. Y. Landais where I developed new methodology, based on diastereoselective radical acylation, to access polysubstituted tetrahydrofuran and pyrrolidine moieties. In January 2017, I started a postdoctoral position in the Bower group, working on aryl C-H functionalisation. Outside of the lab, I enjoy playing football or badminton, spending time with friends and having a glass of good red wine.

Postgraduate Students

Craig Buxton

Craig Buxton

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2012 with an MSci in Chemistry. I completed a final year project on palladium catalysed cyclisations of oxime esters under the supervision of Dr. John Bower.  In October 2012, I joined the Bristol Chemical Synthesis CDT and have now started my PhD studies in the Bower group in collaboration with Pfizer. My research project involves the development of stereocontrolled strategies for the synthesis of chiral N-heterocyclic structures.

Ian Hazelden

Ian Hazelden

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2014 with an MSci in Chemistry. During my final year I worked on developing sugar-functionalised hydrogels for tissue culture under the supervision of Professor Tim Gallagher. My PhD research, which is in collaboration with AstraZeneca, involves the development of palladium catalysed C-N bond formations and their application to natural product synthesis. 

Publications:

  • N. J. Race, I. R. Hazelden, A. Faulkner and J. F. Bower; Recent developments in the use of aza-Heck cyclizations for the synthesis of chiral N-heterocycles. Chem. Sci. 2017In press.
  • I. R. Hazelden, X. Ma, T. Langer and J. F. Bower; Diverse N-heterocyclic ring systems via aza-Heck cyclizations of N-(pentafluorobenzoyloxy)sulfonamides. Angew. Chem. 2016, 128, 11364-11368; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 11198-11202.

Phillippa Cooper

PhillippaI graduated in 2015 from the University of Nottingham with an MSci in Chemistry with a year in industry. My industrial placement was at Endeavour Speciality Chemicals in the research and development department and my final year research project was with Prof. Simon Woodward, where I worked on the synthesis and derivatization of an eight-membered ring. My PhD is in collaboration with AstraZeneca and is focused on aryl C-H functionalization. In my spare time, I enjoy baking, photography and climbing.

Awards, Prizes and Fellowships:

  • 2017 JSPS Fellowship (3 month placement at Nagoya University with Prof. K. Itami).

Jess Eastwood

Jess EastwoodI graduated with an MChem in Chemistry from the University of Oxford in 2015, for which I undertook my Part II project with Professor Tim Donohoe working on a Bohlmann-Rahtz inspired protocol for the synthesis of multi-substituted aryl amines. For my PhD I am working on aryl C-H functionalisation in collaboration with Eli Lilly. In my spare time I play the French horn and tenor horn and enjoy running, cooking and a good pint on a Friday evening.

Steven Stanton

StevenI graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2015 with an MChem in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry. During my degree I spent a year working at RedX Oncology in Liverpool and did a final year project with Professor Nicholas Westwood on a novel lignin valorisation process. In September 2015 I started my PhD, which focuses on Rh-catalysed carbonylative ring-expansions. Aside from chemistry I enjoy most sports, in particular basketball, as well as spending time in the pub with friends.

Publications:

  • G. Fumagalli, S. Stanton and J. F. Bower; Recent methodologies that exploit C-C single bond cleavage of strained ring systems by transition metal complexes. Chem. Rev. 2017, In press. Invited contribution to the 2017 thematic issue on C-H and C-C functionalisation.
  • N. G. McCreanor, S. Stanton and J. F. Bower; Capture-collapse heterocyclization: 1,3-diazepanes by C-N reductive elimination from rhodacyclopentanones. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 11465-11468.

Joshua Farndon

Joshua Farndon

I graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2015 with an MSci in Chemistry. My final year project, under the supervision of Dr Paul Davies, focused on gold catalysed cyclisations to generate sulfur containing compounds. I then joined the Bristol Chemical synthesis CDT where I am now conducting my PhD project in the Bower group on the development of metal catalysed dearomatisation reactions. Outside of the lab I enjoy football and badminton.

Olivia Boyd

I am originally from Northern Ireland and graduated with an MSci in Chemistry from Imperial College in 2014, where I carried out my research project with Professor Ed Tate. I then worked as a Graduate Scientist for AstraZeneca in Gothenburg, Sweden. I moved to Bristol in September 2016 to start my PhD, which is in collaboration with GSK and will focus on further development of the group’s work on C-C bond activation. Outside of chemistry, I enjoy running, dancing and relaxing with friends.

Andrew Dalling

I graduated in 2016 with an MSci in Chemistry from the University of Birmingham. My final year project was undertaken with Dr John Fossey, where I worked on the kinetic resolution of chiral azides and alkynes. I then moved to Bristol in September 2016 to start my PhD, which involves the development and application of rhodium-catalysed C-C bond activation triggered methodologies. In my spare time I enjoy playing football, badminton and the piano.

Olga Sokolova

I graduated  from the Higher Chemical College of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2016, where I researched electrochemical and multicomponent reactions with Prof. Mikhail Elinson at the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry (2011-16). My first year project was with Dr. Vladimir Burlakov (Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds) and I have also undertaken summer placements in the Bower group and with Prof. Antonio Echavarren (ICIQ). In my spare time, I like drawing, playing billiards and spending time with friends.

Publications:

  • G. E. M. Crisenza, O. O. Sokolova and J. F. Bower; Branch selective alkene hydroarylation via cooperative destabilization: iridium-catalyzed ortho-alkylation of acetanilides. Angew. Chem. 2015, 127, 15079-15083; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 14866-14870. 

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.


Co-Supervised Postgraduate Students

Guto Rhys

Guto RhysI graduated from Imperial College, London in 2012 with an MSci in Chemistry with a Year in Industry. I then joined the Bristol Chemical Synthesis CDT, where I am conducting my PhD project under the supervision of Prof. Dek Woolfson, Dr. John Bower and Prof. Leo Brady. My project involves investigations into protein design and the functionalisation of coiled-coil peptide assemblies to generate de novo catalytic systems. In my spare time I like watching live music and composing.

Matthew Harper

Matt Harper

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2013 with a BSc in Chemistry, investigating boron chemistry with Professor Guy Lloyd-Jones for my final year project. I then stayed at Bristol for an MSc by research, working with Dr. Carmen Galan on alpha-selective organocatalytic glycosylations. I am now working on oxidative gold catalysis under the supervision of Dr. Chris Russell and Dr. John Bower, in collaboration with Syngenta. In my spare time, I enjoy cycling, photography and cooking.

Awards, Prizes and Fellowships:

  • Poster prize at the European Chemical Sciences Division of Organometallic Chemistry Conference (EuCOMC), Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 9-13, 2017.

Jamie Cadge

I graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2016 with an MSci degree. After completing summer placements with Dr J. Dowden and at GSK, my final year project was with Dr L. Ball, developing methodology for aromatic fluorinations. I then moved to Bristol to join the Chemical Synthesis CDT, where I am working on the development of Au-catalysed C-X bond formations under the supervision of Dr Chris Russell, Dr John Bower and Prof. Didier Bourissou (University of Toulouse). In my spare time I enjoy watching films, live music and playing the piano.


Undergraduate and Visiting Students