Chris Sandford's PhD thesis (2014–2018) has been highly commended by the Faculty of Science, University of Bristol. This accolade is achieved by only about 10% of research students. Congrats, Chris!
We have a post-doc finishing in the group: Raffael is moving to Switzerland to start a role as a process chemist. We wish you all the best, Raffael!
Narasim has finished his postdoctoral work in our group, and is moving to an industrial position in India. We wish you well, Narasim!
We have a new visiting student from Germany, who will be working with us for 6 months. Welcome, Robin!
A very well done to former PhD student Alex Fawcett who has been awarded one of five 2019 IUPAC-Solvay International Awards for Young Chemists for his work carried out here during his PhD. Alex will be awarded with USD 1000, attendance at the 2019 IUPAC Congress in Paris, and the opportunity to author a review article for Pure and Applied Chemistry. Congratulations, Alex!
The 2019 Bristol Synthesis Meeting is scheduled to take place on April 9th. Registration can be found at the School of Chemistry online shop. We are happy to present the following line up of speakers:
Our three masters students – David Bacos, James Southon, and Jessica Streets – have finished their projects in our group. We wish them all the best with their future careers!
A new visiting student has started in our group, Vincent Duong, who will be working with us for 6 months. Welcome, Vinnie!
Congratulations to Luke Lewis-Borrell who won a poster prize at the SCI Spotlight on Photoredox Catalysis and Photochemistry meeting recently. Luke’s poster highlighted how ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy methods can be used to unravel photoredox-catalysed reaction mechanisms. The work will lead to new design principles for future generations of catalysts.
Congratulations to Dr. Bin Zhou who recently passed his viva! Bin is now working with Prof. Chris Willis here in Bristol.
We have a new post-doc, Andy Lerchen, who joins us from Muenster.
Congratulations to Varinder Aggarwal who has been selected to be the 2019 Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecturer at the University of California, Irvine. He has also been selected to be the guest keynote speaker at the 2019 Pfizer Chemistry Forum. The Pfizer Chemistry Forum is an annual two-day event held in Groton, Connecticut, that celebrates cutting edge organic chemistry.
Congratulations to Varinder Aggarwal on his selection to be the next Alfred Capper Pass Professor of Chemistry at Bristol University. Capper Pass and Son Ltd. was a British smelting and refining company which was established in Bristol in the early 1800s.
Selbi has finished her postdoctoral research in our group, and is returning to the University of Giresun, Turkey, as an assistant professor. All the best, Selbi!
Well done to Siying who successfully completed her defence and is now
Congratulations to Varinder Aggarwal who has been awarded the Yamada-Koga Prize 2019! He will receive the award at the 29th Symposium on Optically Active Compounds at the University of Tokyo, June 1st 2019.
Well done to Alex and Tobias for their recent paper in Nature Chemistry! The publication details the synthesis of strained bicyclo[1.1.0]butane (BCB) boronate complexes and their addition to aryl palladium complexes; the overall process generating 1,1,3-trisubstituted cyclobutane products with perfect diastereoselectivity. Congratulations to all involved!
Valerio, who recently finished his PhD at Manchester with Mike Ingleson, has started his postdoctoral research in our group. Greetings, Valerio!
The group's twitter page (@AggarwalLab) is now up and running. Feel free to follow us, using the button just below the group picture, for an insight into our labs!
We have a new postdoc, Lin, who joins us on a DFG Fellowship. Welcome, Lin!
Congratulations to Varinder who has been selected to receive one of the 2019 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards! He will receive the award at the ACS National Meeting in San Diego in August 2019.
Our three masters students –David Bacos, James Southon, and Jessica Streets– have started in the group, and their projects are well underway. Good luck to you all!
A visiting scholar from Shaanxi Normal University, Xiabing Li, has started in the group. Greetings, Xiabing!
We have a new PhD student, Oliver Dutton, who will be working jointly with Craig Butts. Welcome, Olly!
Madhava has started in our group as a new postdoctoral researcher. Welcome, Madhava!
Well done to Johan who won a prize at XXII International Conference on Organic Synthesis (22-ICOS), an international symposium which took place in Florence on 16-21 September, for his poster entitled ‘Helical Hydrocarbons: Synthesis and Control of Screw-Sense’. The event included around 800 participants and 450 poster presentations.
Beatrice has finished her postdoctoral studies in our group, and will be starting her own independant career here, at the University of Bristol. We wish her all the best!
Bjoern and Elliott have finished their Masters studies in our group. Both are going to undertake PhDs - Bjoern with David Leigh in Manchester, and Elliott with Bill Morandi in Switzerland. Good luck, guys!
Amna has finished her visit here in Bristol, and is returning to her home institution, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, to finish her PhD. Good luck, Amna!
Alex successfully completed his defence and is now Dr. Fawcett! Congratulations, Alex!
A new postdoctoral researcher, Nils Winter, has started in the group. Welcome, Nils!
Phil has finished his visit here in Bristol, and is returning to New Zealand -after a brief trip to Portugal- to complete his PhD. Good luck with the rest of your synthesis, Phil!
We welcome a new postdoctoral researcher, Songjie Yu, to the group. Greetings, Songjie!
Congratulations to Beatrice who has been awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship for five years, starting 1st October 2018, here at Bristol University to study 'Metals and Molecular Machines: A New Approach to Autonomous Molecular-Level Motion'.
Ganesh has finished his postdoctoral studies in our group, and has moved to Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, to start as an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology. Good luck, Ganesh!
Well done to Charlotte who won a poster prize at the recent Early Career Researcher event entitled Celebration of Bristol Chemistry V! The event comprised of 3 talks (one from our own Dr. Mattia Silvi) and then a poster session, with over 50 competitors from the 3 different sections at Bristol.
Well done to Johan who won a poster prize at BORAM XVI, an intimate conference focused entirely around boron. As part of his prize, Johan gave a talk on his poster to the conference audience.
Giorgia has successfully passed her viva and is now Dr. Casoni! Congrats, Giorgia! Giorgia will be moving to Pharmaron UK Ltd in just under a month, and we wish her all the best.
We have had a new postdoctoral member start in the group, Hari. Welcome!
Well done to Siying who won a runner-up prize at the 3rd year PhD Organic and Biological section seminar recently!
We have two new PhD students, Joe Abell and Luke Lewis-Borell, who join us from the Chemical Synthesis CDT. Welcome to both!
After an impressive five years in the Aggarwal group, James Smith has finished his postdoctoral studies and is moving to Charles River Laboratories. All the best and good luck outside of Bristol, James!
Congratulations to Team PG for their recent publication in Chemistry - A European Journal, which details the re-optimisation of the L-proline catalysed dimerization of succinaldehyde to a key enal intermediate. The isolated yield has been improved from 14% to 29% to deliver 12.8 g of enal, and these new conditions were used to enable the synthesis of Δ¹²‐PGJ₃, which has considerable biological potency towards stem cell cancer. Well done to all involved!
We have a new postdoctoral member, Daniel Kaiser, who will be working on photochemistry in the group. Welcome, Daniel!
Eleven members of the group recently went to visit the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität in Hannover, as part of Prof. Aggarwal's Humboldt Fellowship. We enjoyed fantastic talks on the first day, with diverse chemistry from all areas, and were extremely impressed by the showing from our hosts. The second day was spent with a tour of the New Town Hall and the beautiful Herrenhausen Gardens, see pictures below, in the sunshine. Thank you to all our hosts, especially Prof. Dr. Andreas Kirschning, for an excellent experience. We hope to see you all again soon!
The Aggarwal group celebrated success at the recent Organic and Biological Section Syngenta Poster Competition, with Ricky Mega winning a runner up prize and Lydia Dewis the participant prize. The judges, Dr Dave Sale (Syngenta) and Dr Sarah Barry (King's College London), were extremely impressed with the overall standard. Well done to all involved!
The 2018 Bristol Synthesis Meeting is scheduled to take place on April 10th. Registration can be found at the School of Chemistry online shop. We are happy to present the following line up of speakers:
Felix Pape has started postdoctoral studies in our group. Felix has come from Berlin, and will be working in our group for at least one year. Welcome, Felix!
Alex Z. has finished his postdoctoral studies in the Aggarwal group, and is leaving Bristol to start at Pharmaron in Hertfordshire. Good luck in "the real world" Alex!
Prof. Phil-He has finished his visit to our lab and has returned to his group in Shihezi University, China. All the best, Phil!
Phil has joined the group from New Zealand as a visiting PhD student for 6 months. Welcome Phil!
Varinder will be the Robert Robinson Lecturer at the University of Oxford in 2020/2021. This Lectureship is the most prestigious award Oxford has to offer, and the awardee will spend several days at Oxford and deliver two research lectures.
Dr. Murat Kucukdisli has finished his postdoctoral research in our lab, and is going to the Prof. Till Opatz group at the University of Mainz, Germany, to work as a senior postdoctral researcher. All the best, Murat!
Welcome to Selbi Keskin, who has joined our group as a postdoctoral researcher on a TUBITAK fellowship!
Our Research Page has been updated. Now it includes our recent work in photochemistry and other areas.
Belen Rubial has joined our group as a postdoctoral researcher on a Clarin-COFUND program fellowship. Welcome to the group, Belen!
Congratulations to CDT student Lydia Dewis who has been invited to Genentech in San Francisco for a 12 week research internship with Dr David Russell this summer. This is a highly competitive programme, with thousands of applications every year. Lydia will be studying structural behaviour of fluorinated drugs to further the Genentech NMR programme. Enjoy California, Lydia!
The Aggarwal group had a combo of success at the recent RSC Organic Division South-West Regional Meeting: 3rd year student Alex Fawcett was the winner of the Poster Presentation Prize and 3rd year CDT student Lydia Dewis won a runner up prize! The meeting was held at the University of Bristol, and was attended by 40 presenters, including several distinguished plenary speakers from around the country.
Prof. Aggarwal has been invited to deliver the prestigious Kurt Alder Lecture 2018 at the University of Cologne, Germany. Varinder joins a list of very distinguished previous Kurt Alder Lecturers.
Congratulations to Team CPA for finishing the total synthesis of α-cyclopiazonic acid after many years of blood, sweat, and tears. Perseverance, creativity, and methodical approach are indispensable attributes of success in organic chemistry, and this project clearly required a lot. Congrats to Alex, Yunus, Lorenz, Viji, Chun, Mike, Mark, Marco, Mushtaq, Mehrnoosh, and Johno!
Selected as Hot Paper
Dr. Rafael Dias has finished his postdoctoral visit to our lab and returned to Brazil. All the best, Rafael!
Congratulations to Siying Zhong who won the participant prize at the Royal Society of Chemistry Organic Division Poster Symposium! The event was held in London on Monday, 4th December, and included 40 participants including Giorgia Casoni, also from our lab.
James Smith has successfully defended his thesis, and is now Dr. Smith. Congrats, James!
Raphael Bigler, aka the "Swiss Raphi", has finished his postdoctoral work and is moving back home to Switzerland. After travelling the world to New Zealand, he will join Roche in Basel.
Andrejs Pelšs, a postdoctoral researcher from Latvia, has finished his studies in our lab and moved back to Riga where he will continue as researcher. All the best, Andrejs!
Renata, a visiting student from Spain, has finished her studies in our lab and returned home. All the best, Renata!
Raffael Schrof joined our lab as a postdoctoral researcher on a Swiss NSF fellowship. Welcome to the group, Raffael!
Amna Murtaza joined our lab as a visiting postgraduate student on a CSC fellowship. Welcome to the group, Amna!
Sheenagh Aiken joined our lab as a PhD student. Welcome to the group, Sheenagh!
Dr. Muhammad Imran finished his postdoctoral stay in our lab. All the best, Imran!
Dr. Roly Armstrong finished his postdoctoral stay in our lab and moved to the University of Oxford where he will work in the group of Prof. Donohoe. All the best, Roly!
Dr. Stefan Aichhorn finished his postdoctoral stay in our lab and moved back to Austria. All the best, Stefan!
Dr. Cristina García Ruiz finished her postdoctoral placement in our lab and moved back to Spain. All the best, Cristina!
Bjoern Andreassen has joined our group as Master's student. Welcome to the lab, Bjoern!
Dr. Christopher Sandford has finished his doctorate in our lab and gone to the USA for postodoctoral studies. He will work in Prof. Sigman's group at the University of Utah. All the best, Chris!
Our research on assembly line synthesis has been featured in a German magazine, Nachrichten aus der Chemie, in the section Synthese im Blickpunkt (Synthesis in Focus). Synthese im Blickpunkt wants to stimulate the use of new synthetic procedures or elegant and important organic syntheses. This year, contributions to the series are written by Johannes Teichert, Juniorprofessor in chemistry at the TU Berlin.
Polyketides by assembly-line
The iterative lithiation-borylation combines C-C bond formation with the selective construction of asymmetrically substituted carbon atoms. This methodology allows to build adjacent stereocentres in rapid succession.
The stereoselective lithiation-borylation is a good tool to generate alkyl chains with stereogenic centres. Particularly attractive is that different building blocks are obtained in a reaction sequence and simultaneously C-C bonds and stereocentres are generated. Such reactions occur in good yields and with high stereoselectivity, which compromises the stoichiometric use of metal reagents and chiral ligands as sparteine.
Dr. Chao Shu has joined our lab as a postdoctoral researcher. Welcome to the group, Chao!
Dr. Hannah Baars has finished her postdoctoral studies in our lab and moved back to Germany. All the best, Hannah!
Dr. Eddie Myers, our Research Officer in 2014-2017, moves up the academic ladder and becomes Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at NUI Galway, Ireland. We thank you for all your contributions to the Aggarwal lab and wish you the most outstanding career, Eddie!
Visiting student Moritz Classen has finished his placement in Aggarwal lab and returned to Germany to finish his Master's studies. All the best, Moritz!
Dr. Alba Millán Delgado has finished her postdoctoral stay in our lab and moved on as Juan de la Cierva Fellow to the Organic Chemistry Department at the University of Granada (Spain). We wish you all the best, Alba!
Alex Fawcett and Siying Zhong have been selected by the Royal Society of Chemistry to attend J-NOST-13 at Banaras Hindu University (BHUI) in Lucknow, India in November this year. NOST is a trust established by senior Indian organic chemists, financed by money from Indian industries and other donors, in order to organize conferences, J-NOST being specifically for PhD students. Selection is highly competitive with Alex and Siying being two of only eight students selected from across the UK. Congrats to Alex and Siying!
Renata Calo Lapido, a PhD student from the CIQUS, University of Santiago de Compostela, has joined our lab as a visitor. Welcome to the group, Renata!
Elliott Denton, a MSc by Research postgraduate student has joined the group. Welcome to the group, Elliott!
Dr. Nandakumar Meganathan, a postdoctoral researcher from India, has joined our lab as a Marie Curie Fellow. Welcome to the group, Nandakumar!
Worawat Niwetmarin has successfully defended his thesis and became Dr. Niwetmarin. Congrats, Shake!
Christopher Sandford has successfully passed his viva and became Dr. Sandford. Congrats, Chris!
Dr. Daniel Pflästerer has finished his postdoctoral stay in our lab and returned to Germany. All the best, Daniel!
We have published in Nature on the total synthesis of baulamycin. This long and arduous project required a synergy of organic synthesis, molecular modelling and NMR studies as almost all stereocentres in the target had to be reassigned. Congrats to Jingjing, Paula, Siying, and Muhammad!
News & Views
Highlighted in C&EN
Highlighted on Phys.org
Highlighted at the University website
Highlighted in Chemistry World
Our paper on enantiospecific sp2-sp3 coupling of boronic esters with p-arylacetylenes has been accepted in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Congratulations, Ganesh and Marcin!
Rafael Dias, a postdoctoral researcher from Brasil, has joined our lab. Welcome to the group, Rafael!
PhD thesis of Maziar Mohiti (2011–2015) has been commended by the Faculty of Science of the University of Bristol. This accolade is achieved by only about 10% of the research students. Congrats, Maziar!
Tobias Biberger, a visiting student from Germany, has finished his placement in Aggarwal Group and is now back in Aachen, where he will continue his Master's studies. We thank Tobias for all the hard work and lots of fun he brought. All the best, Tobias!
We have just published our paper on the photoinduced decarboxylative borylation of carboxylic acids in Science (First Release). This new methodology links the diversity of carboxylic acids to the broad utility of boronic esters. Congratulations to Alex, Johan, Yahui and Tatsuya!
Alex Fawcett has won a runner-up prize at the Organic and Biological Section Postgraduate Symposium held at the School of Chemistry. Congrats, Alex!
Rory Mykura, a PhD student from the CDT programme, has joined Aggarwal group. Welcome to the lab, Rory!
Siying Zhong won yet another poster prize! Her poster Synergy of Computation, NMR and Synthesis Reveals True Baulamycin Structure won the 1st place at the inaugural Bio-Techne Chemistry Poster Symposium. The competition included contestants from Bath, Bristol and Cardiff Universities. Impressive achievement, Siying!
Dr. Teerawut "Tong" Bootwicha has left the lab for Thailand where he will start as Lecturer at the Mahidol University (Bangkok). We wish you a spectacular academic career, Tong! Congrats!
We would like to send our best wishes to the lab's recent alumni: Olivier Wagnières, Paula Lorenzo, and Ana Varela. Olivier is back to Switzerland where he joined a startup in Basel. Paula is back to Spain where she is doing a postdoc with Prof. Ángel R. de Lera and Prof. Rosana Álvarez (University of Vigo). And Ana joined the Institute of Cancer Research in London as a postdoc. Great job, everyone!
Congratulations to Ana on successfully passing her viva and becoming Dr. Varela!
Our review on the sterospecific functionalizations of boronic esters has been selected for the inside cover of Chemical Communications, Issue 40. The cover, entitled "Boron at the helm", features a famous steamship SS Great Britain, one of Bristol landmarks. Congrats to Chris!
Varinder has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Synthetic Organic Chemistry Award for 2017. This has been given for "highly creative work in the development of new synthetic methods based on the asymmetric homologation of boronic esters and their applications in natural and non-natural product synthesis".
As part of the Award, Varinder will deliver a number of lectures across UK universities.
Second year PhD student Siying Zhong won the 1st prize at the annual Organic and Biological Section Syngenta Poster Competition for postgraduate students. Her poster was titled Synergy of Computation, NMR and Synthesis Reveals True Baulamycin Structure. Contrats, Siying!
On 4 April, Bristol hosted its 17th Synthesis Meeting. We had five fantastic talks that proved chemistry is vibrant like never before. From total synthesis to methodology to bioengineering - one can make great discoveries everywhere. We want to thank all attendees, our sponsors, and of course the five incredibly inspirational speakers!
Please welcome our new and shiny Research page! With almost a dozen of detailed schemes, plus direct references, it is much more complete than the previous version.
The registration is now open for the Bristol Synthesis Meeting! We are glad to announce the following line-up of speakers:
Please visit the event page on the School of Chemistry website for further information.
Dr. Yahui Wang has left the lab. He is moving to China where he will become a professor at the Institute of Advanced Synthesis, Nanjing Tech University. We wish you the most spectacular career, Yahui!
The group has published a paper in Chemical Science on mono- and bidirectional homologation of diborylmethane. Congrats to Daniel, Damiano, Joe, and Helen!
Dr. Muhammad Imran has joined the lab. Welcome to Aggarwal group, Imran!
Our work on three-component trifluoromethylation/alkylation of furans has been published in ACIE (thus making it two group's papers in the same issue). Congrats to Yahui, Adam and Chris!
Our group has published total synthesis of (−)-Stemaphylline. The work features several lithiation-borylation reactions, inluding a late-stage lithiation–borylation with a tertiary amine containing carbenoid. Congrats to Ana and Lennart!
Lorenz Loffler, a visiting undergraduate student, has finished his placement and left for Germany. We wish Lorenz success in his PhD application and future career. You have been a fantastic student and made a really valuable contribution to the project.
Chris has successfully defended his PhD thesis and is now Dr. Christopher Brown. Congrats, Chris!
Chris was awarded second prize in the poster competition at the Late Stage Functionalization for Synthesis and Medicines Symposium, held at the University of Oxford.
Ana won a runner-up prize at the recent Royal Society of Chemistry’s Organic Division Poster Symposium. This is competitive event at which just 40 posters were presented, selected out of 117 applications from across the UK.
Lydia won the ChemMedChem Poster Presentation Award for her poster entitled ‘Conformationally Controlled Hydrocarbons as Scaffolds for Inhibitors of Protein–Protein Interactions’ at the recent Protein-Protein Interactions 2016 conference in London organised by the SCI and RSC.
Yahui won a poster prize for his work entitled 'Enantiospecific Alkynylation of Alkylboronic Esters & Three Component Coupling of Boronic Esters with Furans Triggered by Trifluoromethylation' at the International Conference on New Challenges in Organic Synthesis held at Guangzhou in China last week.
Marcin has successfully passed his PhD viva and now he is Dr. Marcin Odachowski. Congrats, Marcin!
Varinder has been elected to receive a Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in recognition of his academic achievements. These are highly prestigious Awards from Germany and are ‘…granted in recognition of a researcher's entire achievements to date to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future’.
Izzy has successfully passed her PhD viva and now she is Dr. Isabel Perez-Powell. Congrats, Izzy!
Adam Noble and Stefan Roesner have published in Angewandte Chemie on the total synthesis of tatanan A. The paper describes a short and highly stereoselective total synthesis of the sesquilignan natural product tatanan A, and its C-3 epimer using an assembly-line synthesis approach to install the three contiguous stereocenters with high enantio- and diastereoselectivity. Congrats to Adam and Stefan!
Daniel Blair, our former PhD student now working as postdoc at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded a prestigious Damon Runyon Fellowship. These highly competitive fellowships offer four years of postdoctoral research funding and are widely recognised as amongst the most prestigious postdoctoral fellowships at the chemistry/biomedical interface in the USA. Congrats, Daniel!
The group has published a paper on regio- and stereoselective homologation of 1,2-bis(boronic esters). The methodology allows to prepare 1,3-diols with impressive levels of stereocontrol (>95:5 d.r.) and is amenable to gram-scale synthesis. A natural product Sch725674 was prepared in 9 steps (LLS). Congrats to Alex, Dominik, Muhammad, and Joe!
Dr. Ella Kriemen has moved to Germany to join ARLANXEO as Head of Laboratory. Congratulations to Ella!
Congratulations to Izzy on winning RSC Teacher Training Scholarship for the academic year of 2016/2017. The scholarship – run in partnership with the Department of Education – includes a £25,000 bursary, free classroom materials, mentoring by an experienced teacher and free online CPD courses.
It is a very competitive process, awarded to those with an excellent understanding of chemistry at school level, a passion for chemistry, teaching, and the empathy, respect and humility needed to relate well to pupils.
During the rigorous selection process, Isabel had to complete an online application before being invited for an intensive interview.
Isabel intends to take up her scholarship when she starts her PGCE training in September 2016. She will train through the INSPIRE programme at Imperial College London. INSPIRE is designed to bridge the gap between STEM research and school science by recruiting able researchers who are good communicators.
Riccardo Mega and Steven Bennett has joined the lab as first-year PhD students. We wish them the most fruitful and enriching research experience!