School of Chemistry
Booker-Milburn Group



Dr Jonathan Knowles


Jon is a PDRA working on the photochemistry of substituted pyrroles. Originally from the North East, Jon obtained his undergraduate degree and PhD at Durham University, the latter involving the synthesis of polyenes using novel, stereoselective methodology. Following a brief post-doctoral position, Jon spent two years working in industry, where work covered a range of fields including API synthesis and the development of new methodology for drug delivery.

MChem. Hons. Chemistry, Durham University 2001-2005
PhD Durham University 2005-2008

PDRA, Durham University, Jan 2009 - Sept 2009
Research Chemist, High Force Research Ltd., Sept 2009 -Sept 2011

Single malt whisky
Real ale


Selected Publications:
Mechanistic studies on the Heck-Mizoroki cross-coupling reaction of a hindered vinylboronate ester as a key approach to developing a highly stereoselective synthesis of a C1-C7 triene synthon for viridenomycin, Andrei S. Batsanov, Jonathan P. Knowles and Andrew Whiting, J. Org. Chem. 2007, 72, 2525-2532. DOI.

The effects of ring size and substituents on the rates of acid-catalysed hydrolysis of five- and six-membered ring cyclic ketone acetals, Jonathan P. Knowles and Andrew Whiting, Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2007, 20, 3365-3368. DOI.

A novel, efficient, diastereo- and enantio-selective Mukaiyama aldol-based synthesis of the cyclopentenone core of viridenomycin, Andrei S. Batsanov, Jonathan P. Knowles, Andrew P. Lightfoot, Graham Maw, Carl E. Thirsk, Steven J. R. Twiddle and Andrew Whiting, Org. Lett. 2007, 9, 5565-5568. DOI.

A stereoselective palladium-mediated reductive coupling of electron deficient terminal iodoalkenes, Andrei S. Batsanov, Jonathan P. Knowles, Benedict Sansam and Andrew Whiting, Adv. Synth. Catal. 2008, 350, 227-233. DOI.