The Grainger Group

Developing new methods and strategies in synthetic organic chemistry

We are a synthetic organic chemistry research group based at the School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham. Follow the links on the left to find out more about us and what we do. For further information, and to enquire about opportunities to work in the group, contact Dr Grainger.

Latest Group News

June 2017: Research project grant from Leverhulme Trust on "Controlled release of reactive di- and triatomic molecules" to fund a 3 year PhD and a 3 year PDRA (advertised here).

May 2017: Joint publication with the Davies group in Chemical Communications on formal intramolecular cyclopropanations of α-sulfinyl carbenes using gold-catalysed oxidations of alkynyl sulfoxides.

May 2017: Richard gives a talk at the 23rd Lakeland Symposium on Heterocyclic Chemistry. Grasmere, UK.

April 2017: Congratulations to Richard Myerson on passing his PhD viva.

March 2017: Congratulations to Aliya Sembayeva on passing her MSc, and good luck in studying towards your PhD at Liverpool.

February 2017: Paige Rist joins the group to start her PhD, jointly supervised by Richard and Dr Paul Davies.

September 2016: Welcome to new group members: Alya Alotaibi, Kesar Jagdev and Nick Cundy start their studies towards a PhD, and Jessica Hall and Joseph Benford-Ward start their MSci research projects.

12th September 2016: Sanaz Ahmadipour passes her PhD viva. Congratulations Dr Ahmadipour! Good luck in your postdoc at Keele.

1st August 2016: Richard Myerson (PhD in the group) starts a new job with Peakdale Molecular. Well done Rich.

24th-29th July 2016: Richard gives a talk at the 27th Symposium on Organic Chemistry of Sulfur (ISOCS 27), Jena, Germany.

27th June 2016: Ben Rowsell joins the group to carry out an RSC-funded undergraduate summer research project.

27th April 2016: Joint publication with Tom Sheppard's group in UCL on gold catalysis in Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis.

11th April 2016: Sanaz Ahmadipour and Aliya Sembayeva present their work towards the total synthesis of dictyoxetane as a poster at the RSC Organic Chemistry Midlands Meeting, University of Birmingham, UK.

October 2015: Welcome to new group members Aliya Sembayeva, Stephen England, and Chris Corrigan.

12th August 2015: Congratulations to Michael Kyle on passing his PhD viva. Good luck in teacher training next year.

7th July 2015: First joint publication with the Davies group on gold catalysis/organosulfur chemistry. Matthew Barrett's PhD work on selective functionalisation of dibenzothiophenes is now open access on the Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry website.

24th June 2015: The first major review in 10 years on the chemistry of alkylidene carbenes is published by Richard and ex-group member Kevin Munro in Tetrahedron.

19th June 2015: Congratulations to our final year project students Jack, Laura, James and Aisha who have all achieved 1st class honours degrees in chemistry from the University of Birmingham.

12th June 2015: A new Grainger group publication in the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry describes our further work in the area [FeFe]-hydrogenase synthetic mimics.

8th September 2014: Grainger group research highlighted on the Organic Chemistry Portal.

18th August 2014: First publication in a new research area for the Grainger group. Carlotta's paper on [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Synthetic Mimics Based on Peri-Substituted Dichalcogenides published in Organometallics.

August 2014: Congratulations to ex-group member Bhaven Patel who will be taking up a lectureship at London Metropolitan University in the near future.

1st-2nd July 2014: Michael, Matthew, Sanaz and Rich present their work at the University of Birmingham, School of Chemistry Postgraduate Symposium. Mike wins first prize for his oral presentation, and Rich wins a prize for his poster.

25th April 2014: Matthew wins a prize for his poster at the RSC Organic Division Midlands Meeting at the University of Nottingham.

7th April 2014: Marie's full paper published in Chemistry: A European Journal.

20th September 2013: Richard contributes to the Bottle group research on nitroxide free radicals in a publication in Chemical Communications.

30th August 2013: Kevin's work on alkylidene carbenes is published in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry.

22nd August 2013: Kevin passes his PhD viva. Congratulations Dr Munro! Good luck in your new position at Evotec.

8th-12th July 2013: Carlotta Figliola gives an oral presentation of her work at the 10th International Hydrogenase Conference, Szeged, Hungary.

27th-28th July 2013: Carlotta, Michael and Matthew present their work at the University of Birmingham, School of Chemistry Postgraduate Symposium. Carlotta wins a prize for her oral presentation.

23rd May 2013: Marie passes her PhD viva. Congratulations Dr Betou! Good luck to Marie in her postdoc in Rennes, France.

February 2013: First group publication of 2013, reporting Tom's successful first total synthesis of the marine natural product kottamide E, is now on-line and free to download here.

February 2013: Congratulations to Dr Claire McMaster and Dr Tyrone Casey who have now both graduated with a PhD from the group. Good luck to Claire in her postdoc in the Czech Republic.

December 2012: All change in the membership of the group. Tom Parsons finishes his 3 years as a PDRA and returns to Oxford to join Ben Davis's group. Rich Myerson, a Birmingham graduate, joins the group as a PhD student to continue Tom's work towards a total synthesis of ingenol.

15th-17th December 2012: Marie Betou gives an oral presentation of her work as an invited RSC student representative at J-NOST 8, IIT Guwahati, India.

October 2012: New members join the group. Peter Dale joins us after graduating from Oxford to carry out a PhD in natural product synthesis. Omar Darwazeh, Nathan Chant and Stephen Chawner start their final year MSci undergraduate projects.

18th September 2012: Members of the group present their PhD research at the RSC Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group 27th Postgraduate Symposium, GSK, Stevenage, UK. Kevin gives an oral presentation and Marie and Carlotta present posters.

19-23rd August 2012: Kevin gives an oral presentation of his PhD research at the 244th ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, USA.

9th July 2012: Sanaz Ahmadipour, from Iran, joins the group to carry out a PhD on the total synthesis of dictyoxetane.

1st-5th July 2012: Richard gives an oral presentation at the International Symposium on Organic Free Radicals (ISOFR-11), Berne, Switzerland.

3rd July 2012: Marie, Kevin and Carlotta present posters at the North West Organic Chemistry symposium. Marie wins a poster prize. Well done Marie!

21st May 2012: Tom and Bene's work on the synthesis of the trans-hydrindane core of the marine natural product dictyoxetane is published in OBC.

15th May 2012: Claire's paper in OBC on radical mediated reduction of dithiocarbamates appears online.

26th April 2012: Marie gives an oral presentation at the SCI Regional Graduate Symposium on Novel Organic Chemistry, University College London, UK.

18th April 2012: Marie's publication in OrgLett appears online.

16th April 2012: Svetan Kolitcheff, from University of Caen, France, joins the group for 3 months.

13th April 2012: Kevin, Claire, Marie and Carlotta present posters at the RSC Organic Chemistry Midlands Meeting, University of Warwick, UK. Congratulations to Claire for winning a poster prize.

3rd-5th April 2012: Carlotta presents a poster at the Dalton 2012 conference, University of Warwick, UK.

27th-29th February 2012: Marie attends the AstraZeneca Medicinal & Process Chemistry Workshop, Macclesfield, UK.

5th December 2011: Marie presents her work at the RSC/Pfizer Neusentis Organic Chemistry Poster Symposium.

18th October 2011: Richard gives an invited lecture at the International Isotope Society, 20th Annual UK Group Symposium, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK.

3rd October 2011: Marie wins joint 1st prize for her oral presentation at the Eli Lilly postgraduate symposium, Eli Lilly, Windlesham, UK, 3rd October 2011. Well done Marie!

October 2011: New members join the group. PhD student Michael Kyle (MChem Loughborough) will continue Tyrone's work towards the total synthesis of phyllaemblic acid. Matthew Barrett (MChem, Southampton) will carry out a joint PhD with Dr Paul Davies on the use of sulfinyl containing compounds as oxidants in gold-catalysed transformations. Undergraduate project students Matthew Lloyd, Josh Smith and Nicola Mawby also get to experience the ups and downs of life as a synthetic organic chemist. Good luck!

23rd-25th September 2011: Richard gives a talk at the Gregynog Synthesis Workshop, Wales, UK.

22nd September 2011: Kevin, Claire and Marie present posters at the RSC Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group 26th Postgraduate Symposium, AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, UK.

11th July 2011: Kevin wins a year's subscription to Nature Chemistry as a poster prize at the 2011 CASE conference, held in the School of Chemistry. Well done Kevin!

31st July - 4th August 2011: Kevin presents a poster at the 3rd International Congress on Heterocyclic Chemistry, Glasgow, UK.

7th-8th July 2011: Clare, Kevin and Marie present their results at the annual School of Chemistry Research Symposium. Marie wins another poster prize!

21st June 2011: Our joint publication in EJOC with the group of Professor Stig Allenmark, Gothenberg University, Sweden, appears online.

25th May 2011: Richard gives a talk at the University of Sheffield, his alma mater.

13th May 2011: Tom and Cédric's publication in OBC on dibromoindoles appears online.
Update 9th July 2011: This paper is currently one of the most downloaded articles from the Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry website.

5th-9th May 2011: Richard, Marie and Tom attend the 20th RSC Lakeland Symposium at Grasmere in the Lake District. Richard gives an invited lecture, and Marie and Tom present posters. Marie wins a prize for one of the best 2 posters by a PhD student.

6th April 2011: Richard gives a talk at Cardiff University, UK.

28th March 2011: Bhaven's full paper in JACS on sulfur monoxide transfer appears online.

14th February 2011: Our publication in OBC, part of the special themed issue on Free Radical Chemistry in memory of Athel Beckwith, is published online. The work was started by Julie Carlisle while the group was still at King's College London, Bhaven Patel continued it as part of his PhD, and subsequently during his postdoc in collaboration with Professor Steve Bottle, Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Lots more people contributed along the way - a great team effort!