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Welcome to the pages of the Snaith research group.

The links give more information on our research activities, recent publications, current vacancies and teaching related information for Birmingham University students.

Our research is focused in two main areas: synthetic organic chemistry, principally the development of new synthetic methodology, and chemical biology. In synthetic organic chemistry we are examining novel routes for the asymmetric synthesis of heterocyclic molecules such as piperidines, sub-units found very widely in pharmaceuticals and biologically active natural products. We use a variety of cyclisation reactions to form the heterocyclic ring with control of new stereocentres, including radical chemistry, ene reactions and Prins reactions. We are also looking at the application of a variety of new organosilanes in asymmetric synthesis.

Our work in chemical biology is divided in to two main areas: peptide chemistry and the use of photolabile “caging” groups to study fast biological processes. We synthesise unnatural peptides to study how T cells differentiate between peptide-MHC complexes, and we also prepare peptide conjugates in which the peptides act as vehicles for targeting diagnostic medical imaging agents and pharmaceuticals within the body. In our second area of interest, photo-protected enzyme substrates are employed to study fast biological processes. The substrate is protected (“caged”) to make it inactive. Release of the free substrate by a flash of laser light initiates the biological reaction, allowing us to monitor substrate turnover using fast spectroscopic techniques.

 

PhD Opportunity:

Positions are now available for PhD studies in topics outlined on the research page. Contact us for further information regarding enrollment.