School of Molecular Sciences

Organic chemistry

The breadth of research in organic chemistry at UWA reflects the diversity of form and function of carbon-based compounds.

Carbohydrate chemistry and chemical glycobiology: Dr Keith Stubbs
Glycobiology is the study of the structures and roles of carbohydrates in biology. Carbohydrates are present in every living system and traditionally, have been known for their role in structural integrity and as energy sources.
Computational and theoretical chemistry: Dr Amir Karton
During the past decade, computational chemistry has had an increasingly important impact on almost all branches of chemistry as a powerful approach for solving chemical problems at the molecular level.

The increasing computational power provided by supercomputers and the emergence of highly accurate theoretical procedures make contemporary computational chemistry one of the most detailed 'microscopes' currently available for examining the atomic and electronic details of molecular processes.

In my lab we use supercomputers in conjunction with very accurate theoretical methods to elucidate the reaction paths, kinetics, and the mechanisms in salient organic, organometallic and enzymatic systems.
Nanobiotechnology: Professor Swaminatha Iyer
Nanobiotechnology is a branch of nanotechnology with biological and biochemical applications.
Our research explores the synthesis, characterisation and application of novel polymer based formulations for biomedical applications. Using surface chemistry on tailor polymers we aim to track and deliver payloads to image and improve the outcome in various medical emergencies.

Other lab group members: Dr Marck Norret, Dr Tristan Clemons
Natural products and chemical ecology: Dr Gavin Flematti
Agricultural activities often have (positive and negative) impacts on the environment. We study the interactions between farming and the environment. This includes how farmers respond to environmental changes, and how government policy can best address agro-environmental issues.

Our research covers climate change impacts on agriculture, land degradation, carbon storage on farms, perennial farming systems, salinity management, and more.
Organometallic chemistry and catalysis: Professor Reto Dorta
Our research is directed toward the preparation of reactive transition metal complexes for stoichiometric and catalytic applications. We focus our attention on the development of new chiral and non-chiral auxiliary ligand systems which are able to bind, activate and functionalize the substrates at the metal center.

The ultimate goal of the research program is to identify new ligand families and their corresponding metal complexes for new, more selective or more widely applicable catalytic transformations.
Secondary metabolite biosynthesis : Dr Yit-Heng Chooi
My research interests are on the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in fungi and to uncover the bio-ecological roles of these molecules using a combination of functional genomics, synthetic biology and chemical ecology. The two current research themes are
  • unveiling small molecules involved in fungal pathogen-host interactions
  • improving the tools for translating microbial genomic information to bioactive molecules.
Synthetic chemistry: Professor Murray Baker
We aim to apply our skills in synthesis to problems in areas such as catalysis, nanotechnology, surface science, biological chemistry/medicine, polymer science, molecular recognition, and sensors.
Synthetic chemistry: Dr Scott Stewart
Research interests include the construction of biologically active natural products utilising modern organic synthetic methods.
Synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and chemical biology: Associate Professor Matthew Piggott
Our expertise in organic and medicinal chemistry is applied to the design and synthesis of therapeutic drug candidates and small molecule probes to help investigate complex biological systems. We have several active collaborations with more biologically orientated scientists and opportunities for cross-disciplinary projects exist.

The synthesis of biologically active natural products and novel aromatic molecules with potential applications in organic electronics, supramolecular chemistry, and as components of molecular machines are other areas of interest.