School of Molecular Sciences

Molecular synthesis and catalysis

Molecular synthesis underpins applications in the chemical, biomedical and materials sciences, whilst work with the design of new catalysts and catalytic processes provides new bond forming tools and novel synthetic methodology.

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.
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.
Metals in chemistry and nanochemistry: Professor George Koutsantonis
Our group is interested in the role of metals in functional materials. While the role played by metals in materials is still evolving and there is an increasing effort to incorporate redox-active centres into many materials, for example conducting polymers, in an effort to create highly efficient redox conductivity for sensor, catalytic, photochemical and photoelectronic applications. We are participating members of the WA Centre of Excellence in Nanochemistry.
Molecular Steroidogenesis: Associate Professor Robert Tuckey
Current research involves the metabolism of vitamins D2 and D3 by cytochrome P450scc, and the activation and inactivation of vitamin D by other mitochondrial-type cytochromes P450 including CYP27A1, CYP27B1 and CYP24. With collaborators we are trying to develop new forms of vitamin D which are non-toxic and have therapeutic potential for the treatment of immune disorders and cancer.
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
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.
Organometallic chemistry and molecular electronics: Professor Paul Low
Molecular materials allow the fascinating range of optical, electronic and magnetic properties offered by molecules, and which can be manipulated through control over molecular composition and structure, to be applied in device platforms. We are particularly interested in understanding how changes in redox state can influence molecular electronic structure and hence opto-electronic properties, with particular emphasis on molecular electronic applications.
Structure and function of enzymes: Professor Paul Attwood
My research is generally focused on the investigation of enzyme action and regulation at the molecular level. The two major aspects of my research are:
  1. the mechanism of catalysis of pyruvate carboxylase and its allosteric regulation
  2. the structure, function and mammalian cell biology of histidine kinases.
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.

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