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University of Manchester

University of Manchester

758 Projects, page 1 of 152
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 842422
    Overall Budget: 212,934 EURFunder Contribution: 212,934 EUR

    Nitrogen-containing compounds underpin every aspect of our life: they form the structural basis of almost all drugs, agrochemicals and materials. The invention of methods to form C–N bonds is of strategic importance to discover and evolve molecules with direct implications on our lives. Central to this quest is designing synthetic strategies able to explore novel areas of chemical space. As the pharmaceutical sector is now aware of the greater clinical success of molecules with 3D architectures, developing methods able to assemble 3D-shaped and saturated building blocks is a topic of continuous scientific endeavour. The small and strained bicyclo[1.1.1]pentyl motif has been identified as a valuable bioisoter to replace flat (2D) aromatics and improve the potency of lead molecules. However, difficulties in preparing and modifying this structural element have severely limited its use in medicinal chemistry. There is an urgent need to develop novel methods that can effectively manipulate and introduce this motif into organic compounds. This project seeks to substantially expand the fields of photocatalysis and nitrogen-radicals by introducing the concept of “photoredox strain-release”: a novel reactivity that explores the ability of nitrogen-radicals to react with strained hydrocarbons (eg propellane) and enable a unique preparation of polyfunctionalized bicyclo[1.1.1]pentylamines. This research capitalizes on recent developments of the host group that has disclosed 2 novel ways to effectively generate nitrogen radicals. This reactivity will be integrated with other reaction platform allowing the divergent 1-step construction of many important nitrogenated 3D-building blocks that cannot be prepared by any other method. The development of such an innovative and ambitious project at the University of Manchester will be facilitated by generating, transferring, sharing and disseminating knowledge, and will enhance my future career following the training plan envisioned.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 665632
    Overall Budget: 147,964 EURFunder Contribution: 147,964 EUR

    Research undertaken on ERC Advanced Grant 226593 (COORDSPACE) has delivered a new exciting range of metal organic frameworks (MOFs). These substances show ultra-high porosity and this makes them ideal for many high value commercial applications, including gas separations. Of specific interest is NOTT-300, a unique, porous solid with exceptional, selective, CO2 and SO2 uptake properties and remarkable acetylene vs ethylene, ethylene vs ethane, and CO2 vs CH4 separation abilities. We now target the incorporation of NOTT-300 into gas separation media to impart these systems with the extraordinary properties of NOTT-300 to fulfil an urgent unmet need within a range of industries. This project will develop and deliver a market-ready mixed matrix membrane (MMM) incorporating NOTT-300

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 839526
    Overall Budget: 224,934 EURFunder Contribution: 224,934 EUR

    The development of methods for the transition metal (TM) catalyzed functionalisation of C–H bonds has emerged as an extremely important topic in present-day organic synthesis aiming at providing tools that allow treating the ubiquitous and normally inert C–H bonds as any other functional group for synthetic modifications. However, controlling the site of C–H activation or distinguishing between the subtle differences in reactivity of two given C–H bonds is one of the major challenges yet to be addressed. In this context, meticulous design of directing groups (DG) over the last decades has enabled a variety of relatively unreactive C–H bonds to be functionalised under transition metal catalysis. To date, much progress has been made in developing strategies for the ortho-functionalisation of arenes mainly through the installation of DGs in the stoichiometric amount. However, these DGs are not part of the final target molecule; as a consequence, its covalent installation and/or removal from the substrate will add additional steps to the synthetic sequence thus lowering the efficiency and applicability of these approaches. On the other hand, distal meta- and para-C–H functionalisation approaches, are extremely scarce despite these substitutions are widespread motifs amongst biologically active molecules. The research outlined in this proposal aims at developing a process that makes use of a transient DG in a catalytic amount which binds reversibly with carbonyl compounds via imine formation leading to a novel direct meta- and para-functionalisation methodology. Precisely, we seek to develop a protocol that removes the need for the use of stoichiometric directing groups to activate distal C–H bonds. The realization of the proposed objectives will push the boundaries of the state-of-the-art in the area of remote C–H bond functionalisation by providing atom and step economical access to molecules that are difficult to prepare via conventional multi-step routes.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 837966
    Overall Budget: 212,934 EURFunder Contribution: 212,934 EUR

    The challenge of better knowing the complex relationship between bone's morphology and function has yielded tens of articles since the beginning of the last century and is essential for making positional behavioural inferences on fossil taxa. Despite its relevance, the form-function relationship is still poorly understood. Based on this premise, this project focuses on deciphering the functional loading environment and its influence on skeletal design in the hindlimb of living primates and shedding light on the locomotor evolution of fossil apes and early hominins. The fossil apes included in this project constitute key taxa for understanding the positional behaviour evolution within the Hominoidea (the apes and humans clade), which has important implications for a better knowledge of the evolutionary pathway that led to the specialized locomotor types of extant apes and humans (specialized antipronograde behaviours such as below-branch suspension and human terrestrial bipedalism). To accomplish the aims, this project will rely on diverse, multidisciplinary and innovative techniques, including biomechanical and engineering approaches (e.g., multibody dynamics analysis, computer optimization, machine learning and data science), phylogenetic comparative methods, and collection of experimental data (e.g., recording of live primates kinematics). This project also involves an important component of training for the applicant and several short stays to gain a diversified and unique set of skills and knowledge on the field of paleoprimatology and evolutionary biology. Hence, this project will extend our knowledge on the bone's form-function relationship, as well as the origin, tempo and mode of the hominoids positional behaviour evolution, including key long-lasting questions related to the origins of human bipedalism.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101018825
    Overall Budget: 212,934 EURFunder Contribution: 212,934 EUR

    The formation of carbon–nitrogen bonds is crucial to the preparation of molecules that impact almost every aspects of our lives like drugs, agrochemicals and food additives. In text-books, creating C–N bonds is approached considering the natural nucleophilic character of N-molecules in substitution reactions with alkyl halides. In practice, these reactions are only used in the case of highly reactive substrates with low steric hinderance (e.g. primary amines + primary alkyl halides). The vast majority of substrates require forcing conditions which lead to side reactions like elimination or poly alkylation. To by-pass these issues multi-step approaches, based on extensive functional group manipulations, are still required. There is an urgent need of methods enabling to directly “plug” complex N-molecules into complex alkyl halides. This project aims at providing a conceptually novel approach to perform substitution reactions between N-nucleophiles and alkyl halides. This will be achieved by developing a radical reactivity where alpha-aminoalkyl radicals convert alkyl halides into C-radicals by halogen-atom transfer (XAT) and a copper catalyst binds the N-nucleophiles and enables amination. Upon achieving this initial goal, I aim to extend and engineer this reactivity as part of complex radical cascades leading to structurally complex chemotypes. The proposal capitalizes on recent developments of the host group that has experience in XAT and the development of catalytic reactions for the formation of C–N bonds. The development of this innovative project at the University of Manchester will create new tools in bio-organic chemistry and facilitate the preparation of high-value materials. Its implementation will be facilitated by generating, transferring, sharing and disseminating knowledge, and will enhance my future career following the training plan envisioned.

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