PhD studies at Monash University with G B Deacon and D StC Black. Postdoctoral research at Imperial College with W B Motherwell, 1987-1989. SSP at Cambridge University in 1997 with Professor Steven Ley. Appointed Lecturer UNSW, 1990; Senior Lecturer UNSW 1999-.
Our research covers a range of areas, from medicinal chemistry to organic synthetic methodology. Collaborative research with Dr Laurence Wakelin (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences) and Professor David Black (Chemistry) is being pursued looking at novel DNA binding agents for possible anticancer applications. Classes of compounds being investigated are as diverse as new ellipticine analogues, potential metallointercalation reagents and acridine-based DNA-threading drugs.
In the quest for new synthetic methods, we have developed the use of the free radical addition of arenesulfonyl halides to alkenes and alkynes giving iodosulfones and thence vinyl sulfones as a route to heterocyclic molecules. This key reaction has led to the development of a diastereoselective synthesis of simple heterocyclic assemblies, and further application to natural product synthesis is being investigated. We are also interested in heteroatoms as controlling elements in organic reactions, such as the use of phosphorus containing groups to activate dienophiles for Diels-Alder reactions.