Connections made through OxSynC take many different forms. Sometimes the initial connection can be the start of a very productive collaboration that leads to peer-reviewed publications, successful grant applications or even commercial spin-out opportunities. Often projects are started that grow into productive research areas. Sometimes just an informal email conversation with one of our experts can give you the knowledge you need to proceed on your own. Occasionally, after contacting one of the experts it might decided that the problem was different to what you thought it was and you might not need a chemist after all. Some of the previous connections that we have facilitated are given below.


Update: October 2014

Kenny Moore (Sir William Dunn School of Pathology) connected with David Hodgson

Supported in part by OxSynC, Prof Hodgson and Dr Moore collaborated to test Hyperolactone C and analogues as potential inhibitors of HIV-1 replication. This work has recently been reported in the Journal of Organic Chemistry.


Update: August 2014

Mark Howarth (Dept of Biochemistry) connected with Tim Donohoe

After being put in touch through OxSynC, a successful collaborative research area is growing between these two academics regarding synthetic analogs to probe the binding of biotin. A post-doctoral research assistant in the Donohoe group synthesised a number of analogs and crystal structures have already been obtained of these bound to Streptavidin. This work has recently been published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. A joint grant application will be submitted in the near future.

Veronica Buckle (Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine) connected with Thomas Brown

Following discussions initiated by OxSynC, a BBSRC grant has been awarded for a post-doctoral researcher to work jointly within the Buckle and Brown groups to develop new fluorescent probes for labelling nucleic acids in order to increase resolution and sensitivity in DNA and RNA imaging studies.



Previous connections

Eric O'Neill (Dept of Oncology) connected with Angela Russell

After being connected through OxSynC, these two are working together. A post-doctoral research assistant in the Russell group is now making compounds for testing. They have also put in a joint bid for a scholarship together.

Stephen Hesselbo (Dept of Earth Sciences) connected with Jeremy Robertson

This query that came from the Dept of Earth Sciences has led to a summer student working on this project area in the Robertson group. The investigations have involved HPLC assays and also mass spectrometric investigations with James McCullagh.

Dept of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics connected with Jeremy Robertson

Jeremy Robertson was contacted by a group from the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG) seeking help to characterize certain esters that were being evaluated as a food additive. Structural analysis within the Chemistry Department here soon established that these esters were not what they were assumed to be. Therefore the Robertson group conducted an unambiguous synthesis of the genuine esters, which were then found to be unpalatable. This led to the release of funding to support a post doc who prepared a number of new esters, one of which seemed to possess all the desired biological attributes. A first 60 kg batch of this ester was prepared which allowed toxicity and efficacy tests to be initiated.

Outcome: This groundwork led to the release of significant funding to the DPAG group, three patents and two academic publications have been published to date, and this work gave impetus to the company that was spun out around this compound, TdeltaS.

David Greaves (Dunn School of Pathology) connected with Angela Russell

Angela Russell and David Greaves from the Dunn School of Pathology had a discussion during a meeting in New College, Oxford University about the lack of useful chemical tools to selectively probe GPCR function. This led to the initiation of a collaboration to develop selective CB2 receptor agonists as anti-inflammatory agents, and joint funding was subsequently secured from the BHF Centre of Research Excellence in Oxford.

Outcome: Currently, a patent application has been filed through ISIS Innovation and two publications are due to follow.



Cathy Ye (Institute of Biomedical Engineering) connected with Ben Davis

This group from Institute of Biomedical Engineering contacted OxSynC as they wanted to develop a set of simple protocols that enabled easy, repeatable and irreversible binding of peptides and proteins onto a polymer or glass surface under physiological conditions. They were put in touch with Ben Davis in the Dept of Chemistry and met to discuss some initial ideas on the project.

Tom Milne (Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine) connected with Chris Schofield

Some demethylase inhibitors were synthesised in the Schofield group and sent to the Institute for testing. Work is ongoing in the area, with more inhibitors planned.

Tom Milne (Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine) connected with Stuart Conway

The group of Stuart Conway recently completed the synthesis of some bromodomain inhibitors and these are now being tested at the Institute.

Andrew Wilkie (Clinical Genetics) connected with Jeremy Robertson

A CanBas compound, CBS9106, was identified as a CRM1 inhibitor; of potential relevance to ERF-related craniosynostosis. A collaboration was started to synthesise this specific compound to try to validate the connection. This project is still in the synthetic stage.

David Beeson (Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine) connected with Angela Russell


Shijie Cai/Adrian Harris (Dept of Oncology) connected with Angela Russell


Susan Greenfield (Dept of Pharmacology) connected with Harry Anderson


Chris Garland (Dept of Pharmacology) connected with Tim Donohoe


David Greaves (Dunn School of Pathology) connected with Stuart Conway


Simon Kollnberger (NDORMS) connected with Paul Brennan (Structural Genetics Consortium)


Simon Butt (Dept of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics) connected with Stuart Conway


Jake Bundy (Imperial College London) connected with Jeremy Robertson

This enquiry has seen the Robertson group look into the synthesis of some simple furan derivatives.

Paul Klenerman (Nuffield Department of Medicine) connected with Angela Russell


Guillaume Stewart Jones (Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine) connected with Ben Davis


David Jackson (Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine) connected with Ben Davis