Personal profile

Research interests

Research in the Frost group involves creating new chemical tools for catalysis and biosensing. We are dedicated to developing sustainable approaches to synthesis through efficient catalysis and we have made some creative and important contributions to this area. The delivery of distinct structural complexity with scalability in an efficient and innovative manner is central to drug discovery programmes. Tandem catalysis presents a number of opportunities for the synthetic chemist to improve chemical transformations. The realisation of new tandem synthetic methodology forms a significant part of our research programme. The objective is to produce highly functionalised drug-like molecules from readily available feedstocks. Current projects involve transition metal catalysed conjugate addition, cross-coupling and exploring new concepts and selectivities in C-H activation.

To date, only a very narrow range of cutting-edge synthetic methods has been exploited to prepare designer biomolecules, despite the great attractiveness and potential high impact of using adventurous chemistry to access (for instance) custom bioconjugation, novel biotracers and other new functionalised biochemical tools to aid drug discovery. The synthetic modification of proteins is a growing area at the interface of chemistry and biology. The selective conjugation of biochemical probes can help understand how a natural protein functions or change a proteins function entirely. The tethering of “capture” sites to proteins can help identify new inhibitors of protein-protein and protein-DNA binding which in turn can lead to new drugs. We have developed new synthetic methods and new reagents for the conjugation of functional molecules to proteins and oligonucleotides. We also lead an inter-disciplinary research program developing a bioelectronic approach to the detection of specific DNA segments and protein markers. This technology contributed to the launch of a University spin out Atlas Genetics Ltd, a diagnostic company developing ultra-rapid point-of-care tests for a range of infectious diseases.

Academic Biography

  • BSc(Hons) at the University of Loughborough 1987-1991
  • PhD in Asymmetric Catalysis (with Jonathan M. J. Williams) at the University of Loughborough-1991-1994.
  • Post-doctoral research fellowship with Prof. Philip D. Magnus at the University of Texas at Austin 1994-1996.
  • Lecturer/Reader/Professor at the University of Bath 1996–Present. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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