GROUP MEMBERSMEET MEMBERS OF MILLER RESEARCH GROUP
DR IMLIRENLA PONGENER
Ren is from Nagaland, India. She completed her BSc from Christ University Bangalore, India. In 2014, she moved to Dublin, Ireland to do an MSc in Chemistry from University College Dublin during which she carried out a research project on organocatalysis in the McGarrigle group. She then pursued her PhD in the McGarrigle group and her work focused on Methodology Development for Stereoselective Glycosylations. After completing her PhD in 2019, she continued as a PDRA in the McGarrigle group during which she worked on Beta-Mannosylations.
DR JONATHAN DOLAN
Jonathan is from Reading, Berkshire and graduated with an MChem from Keele University in 2017. During his time at Keele, he completed 3rd and 4th year projects focussing on continuous flow iodination of enaminones and the chemical synthesis of GDP-α-D-ManUA. Jonathan moved to the University of Leeds in September 2017 to begin a PhD with Prof. Bruce Turnbull and Dr Mike Webb on developing site-specific methods for preparation of glycoconjugates supported by Iceni Glycoscience, Norwich, as part of an BBSRC White Rose DTP iCASE studentship award. Jonathan returned to the group in January 2022 where his research will focus on chemoenzymatic modification of glycosaminoglycans.
PhD STUDENTS – 4th YEAR
Caecilie is from Aarhus, Denmark. She moved to the UK in 2010, and began her studies at the University of Aberdeen in 2013, where she graduated in 2018 with a first class MChem degree. Her final year MChem project was undertaken at the University of Bergen, which involved the synthesis for ligands for riboswitches – a newly discovered novel target for antibiotics. During her project, she successfully synthesised the compound Ribocil C, and one analogue. Caecilie joined the group in September 2018, where her research focuses on the design and synthesis of novel nucleoside analogues in collaboration with Riboscience LLC.
PhD STUDENTS – 3rd YEAR
Jack is from Burnley, Lancashire and studied at Sheffield Hallam University where he graduated in 2019 with a MChem degree. His final year research project focused on the design and synthesis of third generation photosensitisers for use in photodynamic therapy, with the aim of overcoming current drawbacks such as limited bioavailability. This involved the synthesis of A3B type porphyrins that allow for conjugation of property enhancing ligands. Jack joined the group in September 2019, where his research will focus on the synthesis of modified glucose building blocks for biopolymer assembly, in conjunction with CRODA.
Alice is from Poitiers (France) and studied at the University of Orléans where she graduated in 2019 with a Masters degree in Molecular Chemistry. Her final Masters project was undertaken at the University of St Andrews (Scotland), which involved the synthesis of the 1,4-thiazine by flash vacuum pyrolysis – this molecule has never been reproduced since its discovery in 1948 by C. Barkendus and P.S. Landis (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1948, 70, 684-685). Alice joined the group in October 2019, where her research will focus on the synthesis of modified mannose building blocks for polymer assembly, in conjunction with CRODA.
PhD STUDENTS – 2nd YEAR
Hannah is from Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire where she obtained a first class MChem degree from Keele University in 2019. At Keele, she undertook a final year research project which focused on the chemical synthesis of a non-self sugar-nucleotide tool for probing a bacterial biosynthesis enzyme. After graduation, she spent a year in industry as an Associate Scientist at Cyprotex where she planned and conducted ADME assays for compounds in the preclinical stages of pharmaceutical drug discovery. Hannah joined the group in September 2020 where her research focus investigates the chemical synthesis of oligosaccharide targets alongside new ligation technologies for their conjugation to fluorophores.
Sean is from Liverpool and studied Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry at the University of St Andrews, graduating in 2018. He returned to St Andrews to complete an MSc (Res) advancing a synthesis towards the communesin natural products. Sean joined the group in January 2021 where his research will focus on using chemoenzymatic approaches to explore polysaccharide structure-property relationships, in conjunction with Unilever.
Conor is from Cavan, Ireland. He studied in University College Dublin where he graduated in 2020 with a B.A. of science majoring in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology. His final year research project involved synthesising catalysts in order to obtain more stereoselective control in glycosylation reactions.
PhD STUDENTS – 1st YEAR
Thibault is from Annecy (France) and studied at the University of Lyon where he graduated in 2021 with a Masters degree in Organic Chemistry. During his final year research project he studied photocatalysed reactions in order to build chemical libraries. Thiabult joined the group in February 2022 where his research will focus on the synthesis of next-generation nucleoside analogues in collaboration with Riboscience LLC.
Sasha is from Coventry, Warwickshire. She studied Chemistry with medicinal chemistry at Keele University where she graduated in 2021. Her final year project focused on the synthesis and design of E-series resolvins. Sasha joined the group in September 2021 where her MRes project focuses on investigating the chemical synthesis of a disaccharide chemical probe.
Joanita is from Newcross, London. She is studying Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry at Keele. Her third year project focused on the synthesis and design of D-series resolvins and she joined the group in September 2021, where her MChem project focuses on synthetic approaches to novel probes for a fungal sugar nucleotide transporter.
DR MEENAKSHI SINGH
Worked on heparan sulfate oligosaccharide synthesis.
DR AISLING NI CHEALLAIGH
Worked on the synthesis of oligosaccharide targets. Visiting researcher from Stefan Oscarson’s group at UCD
Now Research Fellow at Future Biomanufacturing Research Hub, MIB.
DR LAURA BESWICK
Chemoenzymatic synthesis of sugar-nucleotide analogue: tools to probe a strategic dehydrogenase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Now Scientist III, Oligonucleotide Manufacturing at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
DR ELENI DIMITRIOU
Chemical synthesis of modified D-mannuronate building blocks: prospects for modified alginates.
Now API Development Scientist at Aptuit/Evotech, UK.
DR MIEKE GUINAN
Chemical synthesis and biological evaluation of 4’-thionucleosides.
Now Senior Scientist, Discovery Team at Symeres.
- Jamie Payton (MChem) – Chemical synthesis of a fluorinated glucosyl ceramide
- Lorna Scholl (MChem) – Chemical Synthesis of Precursors Towards the Synthesis of Fluorinated Carbocyclic Nucleoside Analogues. Now Scientist at Cyprotex
- Lloyd Murphy (MChem) – Chemical synthesis of a sulfoxide nucleoside analogue. Now PhD with Lianne Willems @ York
- Alex Compton (MChem) – Chemical synthesis of a 6’,6’-difluorinated nucleoside analogue
- Mitchell Loach (MChem) – Chemical synthesis of a C6-homologue of mannose 1-phosphate.
- Hannah Wootton (MChem) – Chemical synthesis of a non-self alginate building block. Now PhD with GJM @ Keele.
- Katie Huxley (MChem) – Towards a chemical synthesis of phenyl-5-nitro-α-D-lyxopyranoside. PhD with Lianne Willems @ York, now @ Sygnature.
- Jonathan Dolan (MChem) – Chemical Synthesis of GDP-D-ManA. Now PhD with Bruce Turnbull @ Leeds.
- Jak Buxton (MChem) – Synthesis of modified mannuronate building blocks.
- Xiaotong Sun (MSc) – Glycosylation methodology development for uronate building blocks
- Shi Jiali (MSc) – Anomeric activation methodology development for the assembly of complex oligosaccharides.
- Nathan Scott (MChem) – Glycosylation methodology development for uronate building blocks
- Rhys Curzon (MChem) – Synthesis of modified mannuronate donors.
- Hannah Wootton – (RSC Undergraduate Research Bursary) Mimetic sugar nucleotides to probe a strategic bacterial dehydrogenase enzyme
- Thomas Hailes – (RSC Undergraduate Research Bursary) Carbohydrate mimetic building blocks for β-1,4-alginate assembly.