ORGANIC CHEMISTS FOCUSED ON CARBOHYDRATE SYNTHESIS

GROUP MEMBERS

MEET MEMBERS OF MILLER RESEARCH GROUP

POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

Miller Research Group - Team Member - Dr Imlirenla Pongener

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.

Miller Research Group - Team Member - Dr Imlirenla Pongener

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

Miller Research Group - Team Member - Caecilie Benckendorff

CAECILIE BENCKENDORFF

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

Miller Research Group - Team Member - Jack Porter

JACK PORTER

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.

Miller Research Group - Team Member - Alice Wahart

ALICE WAHART

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

Miller Research Group - Team Member - Hannah Wootton

HANNAH WOOTTON

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.

Miller Research Group - Team Member - Sean Evans

SEAN EVANS

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.

Miller Research Group - Team Member - Conor O'Shea

CONOR O’SHEA

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

Miller Research Group - Carbohydrate Tools

THIBAULT GUILLAUME

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.

MASTERS LEVEL

Miller Research Group - Team Member - Sasha Crouchman

SASHA CROUCHMAN

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.

Miller Research Group - Carbohydrate Tools

JOANITA NAMULINDA

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.

GROUP ALUMNI

Post-Doctoral

Miller Research Group - Carbohydrate Tools

DR MEENAKSHI SINGH

PDRA (2020-2021)

Worked on heparan sulfate oligosaccharide synthesis.

 

Miller Research Group - Carbohydrate Tools

DR AISLING NI CHEALLAIGH

PDRA (2017-2019)

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.

Miller Research Group - Carbohydrate Tools

DR SANAZ AHMADIPOUR

PDRA (2016-2019)

 Worked on the synthesis of sugar-nucleotide analogues

Now PDRA with Prof. Rob Field at MIB.

PhD

Miller Research Group - Carbohydrate Tools

DR LAURA BESWICK

PhD (2016-2019)

Chemoenzymatic synthesis of sugar-nucleotide analogue: tools to probe a strategic dehydrogenase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Now Scientist III, Oligonucleotide Manufacturing at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Miller Research Group - Carbohydrate Tools

DR ELENI DIMITRIOU

PhD (2016-2019)

Chemical synthesis of modified D-mannuronate building blocks: prospects for modified alginates.

Now API Development Scientist at Aptuit/Evotech, UK.

Miller Research Group - Carbohydrate Tools

DR MIEKE GUINAN

PhD (2017-2021)

Chemical synthesis and biological evaluation of 4’-thionucleosides.

Now Senior Scientist, Discovery Team at Symeres.

MASTERS LEVEL

 

2020

  • 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

2019

  • 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

2018

  • 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.

2017

  • Katie Huxley (MChem) – Towards a chemical synthesis of phenyl-5-nitro-α-D-lyxopyranoside. PhD with Lianne Willems @ York, now @ Sygnature.

2016

  • Jonathan Dolan (MChem) – Chemical Synthesis of GDP-D-ManA. Now PhD with Bruce Turnbull @ Leeds.
  • Jak Buxton (MChem) – Synthesis of modified mannuronate building blocks.

2015

  • 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.

Summer Students

 

2018

  • Hannah Wootton – (RSC Undergraduate Research Bursary) Mimetic sugar nucleotides to probe a strategic bacterial dehydrogenase enzyme

2015

  • Thomas Hailes – (RSC Undergraduate Research Bursary) Carbohydrate mimetic building blocks for β-1,4-alginate assembly.