Professor Richard J Whitby
Professor of Organic Chemistry
- Related links
Professor Richard J Whitby is Professor of Organic Chemistry within Chemistry at the University of Southampton.
Richard Whitby graduated with a BA in Natural Sciences from Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1982. After a PhD with Professor P. G. Sammes at the University of Leeds and a fellowship with Professor P. J. Kocienski at the University of Southampton he was appointed to a lectureship at Southampton in 1988. In 1995 he was awarded the Society of the Chemical Industry 'Young Chemists' award, the Zeneca Research Award in Organic Chemistry and the Pfizer Research Award in Chemistry. In 1996, Richard Whitby became a Reader and was also awarded the GlaxoWelcome 'Innovative Chemistry' Research Award. He was promoted to Professor of Organic Chemistry in 1999, the year in which he received the Royal Society of Chemistry Bader award.
He has published chapters in two books on zirconium chemistry, contributed to special issues of Tetrahedron and Synthesis dedicated to Organotransition metal chemistry applied to organic synthesis and presented his work at many international conferences.
He originated and leads the ‘Dial-a-Molecule’ Grand Challenge (www.dial-a-molecule.org) which has the 20-40 year aim of making the synthesis of new molecules as quick and easy as it currently is to order a commercial compound.
His research interests include total synthesis, particularly using transition metal chemistry to rapidly assemble structures; Novel polyaromatic and heteroaromatic compounds for applications in molecular and organic electronics, photovoltaics, and Organic Light Emitting Diodes; The synthesis and properties of endohedral fullerenes (such as H2O@C60) using molecular surgery; The development of flow and automated chemistry, particularly using in-situ analysis to allow rapid optimization and mechanistic investigation; The synthesis and evaluation of biologically active molecules including agonists and antagonists of the orphan nuclear receptors LRH-1 and SF-1; Development of cheminformatics in synthesis, particularly developing ways of capturing, sharing and using detailed data on reaction execution and outcomes.
He is currently a member of the Organic Division Council of the Royal Society of Chemistry and on the advisory board of the national Chemical Database Service.
Organic synthesis using early transition metal chemistry
Novel polyaromatic and heteroaromatic compounds for Organic and Molecular Electronics, Organic Light Emitting Diodes and Organic Photovoltaic devices.
Synthesis and properties of endohedral fullerenes
Investigation and optimization of reactions using automated and flow chemistry.
The orphan nuclear receptors LRH-1 and SF-1.