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The University of Southampton
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Professor Richard C D Brown 

Professor of Organic Chemistry

Professor Richard C  D Brown's photo
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Professor Richard C D Brown is Professor of Organic Chemistry within Chemistry at the University of Southampton.

Richard Brown received a first class honours degree in chemistry from the University of Southampton in 1990. He remained at Southampton for postgraduate studies under the guidance of Professor Kocienski F.R.S., obtaining his Ph.D. in 1994 for his thesis 'Furan Oxidation Applied to the Synthesis of Salinomycin'.  With a  move to the University of California Berkeley in 1994 to take up a NATO postdoctoral fellowship in Professor Clayton Heathcock’s research group, his synthetic efforts switched from complex polyether ionophores to alkaloids, specifically the syntheses of the alkaloids petrosin C and petrosin D. On his return to the UK in 1996, he took up a six-month sabbatical at Pfizer Central Research before being awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, also in 1996, to join the faculty at the University of Southampton.  He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2004 and to Professor in 2010.  He is currently deputy head of Chemistry for Research. 

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One of the main interests in our research group is the total synthesis of natural products. Most of these natural product targets possess interesting or useful biological and pharmacological activities. Some examples of natural products synthesised by our group.

Research Funding


2016 – 2019 Flow electrosynthesis: an enabling technology for sustainable synthesis of pharmaceuticals [EPSRC: Co-operative Award in Science and Engineering research studentship EP/N509747/1] 

2015 – 2018 Novel Hybrid Reactivators of Acetylcholinesterases Poisoned with Organophosphorous Chemical Warfare Agents [dstl UK France PhD studentship. Brown (PI) with Baati (Strasbourg Co-I)].

2015 – 2018 POLYMAT [EPSRC: Brown (Co-I) with Vaughan (PI) EP/N002199/1]

2016 – 2018 Lilly Research Award Program Grant (Flow Electrosynthesis) [Brown (PI) with Harrowven (Co-I)]

2013 – 2017 Factory in a Fumehood: Reagentless Flow Reactors as Enabling Techniques for Manufacture (EPSRC: EP/L003325/1. Brown (Co-I) with Booker-Milburn (Bristol PI) and Harrowven (Co-I))



Research Keywords

Organic synthesis, total synthesis of natural products, asymmetric synthesis, organic electrosynthesis

Research group

Organic Chemistry: Synthesis, Catalysis and Flow

Research project(s)

Total Synthesis of Natural Products

Flow Electrosynthesis

Metal Oxo-Mediated Methodology: Oxidative Cyclisation of 1,5-dienes

Oxidative Cyclisation: Total Syntheses of Acetogenins

Solid-Phase Organic Synthesis


LabFact is a project that involves 6 institutes and one company within the FCE region (CNRS, ENSICAEN, Universities of Caen, Rouen, Sussex and Southampton and Pareon Chemicals), bringing together world experts in flow chemistry and reagentless synthesis. 

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Key Publications

    Professor Richard C D Brown
    Chemistry University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

    Room Number : 30/3005

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