The organic chemists in York have international recognition for the development of contemporary innovative synthetic and self-assembly approaches to organic systems and fundamental and mechanistic investigations into their behaviour.

Working collaboratively across a broad range of science from synthetic, catalytic and analytical chemistry through to materials and medicines, we aim to translate this into diverse applications aligned with strategic research themes. Our expertise covers University research themes in Health and WellbeingEnvironmental Sustainability and Resilience and Technologies for the Future.

Our research is conducted in state-of-the-art, modern research laboratories and is well supported with a range of instrumentation. We have a strong community spirit and often incorporate cutting-edge research into our highly-rated teaching and outreach activities. 

We work in three key areas:

  • Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Supramolecular Soft-Smart Materials
  • Catalysis and Mechanistic Physical Organic Chemistry

Organic chemistry


Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro
  • Multi-Dimensionally Conjugated Supra(Macro)Molecular Materials
Victor Chechik
  • Nanoscale chemistry, free radicals, EPR spectroscopy
Paul A Clark
  • Natural Products, Medicinal Chemistry and Origins of Life
Ian Fairlamb
  • Catalysis and Synthetic Chemistry: Reactivity, Mechanism and Application
Michael James
  • Charge-Transfer Complexes in Organic Synthesis
Peter O'Brien
  • Development of New Methods in Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry
Anne Routledge
  • Bio-organic, Solid-phase and Green Chemistry
David K Smith
  • Supramolecular and Nanoscale Chemistry
Chris Spicer
  • Biomaterials and tissue engineering

Richard J K Taylor
  • Total Synthesis and Development of New Synthetic Methodology
William Unsworth
  • Novel methods to synthesise functionalised molecules: macrocycles, spirocycles, heterocycles and natural products