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Key Capabilities: Chemistry

The drug discovery programme at The University of Oxford draws on the key competencies of the Department of Chemistry, with expertise including natural product synthesis, asymmetric synthesis and high-speed parallel array synthesis, in silico modelling, carbohydrate chemistry and molecular imaging.
Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry

We have many groups within Chemistry with diverse expertise. These include methodology development, natural product synthesis, carbohydrate chemistry, medicinal chemistry, organometallic chemistry and radiochemistry. View our experts in Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry.
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The EPSRC has funded the new Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthesis for Biology and Medicine (SBM CDT), based in the Department of Chemistry. This is a 4-year DPhil programme that offers joint academic-industrial training in all aspects of synthesis coupled with an in-depth appreciation of its application to biology and medicine. The SBM CDT will adopt an IP-free model to allow completely unfettered exchange of information, know-how and specific expertise between students and supervisors on different projects and across different industrial companies. Our goal is to generate highly trained, well-balanced researchers capable of world-leading research output. The SBM CDT is supported by the EPSRC and 13 industrial partners. This support will enable us to employ a uniquely integrated academic-industrial training model, producing graduates capable of addressing major challenges in the pharmaceutical/agrochemical industries who will ultimately make a major impact on UK science.

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Oxford Synthesis Connections (OxSynC), based in the Department of Chemistry, has been established as a new free resource that provides a single point of contact for researchers to facilitate such interactions within the University and potentially beyond. OxSynC is managed by a group of synthetic chemists who are specialists at assembling and characterising organic and inorganic molecules, tailored to order for many applications. At present, the group consists of 20 world-leading synthesis researchers whose combined knowledge covers the whole spectrum of synthetic chemistry.

Analytical Chemistry
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NMR Spectroscopy

The NMR facility housed in the Chemistry Research Laboratory is one of the largest available to Research Chemists in the UK. It houses eleven solution-state and two solid-state FT NMR instruments with proton operating frequencies ranging between 200 and 700 MHz, which are capable of running most experiments of interest to the research chemist.

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Mass Spectrometry

The CRL mass spectrometry facility exists to support research groups across all areas of chemistry providing staff and students, within the department, access to a broad range of mass spectrometry systems and expertise in organic, inorganic and biological mass spectrometry. Academic related staff at the facility are also engaged in research utilising the tools of mass spectrometry and separation science.

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ESR Spectroscopy

The Centre for Advanced Electron Spin Resonance (CAESR) was installed in 2007 and provides a state-of-the-art facility for use by biochemists and chemists. The Centre has played vital roles in drug discovery for protein-protein recognition, pathogen-host interactions and transmembrane proteins.

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Chemical Crystallography

Knowledge of the three-dimensional structures of protein targets has the potential to greatly accelerate the drug discovery process. The Chemistry Research Laboratory houses the Chemical Crystallography group and the X-ray Crystallography Facility.

For further details, including specific queries, please contact Philippa Major, Research Facilitator for Chemistry, ( or Dr Rachel MacCoss, Research Facilitator for Chemical Biology (