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Therapeutic Chemistry, Analysis and Imaging

Unit(s) of assessment: Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy

School: School of Science and Technology


Use of state of the art analytical and synthetic techniques to develop methods and materials to investigate biological processes and structures; bio-inspired compounds for use as potential drugs.

The Therapeutics, Diagnostics and Imaging group is involved in developing new bio-inspired therapeutics across a wide range of diseases including malaria, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's as well as a myriad of cancers; the team is also investigating new approaches towards preventing nutritional deficiencies. Utilising the group's state of the art analytical facilities and developing their own bespoke instrumentation, novel assays and techniques are developed for probing biological processes and structures, towards potential therapeutic targets, medical diagnostics and forensic applications. Medical imaging, including optical and diagnostic probes is at the forefront of much of the in vivo work as a tool for monitoring disease and treatments.

The group has well established research collaborations with various institutions in the UK and abroad. It also provides expertise supporting therapeutic synthesis and analysis within other NTU Research Centres. Recent developments within the group have led to a number of high impact publications and patents covering the downstream commercial applications of the technologies developed within the team.

Essential facilities include MRI, OCT, multi spectral imaging, various spectroscopic methods and micro arrays.

Skills/Techniques: developing bespoke analytical mass spec solutions (ionisation and fragmentation methods); liquid phase broadband cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy; smart switchable molecular materials; nanotechnologies, polymer nanocomposites, green and supramolecular chemistry, post-synthetic peptide modification, and analysis; TEM, SEM, MRI, X-ray crystal structure analysis, FTIR, Raman spectroscopy, Circular dichroism.

Related staff

  • Professor Steve Allin - heterocycles, malaria, cancer, natural products, medicinal chemistry
  • Dr Gareth Cave - drug delivery, contrast agents, nanotechnology, liposomes, peptide synthesis
  • Dr Muriel Funck - supramolecular, solid-phase synthesis, analysis of biological and forensic evidence
  • Dr A Christopher Garner - fluorescence tagging, cardio protection, photoreactive labelling
  • Dr Quentin Hanley - fluorescence imaging, protein aggregation and clustering, assay design and development; biochemical analysis
  • Dr Raymond Leslie - complex oligosaccharide synthesis, chiral chemistry, thiol detection


  • Chromatographic analysis (HPLC, GC, automated flash chromatography)
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Electron microscopy (TEM and SEM)
  • Elemental analysis
  • Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS, GC-MS, MALDI-TOF)
  • Microwave reactors
  • Multi nuclear NMR (300 and 400 MHz)
  • Multi spectral imaging
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Parallel synthesis
  • Peptide synthesis
  • Radio isotope labelling
  • Single crystal X-ray diffraction (Mo and Cu radiation)
  • Small animal MRI scanner (100 MHz)
  • X-ray Powder diffraction