Warren Cross

Warren Cross

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)
Chemistry and Forensic Science


Dr Cross leads a research group that focuses on the invention and development of sustainable synthetic chemistry and teaches Organic Chemistry at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Career overview

  • Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, Nottingham Trent University, 2013-present
  • Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, University of Leicester, 2007-2013
  • Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, University of Nottingham, 2006-7
  • Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Nottingham, 2003-6
  • PhD, University College London, 1999-2003

Research areas

Dr Cross's research group focuses on the invention and development of new methods for organic synthesis, with particular emphasis on metal-catalysed C-H functionalization reactions. His group adopts a multi-disciplinary approach that includes both experimental and computational organic / organometallic chemistry to establish sustainable technology for chemical synthesis. A new focus of the group is using innovative chemical synthesis to tackle biological challenges.

Controlling C-H activation
Conventional approaches to synthesis use functional groups, either carbon-heteroatom bonds or carbon-carbon multiple bonds, to construct target molecules. In contrast, new methods that use carbon-hydrogen bonds as functional groups - in a process called C-H activation - enable more direct synthetic routes with fewer synthetic steps. The use of C-H activation, however, presents a new and significant challenge: with so many C-H bonds, how can the selectivity of the C-H activation be controlled? To realise the full potential of C-H functionalization reactions, the Cross group are exploring sophisticated methods for the control of site-selectivity in metal catalysed C-H activation.

Exploiting C-H functionalization in new synthetic strategies
In addition to increasing synthetic efficiency, C-H functionalization also enables new synthetic strategies. The Cross research group has developed methods for post-synthetic peptide modification using C-H functionalization; they are pursuing applications of this new technology in understanding biological mechanism, the diagnosis of disease and in drug discovery.

Opportunities exist to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD in the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained on the NTU Research Degrees website https://www.ntu.ac.uk/research/research-degrees-at-ntu

External activity

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and recent research is being conducted with the collaboration, funding and / or support of:

Recent research funding includes:

  • Exploring a 1,2-addition mechanism for catalytic C-H activation EPSRC EP/H028323/1 (2010-2011), £100,346
  • A catalytic functionalisation of alkanes, Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship ECF/40180 (2006-2008), £48,753.

Active collaborations involve research groups at NTU and at the University of Leicester.


Selected Publications

See all of Warren Cross's publications...

Press expertise

  • Chemical synthesis
  • Catalysis
  • Organometallic chemistry
  • Computational chemistry