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Warren Cross

Warren Cross

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

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