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PhD Students
Maria Odagiu

I am currently in the final year of my PhD program, working on the project ‘’ The synthesis of 18 β –Glycyrrhetinic acid derivatives which have increased antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus’’. My project involves working in both the chemistry and biology labs. 

18 β –Glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) is a natural product known to have weak antibacterial activity. So far, I have designed and synthesised a number of modified GA analogues, expanding the structure-activity relationship from previous research. From the DMPK studies and the biological assays three lead compounds were found. Furthermore, using genomics approaches we have successfully identified the target. Moving forward, I will focus on designing and synthesising probes to validate our findings. 


University of Liverpool/ EPSRC

Alina Secrieru

I am currently in the final stages of my PhD, which has centered on the development of various scaffolds for combatting M. Tuberculosis.
One of the main focus points involved the synthesis of delafloxacin analogues, strategically modified at position C7, with the aim of establishing novel gyrase inhibitors.
The second aspect of my research focused on the design and development of non-covalent benzothiazinone inhibitors targeting the protein DprE1. This endeavour sought to provide alternatives to covalent inhibitors, thereby mitigating the issue of resistance and introducing structural diversity at position C2.


Esra Malkawi

 I am currently at the final stage of my PhD program, where I am working on the project of “Chemical and biological studies on antibiotics to target bacterial cell wall synthesis”. My research primarily involves synthesising novel antimicrobial peptides and testing them against resistant strains of Gram-positive bacteria, such as MRSA. The analogues we have developed have shown promising activity against challenging bacteria and we are actively working on further enhancing their potency through structure-activity relationships (SAR).


Lauren Gorman

I am currently in the final year of my PhD program, working on the project ‘Synthesis and optimisation of red/near-infrared fluorescent dyes for use in antimicrobial susceptibility testing’. 

My project involves synthesising optimised dyes, focused on two main cores, and carrying out biological testing to confirm uptake of the dyes into various strains of bacteria. Optimisation of these dyes aims to push the fluorescence wavelengths into the red/NIR regions, while improving the stability of the dyes and maximising uptake into both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. 


University of Liverpool
Teresa, To

My research interests involve both organic synthesis, peptide synthesis and microbiology to design novel analogues of antimicrobial peptide (AMP) teixobactin and evaluate the antimicrobial properties. The biological evaluations of teixobactin analogues are performed against Gram-positive bacteria by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), time-kill kinetics and resistance studies. My project further investigates the activity of teixobactin analogues against bacterial biofilms by testing minimum biofilm inhibitory concentration (MBIC) and imaging studies. 


Jack Bradley

My PhD project is titled ‘Developing novel antibiotics from natural products against resistant bacteria’. It involves the total synthesis and development of a natural fungal product to be used as an inhibitor against Metallo-Beta-Lactamase (MBL) enzymes found in resistant bacteria.  

This project is done in collaboration with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine allowing myself to both synthesise novel analogues and subsequently test their antimicrobial activity against bacterial strains containing the resistant MBL enzyme New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1). 

Additionally, I am also the health and safety champion for the medicinal chemistry group, maintaining the safety for all members and undergraduate students. 


University of Liverpool/ EPSRC
Robyn Wells

Currently working on project: ‘Medicinal chemistry optimisation of novel heterocyclic anti-infective agents’ 

The current work focuses on optimisation of a lead candidate molecule with promising activity against plasmodium falciparum malaria. Optimisation aims to improve the metabolic stability of the lead compound whilst improving antimalarial activity. 


University of Liverpool

Luke Hawkins

 Currently working on a project focused on antimicrobial resistance. The aim of this project is to make new covalent inhibitors with a broad spectrum of activity and if possible, to include metalloenzymes. These new analogues will also be screened for potential antibiotic activity.

This project is a joint partnership with the University of Oxford which also includes a CASE industrial placement with LifeArc.


University of Liverpool

Ella Mills

Currently working on ‘DMPK optimisation of β-hydroxyethylamine dual plasmepsin IX/X inhibitors’ for the treatment of malaria.  

The β-hydroxyethylamine scaffold mimics the substrate’s tetrahedral transition state for plasmepsins IX and X, which are essential for the malaria parasite’s invasion and egress. My work focuses on the synthesis of novel β-hydroxyethylamine analogues with the aim of improving metabolic stability. 


University of Liverpool
Yiwei Wang 

I am currently working on the development of new macrolide antibiotic potentiators for the treatment of chronic pulmonary infections related to Pseudomonas aeruginosa in CF patients.

The aim is to restore the efficacy of tobramycin and colistin against resistant strains. Through high-throughput screening with these resistant strains, we have identified three effective macrolide compounds, named Ndkg, NdkgA, and NdkgC. All three share a common core structure and are macrolides. Our present focus is on devising synthetic routes for these compounds, producing them, and conducting structure-activity relationship studies to enhance their DMPK properties and activity.

University of Liverpool
Sarah Francis I am currently working on the development of non-covalent binders to SOD1 with scope for developing as PROTAC degraders of SOD1 for the treatment of motor neurone disease. The aim is to facilitate selective degradation of the pathogenic SOD-1 protein by the proteasome system through the development of these binders.

My project involves the synthesis of optimised non-covalent SOD1 binders, with improved interactions within the SOD1 binding site. After biological profiling to show inhibition and binding, the aim is to deploy the PROTAC approach, through incorporation of a proteasome-recruiting warhead to facilitate SOD-1 protein degradation.


University of Liverpool
Olivia Langley I am currently working on project ‘Lead Optimisation of a Series of Antimalarial Plasmepsin IX/X β-hydroxyethylamine Based Inhibitors’.

Having previously identified β-hydroxyethylamine inhibitors with exceptional enzymatic and antimalarial potency in vitro, the aim of this project is to optimise the metabolic stability of our series to deliver a late-lead molecule for progression into an effective oral treatment for malaria.


University of Liverpool
Postdoctoral Researchers and Project Co-ordinators
Dr. Matthew Pye

My research project aims to elucidate / define the two-step relay mechanism of action of the 8-aminoquinoline series of antimalarial drug compounds.  

It is my current role to synthesise key tafenoquine metabolites and chemical probes. With these, we can identify the specific metabolites accountable for the observed antimalarial activity associated with tafenoquine. This research will provide valuable insights into mechanism of action of the 8-aminoquinoline series, facilitating the rational design of future 8-aminoquinoline drug compounds with improved activity and ADMET profiles. 


LSTM (2022-2024)

Dr. Daniel Chong

My research interests include the development of bioorthogonal chemical tools to probe G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), targeted covalent inhibitor (TCI) and inhibitors for the snake venom metalloproteinase.  

Current work area focuses on the design, synthesis and structure-activity relationship of small molecules hydroxamic acid-based compounds for the development of orally bioavailable drug for snakebite treatment.  


Welcome Trust SV (2022-2024)

Dr. Ramachandran Gunasekar

My current research focuses on exploring new chemical space by designing and synthesizing small molecule toxin inhibitors for snakebite treatments, with a specific emphasis on studying the structure-activity relationship (SAR). We are aiming to develop novel hit analogues with enhanced potency against several snake venoms, along with optimal pharmacokinetic profiles.  



Welcome Trust SV (2022-2024)

Dr. Christopher Woodley

My research interests focus on the application of computational chemistry to assist small-molecule and peptide drug discovery projects.   

In my current role I work on several projects within the medicinal chemistry group applying molecular docking, molecular dynamics, cheminformatics, density functional theory, and machine learning approaches to accelerate optimisation of lead compounds and rationalise structure-activity relationships. I am particularly interested in the use of classical and enhanced sampling molecular dynamics methods to investigate protein-ligand interactions. 

Outside the medicinal chemistry group I am also involved in catalyst and materials discovery projects. 


University of Liverpool (2021-2024)

Dr. Nada Mosallam 

Currently working on project ‘Synthesis of small molecule inhibitors for snakebite therapy’.  

Through High-Throughput screening, several series of snake venom metalloproteinase (SVMP) have been identified.  

My work focuses on the synthesis of novel SVMP inhibitors with optimum potency against five main snake venoms. Four series of novel SVMP inhibitors have been developed, where most analogues displayed optimum potency and DMPK properties. Currently some analogues are undergoing in vivo testing in snake envenomed mice for proof of concept.  


Welcome Trust SV (2021-2023)

Dr. Li Qie (Charlie) 

Currently working on “The role of chemosensory proteins in pyrethroid resistance” and “Clinical development of AWZ1066S, a small molecule anti-Wolbachia candidate macrofilaricide drug”. 

Also working on developing novel antimalarial and antibacterial agents. 



University of Liverpool (2021-2023)

Dr. Nivya James  

With graduate degrees in Biotechnology, PhD in Computational drug discovery and currently working as a computational chemist, my academic journey has been quite interdisciplinary, so far. I am interested in understanding the protein-ligand dynamics and in using chem-informatics tools for drug discovery. I am particularly interested in using the prowess of machine learning techniques to design novel, less toxic, biologically active inhibitors. 

My current focus in the Wellcome trust funded project is about exploring the chemical spaces available for the design and delivery of small molecules against snake venom metalloproteinases and phospholipases. I use molecular modelling, machine learning, dynamics simulations, and various chem-informatics techniques for this purpose. This project has made me realise that, of all the things that is to be neglected ever in life, snake bite is not the one (in life and research alike!). 


Welcome Trust SV (2021-2023)

Dr. Ian Tomlinson

As a member of the Ishwar Singh’s research group for 1 year I have been actively involved in synthesising small molecule derivatives that may be incorporated into peptide sequences. These derivatives encompass a range of compounds, including both natural and unnatural amino acids as well as variety of other small molecules. Our primary goal in incorporating these molecules is to enhance the efficacy of the antimicrobial peptides.


University of Liverpool (2022-2024) 
Dr. Anish Parmar

 Currently, my focus lies in enhancing the efficacy of various peptides to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). I am fully committed to optimising the large-scale synthesis strategy for the teixobactin analogues. My role encompasses project and lab management, as well as the supervision of junior researchers to meet project deadlines. In close collaboration with my principal investigator (Dr. Ishwar Singh), I contribute to the development of new designs, research, grants and project initiatives.



University of Liverpool (2019-2024) 
PhD Alumni

Dr N.L. Searle (PhD awarded 1999)

University of Liverpool/Pfizer

Dr L.P.D. Bishop (PhD awarded 2000)

Wellcome Trust (with BK Park)

Dr Matthew Pugh (PhD awarded 2003)

EPSRC Pfizer Case Award

Dr Sarah Rawe (PhD awarded 2004)


Dr J. Prince Jeyadevan (PhD awarded 2004)

ORS/ Ultrafine Case Award

Dr Nuna Claudia Peixoto de Araujo (PhD awarded 2004)

Portugal FCT

Dr Amira Muktha (PhD Awarded 2005)


Dr Amy Mercer (PhD awarded 2006)


Dr James Chadwick (PhD awarded 2006)

Ultrafine Industrial Case Award

Dr Richard Amewu (PhD awarded 2006)

Romark (Florida)

Dr Edite Verissimo (PhD awarded 2007)

Portugal FCT

Dr Alison Shone (PhD awarded 2007)


Dr Michael Jones (PhD awarded 2007)


Dr Sunil Sabbani (PhD Awarded 2008)


Dr Benedicte Pacorel (PhD awarded 2008)

Romark (Florida)

Dr Chi Okpara (PhD awarded 2008)


Dr Victoria Barton (PhD awarded 2009)

BBSRC Strategic PhD/ (Proteomics)

Dr Louise La Pensee (PhD awarded 2009)


Dr Fransec Marti (PhD awarded 2010)

EU ANTIMAL (Oct 2008)

Dr Fatima Bousejra –El Garah (PhD awarded 2010)

EU ANTIMAL (Oct 2008)

Dr Olivier Berger (PhD awraded 2011)

EU ANTIMAL (Oct 2008)

Dr Robin Cowley (PhD awarded 2012)

EPSRC DTA (Oct 2007)

Dr Shirley Leung (PhD awarded 2012)

Wellcome Trust (Dec 2007)

Dr Alexandre Lawrenson (PhD awarded 2013)

EPSRC DTA (Oct 2008)

Dr Sitthivut Charoensutthivarakul (PhD awarded 2014)

Mahidol-Liverpool Stang Mongkolsuk

Dr Michael Wong (PhD awarded 2014

MRC (with BK Park) (Oct 2009)

Dr Emma Yang (PhD awarded 2014)

BBSRC (with BK Park) (Oct 2009)

Dr Rudi Oliveira (PhD awarded 2014)

FCT Portugal

Dr Lee Taylor (PhD awarded 2015)

EPSRC (Oct 2010)

Dr Elinor Wylde (PhD awarded 2016)

IMB (with M Leuwer) (Oct 2012)

Dr Pedro Horta (PhD awarded 2016)

FCT Portugal (Co-supervisor)

Dr Kathryn Price (PhD awarded 2017)

Children's Discovery Institute & EPSRC (2012)

Dr Emma Shore (PhD awarded 2017)


Dr Natalie Roberts (PhD awarded 2017)

Children's Discovery Institute (2012)

Dr Paul McGillan (PhD awarded 2017)

UoL & Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (2013)

Dr Matthew Pye (PhD awarded 2018)

Children's Discovery Institute & Department of Chemistry (2013)

Dr Gina Washbourn (PhD awarded 2020)

EPSRC DTA (2016)

Dr Michael Rogers (PhD awarded 2020)

UoL GTA (2016)

Dr Rachel Crick (PhD awarded 2021)

EPSRC DTA (2016)

Dr Charlie Qie (PhD award 2022)

UoL Department of Chemistry (2017)

Dr Christopher Woodley (PhD awarded 2022)

UoL Department of Chemistry (2017)

Dr Nada Mosallam (PhD award 2022)

UoL Department of Chemistry (2017)

Dr Monika Lisauskaite (PhD award 2023)


Dr Andy Coninckx (PhD award 2023)

UoL GTA Award (2019)

Dr Sophie Pate (PhD award 2023)

Romark (2018)

Dr Joshua Taujanskas (PhD award 2023)

Romark (2018)

Dr Liqun Guo (PhD award 2023)

CSC/UoL (2018)

Dr Patricia Amado (PhD awarded 2023)

FCT Portugal

Dr Jack Simpson (PhD awarded 2023)

UoL GTA Award, Leverhulme Centre for Materials Design (2018)

Postdoc Alumni

Dr Nivya James

Wellcome Trust (2022-2023)

Dr Shirley Leung

Wellcome Trust SDDI (2009-2010), MRC DPFS (TB) (2011-2013), MRC PAMS (2012-2014), CiC (2017-2019)

Dr Alastair Breen

CiC (2019-2020)

Dr Sean Richards

CiC (2020-2021)

Dr Michael Rogers

ALS Association (2019-2020)

Dr Emma Shore

MRC NIRG (2016-2018)

Dr Sitthivut Charoensutthivarakul

BMGF AWOL (2014-2017)

Dr Neil Kershaw

NIHR (2010-2016), CiC (2016-2017)

Dr David Hong

IVCC Bayer (2007-2010), BMGF AWOL (2011-2018)

Dr Gemma Nixon

Wellcome Trust SDDI (2009-2010), MRC DPFS (TB) (2011-2013) and BMGF AWOL (2013-2015)

Dr Richard Amewu

EU ANTIMAL (2007-2011), MRC PAMS (2012-2014)

Dr Chandrakala Pidathala

IVCC Bayer (2007-2010), MRC PAMS (2012-2014)

Dr Andrew Stachulski

Romark Ltd (2012-2015)

Dr Phil Inglesby

BMGF AWOL (2014)

Dr Peter Gibbons

BMGF AWOL (2011-2014)

Dr Matt McConville

GSK Open Lab (2012-2013)

Dr Jaclyn Bibby

MRC (2012-2015)

Dr Raman Sharma

Wellcome Trust SDDI (2008-2010), MRC PAMS (2012-2014)

Dr Louise La Pensee

IVCC Bayer (2010-2011)

Dr Zeyn Hyder

IVCC Bayer (2010-2011)

Dr James Chadwick

EU ANTIMAL (2010-2011)

Dr Ian Hale

IVCC Bayer (2010-2011)

Dr Paul Stocks

MMV (2011-2012)

Dr Sunil Sabbani

MMV (2011-2012)

Dr Alison Crowther

Wellcome Trust SDDI (2008-2010)

Dr Vicky Barton


Dr Edite Verissimo

BBSRC (2007-2008)

Dr Deborah Stanford

EU ANTIMAL (2006-2007)

Dr Gemma Ellis (Nixon)

EU ANTIMAL (2006-2008)

Dr Eleanor Row

GSK (2004-2005)

Dr Dominique Crestia

MRC/EPSRC (2003-2004)

Dr Stephen Hindley

GSK/EPSRC (2001-2003)

Dr Victor Murrel

EPSRC (2002)