about us





Research: From Structure to Conformation (to Catalysis).

  We are interested in the design and synthesis of materials that populate well-defined secondary structures similar to those adopted by peptides and proteins. In this scenario, exploitation of the greater diversity made possible through design presents opportunities for the generation of bespoke secondary structural elements that may exhibit recognition and catalytic properties similar to natural biopolymers.

With this aim, we have studied a simple series of γ-amino acid derivatives and built sheets, hairpins and bend-ribbons stabilized by hydrogen bonds. 

We are building on these studies to generate more complex, higher order structures to enable us to gain a greater understanding of the factors that influence folding. We plan to exploit these well-defined scaffolds in the formation of folded and catalytically active materials.

For relevant publications see:

"A nonpeptidic reverse-turn that promotes parallel sheet structure stabilized by C-H…O hydrogen bonds in a cyclopropane γ-peptide", C. R. Jones, M. K. N. Qureshi, F. R. Truscott, S.-Te D. Hsu, A. J. Morrison & M. D. Smith, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2008, 47, pp. 7099-7102. pdf

"Plagiarizing proteins: enhancing efficiency in asymmetric hydrogen bonding catalysis
through positive cooperativity" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2009, 48, pp. 7391-7394.

Foldamers -- Total Synthesis -- Catalysis