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Andrew Regan, M.A., Ph.D., MRSC, CChem.


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Personal profile


I am currently a senior lecturer working in the Synthesis research theme in the School of Chemistry

I studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge (B.A. 1981, M.A. 1985), and stayed there for my PhD (1985) in organic synthesis, working under the supervision of Professor Jim Staunton. I spent a year (1984-5) doing postdoctoral research on a NATO fellowship with Professor Gilbert Stork at Columbia University in New York. I then returned to the U.K to take up a lectureship in chemistry at the University of Kent at Canterbury,  which I held from 1985-90. I moved  to Manchester in 1991.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies


B.A. (Cambridge) 1981

M.A. (Cambridge) 1985

Ph.D. (Cambridge) 1985

Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chartered Chemist 

Research interests

My research is in the field of organic chemistry, and I work in the Organic Research Grouping in theSchool of Chemistry.

I am interested in the synthesis of biologically active compounds, and in the development of new synthetic methods.

We have developed a new and general method for the synthesis of phosphinic acids, using a reactive silylated intermediate, which is being applied to the synthesis of analogues of biologically active phosphate diesters, such as certain hormones (e.g. cyclic AMP and platelet activating factor) and anti-cancer compounds (e.g. miltefosine and edelfosine), in order to prolong their biological activity.

Other complex biologically active targets include simplified analogues of macrocyclic antibiotics (e.g. erythromycin and rhizoxin), designed to explore the structural requirements for activity.

The unusual alkaloid epibatidine, which is found in very small quantities on the skin of a South American tree frog, and which has potent morphine-like analgesic activity, has been synthesised, and asymmetric variants and syntheses of analogues have been developed.

Biologically active tetronic acids have been prepared using an enzymic method for the key asymmetric step, and also by using a chiral auxiliary.

My group


I have supervised fifteen PhD students and three MSc students through to successful completion of their programmes.

I currently supervise two PhD students, and the topics of their research are "Synthesis of Phosphinic Acid Analogues of Anti-Cancer Agents" and "Synthesis of Simplified Analogues of Erythromycin".

I would be happy to receive enquiries from prospective PhD students who wish to work in the areas of total synthesis or development of new synthetic methods.

Details of how to apply can be found on the School of Chemistry Studentships web page.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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