Group Members

Currently, we are a team of one postdoctoral researcher and fifteen PhD students. Supervision is led by Professor Billy Kerr, Dr Dave Lindsay and Dr Laura Paterson.

Dr Dave Lindsay

Dave studied chemistry at the University of Strathclyde and obtained his PhD (1999) in organic chemistry with Prof Billy Kerr. Dave carried out postdoctoral studies in Munich with Prof Dr Paul Knochel and then at the University of Bristol with Prof Tim Gallagher. Dave continued his academic career with positions at the Universities of Bristol, Reading and Glasgow, and is currently a Lecturer at Strathclyde.

Dr Laura Paterson

Laura studied chemistry at the University of Strathclyde and obtained her PhD (2011) in organic chemistry with Prof Billy Kerr. After a 1-year postdoctoral stay in the group of Prof J. S. Clark at the University of Glasgow working on a total synthesis project, she returned to Strathclyde as the Manager of the Collaborative GSK Research Programmes and Research Administrator in the Kerr team.

PDRA

Dr Liam Donnelly

Liam completed his PhD in 2021 in organometallic chemistry and catalysis at the University of Edinburgh working under the supervision of Prof. Jason Love and Dr Stephen Thomas. This was followed by a 1-year postdoctoral position with Dr Thibault Cantat at CEA Saclay. He is now a PDRA in the Kerr Group working on the identification and deployment of sustainable solvents in medicines manufacture. Outside of chemistry Liam enjoys hiking, running and trying out new restaurants in Glasgow.

Final Year PhD Student

Nathan Knight

Nathan is a Final Year PhD student investigating iridium-catalysed hydrogen isotope exchange on compounds of pharmaceutical importance. He joined our team following his MChem in Chemistry at the University of York, where he spent his Final Year of study in industry at Sygnature Discovery working on the synthesis of novel sp3 scaffolds.

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Final Year PhD Student (GSK Employee)

Ross Hryczanek

Ross is an employee at GSK, based in Stevenage, and is in his Final Year working towards his PhD degree as part of the Strathclyde-GSK Collaborative PhD Programme. Ross has been working primarily in the hit to lead stage of medicinal chemistry across several projects. Outside of work and study, Ross enjoys kayaking, board games and cycling.

Final Year PhD Student (EPSRC iCASE with GSK)

Conor Townsley

Conor joined us in 2018 following the completion of his MChem in Chemistry with Drug Discovery degree at the University of Strathclyde. His research is focused on iridium-catalysed hydrogen isotope exchange of unconventional directing groups and their use in the synthesis of tracelessly labelled products. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar, going to concerts and travelling. Conor also spends his free time with a cold glass/can of Vitamin T (Tennent’s) and having a good old moan.

Final Year PhD Student (GSK)

Callum Hall

Callum is based at GSK in Stevenage as part of the Strathclyde-GSK Collaborative Industrial PhD Programme. Following his MChem degree at the University of Oxford, Callum joined us to investigate and probe reaction mechanisms of sulfonylative cross couplings using a combination of spectroscopic and computational methods. In his spare time he enjoys following football, powerlifting at the gym, and cycling. dkfjklsdjlkfjkdljfkljsdklfjldjkfjklsjfkdjfkdfkljsdklfjkldjfklsjkdjfksjdklfjkls

Third Year PhD Student (EPSRC/AstraZeneca)

Andrew Dalgleish

Andrew joined the team following his MChem degree at the University of Strathclyde in 2019. During his undergraduate degree, he completed an industrial placement year at AstraZeneca working on the process chemistry of Ceralasertib. Andrew is now in his Third Year of PhD studies, which are collaborative with AstraZeneca, and he is currently developing iridium-catalysed hydrogen isotope exchange reactions of N-heterocycles, with a future focus on labelling oligonucleotides.

Final Year PhD Student (GSK)

Alfie Wills

Before joining our team in 2018, Alfie graduated from University College London with a First Class MSci Chemistry degree. Alfie is based at GSK in Stevenage as part of the Strathclyde-GSK Collaborative Industrial PhD Programme and his research is focused on developing new electrochemical methods of organic synthesis for applications in the pharmaceutical industry. Alfie is interested in sustainable methods of organic synthesis and supporting Tottenham Hotspur.

Third Year PhD Student (EPSRC/Merck)

Megan Cuthbert

Megan is currently in her Third Year of PhD studies at the University of Strathclyde having also completed her MChem degree here in Chemistry with Drug Discovery. Her PhD studies are in collaboration with Merck USA and are centred on iridium-catalysed sp3 hydrogen isotope exchange of amino acids and peptides, in particular, focusing on beta amino acid motifs. In her free time, Megan enjoys socialising with friends and family, as well as travelling and exploring new places.

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3rd Year PhD Student (EPSRC iCASE with GSK)

Paul Mulrainey

Paul is a 3rd Year PhD student who joined the group in 2019 after completing his MChem in Chemistry with Drug Discovery at the University of Strathclyde. His PhD project work focuses on utilising informatics to help design enhanced iridium(I) catalysts for C-C bond forming processes. Outside of his PhD studies, Paul enjoys socialising with his friends, watching football, practicing karate and playing golf (when the Scottish weather permits). dfkjdkfjkdsjfjskldjfkljsdkjfklsjdkfjksljdfkljskldjfklsjdklfjskljdkljfklsjlkdfjskldfjklsdjfkljskljfdkljflksjdklfjskljdkljfklsjdklfjkdjfsdkfjlkdsfjksldjfklsjdfkljsdklfjlksjdflkdjlkjsflkjskljdfklsjfklsjskdljfklsjklfjlkdj.djfhdjkhfkjdsj

2nd Year PhD Student (EPSRC iCASE with GSK)

Aidan McKeown

Aidan completed his undergraduate MChem degree in 2019 at the University of Strathclyde where he studied Chemistry with Drug Discovery. He joined our research team in 2020 and is currently working on the development of iridium catalysts for hydrogenation. Outside the world of chemistry, his passion lies with football. Otherwise, he likes to keep an all-round sociable lifestyle, playing golf or going hill walking (when it’s not raining).

3rd Year PhD Student (GSK)

Elliot Davenport

Elliot joined us following his MChem degree at The University of Edinburgh. During his undergraduate studies, he spent a year with the Elena Fernandez group in Tarragona working on transition metal-free borylation, followed by a Final Year project with Prof. Andrew Lawrence focusing on natural product total synthesis. Elliot is now a 3rd Year PhD student, based at GSK in Stevenage, as part of the Strathclyde-GSK Collaborative Industrial PhD Programme. His project focuses on the development of late-stage methylation methodologies for the introduction of isotopic labels. Outside of the lab, Elliot enjoys watching and playing rugby, beer, and food.

2nd Year PhD Student (University of Strathclyde)

Blair Smith

Blair obtained his MChem in Chemistry degree from the University of Strathclyde in 2020, with his Final Year research project based within the Kerr group and working on hydrogen isotope exchange reactions. Blair is now a 2nd Year PhD student and his research is currently focused on iridium-catalysed etherification processes. Out with the lab, Blair is passionate about football, regularly attending matches when he can, and has recently tried his hand at golf, which is still very much work in progress.

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2nd Year PhD Student (GSK)

Tom Fleetwood

Tom is a 2nd Year student, based at GSK in Stevenage, as part of the Strathclyde-GSK Collaborative Industrial PhD Programme. He joined our team following his MChem in Chemistry degree at the University of York, where he spent his Final Year within industry within the medicinal chemistry team at GSK. Tom’s current research is focused on the development of enantioselective trifluoromethylation reactions. Tom is originally from Barnsley, South Yorkshire and one of his main hobbies is following football – he is a big Barnsley FC fan and makes sure he watches every game when he can!

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2nd Year PhD Student (GSK)

David Fernandez Aguado

David is a 2nd Year student as part of the Strathclyde-GSK Collaborative Industrial PhD Programme. He joined our team following a BSc in Chemistry degree at the Complutense University of Madrid and an MSc in Synthetic Chemistry working on asymmetric catalysis. His PhD project focuses on the development of novel sp3-sp3 cross-coupling reactions. David’s main hobbies and interests are hiking and travelling, including volunteering and community involvement, and he also loves music, especially rock: Pink Floyd, Queen or The Doors.

1st Year PhD Student (GSK)

Marina Economidou

Marina graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MChem Chemistry degree in 2021. During her undergraduate studies she undertook an industrial placement with GSK, working on the investigation of impurity rejection during crystallisation processes. Marina joined the team in October for her PhD,  which is in collaboration with GSK, and as part of the Strathclyde-GSK Industrial PhD Programme. Her research currently focuses on catalyst systems in pharmaceutical development. Outside the lab, Marina enjoys travelling and baking.

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