School of Life Sciences

Spencer Lab

Welcome to the Spencer group website.

The Spencer group conducts research on the interface of chemistry and medicinal chemistry, making use of transition metal catalysis and microwave-mediated synthesis where possible. Particular emphasis is on palladium and boron chemistry. For more details about our research, please visit the 'Research' page.


 Breaking News!!!!!!!!!


 funding for a 2 yr PDRA has just been secured!

II) New PhD opportunity!

 A Precompetitive Modular Peptidomimetic Toolkit for Targeting PPIs. EPSRC-AstraZeneca sponsored.

Go to:


III) Multifunctional 8-Hydroxyquinoline-Appended Cyclodextrins as New Inhibitors of Metal-Induced Protein Aggregation. Oliveri, V.; Attanasio, F.; Puglisi, A.; Spencer, J.; Vecchio, G. Chem. Eur. J., 2014, accepted, in press. ACCEPTED AS BACK COVER FOR JOURNAL!

Other highlights:

Incorporation by Coordination and Release of the Iron Chelator Drug Deferiprone from Zinc-Based Metal-Organic Frameworks. Burrows, A. D.;  Jurcic, M.; Keenan, L. L.; Lane, R. A.; Mahon, M. F.; Warren, M. R.; Nowell, H.; Paradowski, M.; Spencer, J. Chem. Comm. 2013, 49, 11260. Selected as a "hot article" 2013! (

Synthesis of Oxindole-Based Bioorganometallic Kinase Inhibitors Incorporating One or More Ferrocene Groups. Amin, J.;Chuckowree, I. S.; Wang, M.; Tizzard, G. J.; Coles, S. J.;  Spencer, J. Organometallics, 2013,32, 5818. 

New Cyclodextrin-Bearing 8-Hydroxyquinoline Ligands as Multifunctional Molecules.  Oliveri, V.; Puglisi, A.; Viale, M.;   Aiello, C.; Sgarlata, C.; Vecchio, G.; Clarke, J.; Milton, J.; Spencer, J.  Chem. Eur. J. 2013, 19, 13946.

Small-Molecule Induced Reactivation of Mutant p53 in Cancer Cells. Liu, X.; Wilcken, R.; Joerger, A.; Chuckowree, I.; Amin, J.; Spencer, J.; Fersht, A. Nucl. Ac. Res. 2013, 41, 6034.

Boron Medicinal Chemistry and Synthetic Aspects: A Mini-Editorial. Ahmet, J. T.; Spencer, J., Fut. Med. Chem., 2013, 5, 621.

Targeting Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor with Ferrocene-Based Kinase Inhibitors, Amin, J.; Chuckowree, I.; Tizzard, G. J.; Coles, S. J.; Wang, M.; Bingham, J. P.; Hartley, J. A.; Spencer, J. , Organometallics 2013, 32, 509.

Olefin cross-metathesis/Suzuki-Miyaura reactions on vinylphenylboronic acid pinacol esters. Baltus, C. B,;  Chuckowree, I. S.; Press, N. J.; Day, I. J.; Coles, S. J.; Tizzard, G. J.; Spencer, J. Tetrahedron Lett. 2013, 54, 1211.

Cytotoxic Effects of Jay Amin Hydroxamic Acid (JAHA), a Ferrocene-Based Class I Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor, on Triple-Negative MDA-MB231 Breast Cancer Cells. Librizzi, M.; Longo, A.; Chiarelli, R.; Amin, J.; Spencer, J.; Luparello, C. Chem. Res. Tox. 2012, 25, 2608.

jahaThe Unexpected but Predictable Tetrazole Packing in Flexible 1-Benzyl-1H-Tetrazole. Spencer, J.;  Patel, H.;  Deadman, J. J.;  Palmer, R. A.; Male, L.; Coles, S. J.; Uzoh, O. G.; Price, S. L. CrystEngComm 2012, 14, 6441.

Microwave-Mediated Suzuki–Miyaura Cross-Couplings of Thioether- and ortho-Substituted Methylphenylboronic Acid Esters. Baltus, C. B.; Press, N. J.; Spencer, J. Synlett 2012, 23, 2477.

Identification and Development of the 1,4-Benzodiazepin-2-one and Quinazoline-2,4-dione Scaffolds as Submicromolar Inhibitors of HAT. Clark, R. L.; Clements, C. J.; Barrett, M. P.; Mackay, S. P.; Rathnam , R. P.; Owusu-Dapaah, G.;  Spencer, J.;  Huggan, J. K. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2012, 20, 6019.

Synthesis of a Biphenyl Library for Studies of Hydrogen Bonding in the Solid State. Baltus, C. B.; Press, N. J.; Antonijevic, M.D.; Tizzard, G. J.; Coles, S. J.; Spencer, J. Tetrahedron 2012, 68, 9272

Recent Advances in the Development of Selective CB2 Agonists as Promising Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Leleu-Chavain, N., Body-Malapel, M., Spencer, J., Chavatte, P. Desreumaux, P., Millet, R.  Curr. Med. Chem. 2012, 19, 3457.

Synthesis of a 1,3,5-Benzotriazepine-2,4-dione Based Library.  Chuckowree,  I., Syed , M. A.,  Getti , G., Patel, A. P., Garner, H., Tizzard, G. J., Coles, S. J., Spencer, J.  Tetrahedron Lett. 2012, 53, 3607.

The following organisations are thanked for funding our research:

Oxford Nanopore Technologies RSC- Advancing the Chemical Sciences
Tocris - Bioscience
  Novartis  BP  Selcia Discoveryaz21



Dr John Spencer

Arundel Building
University of Sussex

T +44 1273 877374

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