School of Chemistry

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Ron Grigg FRS

Emeritus Professor
Member of the Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry group

Contact details

Room: 1.10a
Tel: +44 (0)113 3436501


Cascade amd Supercascade Reactions
Heterocyclic Chemistry
Palladium,Rhodium,Ruthenium,Iridium Catalysed Reactions
1, 3-Dipolar Cycloaddition Reactions
Asymmetric Synthesis
Medicinal Chemistry
Combinatorial Chemistry

Photograph of Ron Grigg FRS

Research interests

Our research is focussed on developing new multicomponent cascade and supercascade reactions that involve both cycloaddition and transition metal catalysed processes. These provide well defined access to regions of biochemical space. The cycloaddition processes involve simple starting materials (imines, oximes, hydrazones etc) and allow the rapid assembly of complex heterocycles in regio-, stereo- and chemo-selective thermal or metal catalysed processes. The multicomponent cascades involve the combination of 3/5/7/9 etc chemical building blocks in a single step via designed well ordered molecular queuing. Asymmetric versions of these cascades, employing chiral catalysts, are under development. Bimetallic cascade catalysis involving Pd/Ag, Pd/In, Pd/Rh, Pd/Ir and Pd/Ru in which the substrates are passed from one metal to the other are being studied and new synthetic strategies are being developed based on these combinations. The new chemistry is being applied to biochemical, medicinal and agrochemical problems. The biology of promising products is being studied in Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Leicester, Cancer Research UK and in overseas labs in Australia, USA and Europe. There are also strong collaborations with Turkey, Egypt and Thailand (patent filed on an antimalarial).

Selected publications

Induction of Differentiation and Apoptosis in Leukaemic Cell Lines by the Novel Benzamide Family Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor MI 192, R. Grigg et al, Leukemia Research, 2012, 36,1304-1310.(design and synthesis of active inhibitors)

Exploiting Adamantane as a Versatile Organic Tecton: Multicomponent Catalytic Cascade Reactions. R. Grigg et al, Chem. Commun, 2012, 48, 11504-11506. (3-and 9 component catalytic cascades accessing bioactive compounds)

Carbophilic 3-Component Cascades: Access to Complex Bioactive Cyclopropyl Diindolymethanes, R. Grigg et al, Chem. Eur. J, 2013, 19, 2180-2184. (bioactive” broccoli “compounds)

Stereoselective Pd(0) Catalysed Five Component Cascade Synthesis of Complex Z,Z-Bisallylamines, R. Grigg et al, Chem. Commun, 2013, 49, 2007-2009. (compounds spanning two biochemical domains)