Aggarwal Research Group

Prof. Varinder Aggarwal FRS

School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, U.K

Our group interests lie in the field of organic chemistry, focusing especially on stereoselective synthesis, mechanistic studies and total synthesis of natural and non-natural products. The aim of our research is to design and develop new synthetic tools, allowing ultimately for the efficient and rapid synthesis of complex targets and biologically relevant compounds.

Recent News

  • ACIE August 2014 Group reports in Angewandte Chemie: Highly Diastereoselective and Enantiospecific Allylation of Ketones and Imines using Borinic Esters: Contiguous Quaternary Stereogenic Centers. More details >>
  • ACIE July 2014 Group reports in Angewandte Chemie: Stereocontrolled Synthesis of 1,5-Stereogenic Centers through Three-Carbon Homologation of Boronic Esters. More details >>
  • June 2014 Congratulations to Johnathan Matlock for winning first prize at the poster presentation at the 3rd Royal Society of Chemistry Younger Members Symposium held at the University of Birmingham on 24th june.
  • natchem May 2014 Group reports in Nature Chemistry: Synthesis of hydroxyphthioceranic acid using a traceless lithiation-borylation-protodeboronation strategy. More details >>
  • ACIE April 2014 Group reports in Nature Chemistry: Enantiospecific coupling of secondary & tertiary boronic esters. More details >>
  • ACIE April 2014 Group reports in Angewandte Chemie: Highly Selective Allylborations of Aldehydes Using α,α-Disubstituted Allylic Pinacol Boronic Esters. More details >>
  • ACIE March 2014 Group reports in Angewandte Chemie: Stereocontrolled Synthesis of Adjacent Acyclic Quaternary-Tertiary Motifs and its Application to a Concise Total Synthesis of (−)-Filiformin. More details >>
  • ACIE March 2014 Group reports in Angewandte Chemie: Short Stereoselective Synthesis of the Phytophthora Universal Mating Hormone α1 Using Lithiation/Borylation Reactions. More details >>
  • JACS November 2013 Group reports in JACS: Synthesis of Enantioenriched Tertiary Boronic Esters by the Lithiation/Borylation of Secondary Alkyl Benzoates. More details >>
  • September 2013 Dr. Amadeu Bonet, a Marie Curie Fellow from Prof. Varinder Aggarwal's group, won the prize for the best oral presentation at Euroboron 6 in Poland in September 2013. He described a new method for stereospecific coupling of secondary and tertiary boronic esters. EuroBoron, is a triennial series of European Conferences on Boron Chemistry, and has quickly established itself as one of the primary meetings on the subject. The scope of the meeting include all aspects of the chemistry of boron, including methodology, materials and medicinal chemistry.
  • JACS July 2013 Group reports in JACS: Practical and Highly Selective Sulfur Ylide-Mediated Asymmetric Epoxidations and Aziridinations Using a Cheap and Readily Available Chiral Sulfide: Extensive Studies To Map Out Scope, Limitations, and Rationalization of Diastereo- and Enantioselectivities. More details >>
  • June 2013 Sven Fritz received a Faculty of Science postgraduate commendation for his PhD thesis. Only 10% of PhDs receive such recognition in the faculty and he follows on the heels of Graeme Coulthard and Ben Partridge who also received commendations in each of the previous years. Well done Sven. More details >>
  • April 2013 Congratulations to Johnathan Matlock for securing first prize from Syngenta Poster Competition held at Bristol University on April 24, 2013.
  • JACS March 2013 Group reports in JACS: Highly Diastereo-and Enantioselective Allylboration of Aldehydes using α-Substituted Allyl/Crotyl Pinacol Boronic Esters via in situ Generated Borinic Esters. More details >>
  • ACIE March 2013 Group reports in Angewandte Chemie: Stereoselective Total Synthesis of (+)-Giganin and Its C10 Epimer by Using Late-Stage Lithiation–Borylation Methodology. More details >>
  • ACIE December 2012 Group reports in Angewandte Chemie: Enantioselective Synthesis and Cross-coupling of Tertiary Propargylic Boronic Esters Using Lithiation-Borylation of Propargylic Carbamates.ander. More details >>
  • ACIE December 2012 Group reports in Angewandte Chemie: Diastereo-divergent Synthesis of Trisubstituted Alkenes through Protodeboronation of Allylic Boronic Esters: Application to the Synthesis of the Californian Red Scale Beetle Pheromone. More details >>
  • September 2012 Sven Fritz won the prize for "Best Postgraduate Oral Presentation" at the 27th Postgraduate Symposium of the RSC Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group held at GSK in Stevenage.
  • nature August 2012 Group reports in Nature: stereocontrolled organocatalytic synthesis of prostaglandin PGF in just seven steps. Highlighted in Synfacts, News section of Nature and Totally Synthetic. Leading news story in EN News. More details >>
  • June 2012 Congratulations to Chun Chen who has been selected to take part in "Roche Continents - Youth! Arts! Science!" He is one of 100 students from across Europe who is invited to Salzburg in August.
  • May 2012 Cath Fletcher and Helen Scott won the 1st and 2nd prizes for final year Ph.D. talk in the Organic and Biological section in the department. Well done!
  • April 2012 Many congratulations to Varinder, who has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society! See the Royal Society website for the citation.
  • April 2012 Sven Fritz wins a runner-up prize at the 23rd Regional(South) Postgraduate Symposium on Novel Organic Chemistry organised by the SCI, for his talk "Bromoethylsulfonium Triflate: Tale of an Annulation Agent". Well done!
  • April 2012 The group reports the synthesis of enantioenriched tertiary boronic esters from secondary allylic carbamates: application to the synthesis of C30 Botryococcene in JACS pdf (PDF, 1,474kB). Congratulations to Alex!
  • March 2012 Congratulations to Matt Burns and Stefan Roesner for winning the prizes for the second year Ph.D. poster competitions in Organic and Biological section in the School of Chemistry. Well done!
  • December 2011 Congratulations to Cath Fletcher for securing the best poster prize on her synthesis of giganin at the conference on 'Recent Advances in Synthesis and Chemical Biology' held at University College, Dublin.
  • October 2011 The group reports a new class of secondary alkyl organometallic-type reagents based on simple boronic esters in JACS. pdf (PDF, 1,171kB). They react with a range of electrophiles with inversion. The paper was highlighted in Nature Chemistry. pdf (PDF, 768kB) Well done Robin and Tim!
  • October 2011 The group reports the total synthesis of (+)-erogorgiaene and each of its diastereoisomers (4 in total) using lithiation–borylation methodology in JACS. pdf (PDF, 1,298kB). Congratulations to Tim, Stefan and Ravi!
  • September 2011 Dr. Ben Partridge joins Prof. John Hartwig in Berkeley for a post doctoral position.
  • July 2011 Congratulations to Muhammad Arshad who has been appointed as an Assistant Professor at the University of the Punjab, in Lahore. Muhammad Arshad’s Ph.D. work and poster prize was highlighted in National Newspapers in Pakistan on 31st May 2011, and in HEC's monthly magazine. ( jpg). Well done Muhammad!
  • July 2011 Chun Chen receives the 2011 ICIQ summer school award from Institut Català d'Investigació Química, Spain. Well done Chun!
  • July 2011 Gayle Hallett receives the 2011 Bristol ChemLabS Postgraduate Teaching Prize. Many congratulations!
  • June 2011 The group welcomes a new Ph.D. student - Maziar Mohiti, and visiting students - Eva Torres, Juan Francesco Moya and Jason Hui.
  • May 2011 The group welcomes two new Ph.D. students - Johnathan Matlock and Phillip Unsworth, and a visiting student - Irantzu Couto.
  • May 2011 Graeme Coulthard (3rd year Ph.D.) wins first prize for best final year Ph.D. talk in the Organic and Biological section in the department. Well done Graeme!
  • March 2011 We report the stereospecific construction of quaternary centers from tertiary boronic esters with >99:1 e.r. in Angewandte. pdf (PDF, 316kB). Article selected by the referees as a VIP‌‌

    Paper also selected for front issue cover! Many congratulations to Ravi, Vishal, Kostas, Robin and Helen for this great team effort!

  • January 2011 The prepartion of C-tertiary amines with >98% ee is reported in Angewandte Chemie through the sequence involving lithiation-borylation-amination. pdf (PDF, 295kB). Well done Viktor and Tim.
  • December 2010 Graeme Coulthard (3rd year Ph.D.) wins the "People's Prize" and Helen Scott (2nd year Ph.D.) wins first prize at the Bristol Pfizer Poster Symposium!
  • November 2010 We reported the stereoselective protodeboronation of tertiary boronic esters to give tertiary arylalkanes in >96% ee in JACS pdf (PDF, 567kB). Good work Stefan, Ravi and Tim!
  • October 2010 The new Aggarwal Group web site is online!
  • August 2010 The group reports the total synthesis of solandelactone E via lithiation-borylation-allylation sequence as the key step in Angewandte pdf (PDF, 340kB). Well done Anna! Paper highlighted on Totally Synthetic.
  • June 2010 The group reports new reaction conditions allowing for full chirality transfer in conversion of secondary alcohols into tertiary boronic esters and alcohols using lithiation–borylation reactions in Angewandte pdf (PDF, 360kB). Well done Ros and Viktor!
  • May 2010 The group reports in JACS subtle issues related to the selectivity in S-ylide cyclopropanation reactions and their implications towards other related cyclopropanations pdf (PDF, 744kB). Congratulations to Samantha, Chandreyee, Noelia, Emma and Eoghan.
  • May 2010 Anna Robinson receives the 2nd prize in 3rd year departmental post-graduate research talks. Well done Anna!
  • May 2010 A paper on the asymmetric synthesis of allylsilane appears in Angewandte pdf (PDF, 346kB). Good work Michael and Fang! Paper highlighted in Totally Synthetic.
  • April 2010 Muhammad Arshad wins the Best Poster Award at the RSC South West Regional Meeting in Bath. Congrats!
  • April 2010 Varinder appears on TV! Have a look.
  • March 2010 A lithiation-borylation/aldehyde allylboration paper is published in JACS pdf (PDF, 302kB). Congratulations to Martin, Adeem, José and Stephen!
  • January 2010 A paper describing Sulfur ylide-mediated epoxidation/aziridination including the synthesis of quinine and quinidine was published in JACS pdf (PDF, 331kB). Congrats to Ona, Muhammad, Abel and Eoghan! Paper highlighted in C&E News and Chemistry World.
  • January 2010 Matt Webster joins Prof. A. Fürstner for a post doctoral position.
  • December 2009 Mike Shaw joins Prof. K. C. Nicolaou for a post doctoral position.
  • October 2009 Varinder receives a European Research Council Advanced Grant.
  • September 2009 Varinder receives the 2009 SCI Process Chemistry Award sponsored by GSK, Pfizer, and AZ.
  • June 2009 Ros French receives Best Poster Award in departmental Pfizer poster competition. Well done Ros.
  • May 2009 Mike Shaw is awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Fellowship to join Prof. K. C Nicolaou at Scripps. Well done!
  • May 2009 Varinder receives the RSC Stereochemistry Award 2009.
  • May 2009 The group reports the concept of assembly line synthesis (multiple additions of lithiated carabamtes) in Angewandte pdf (PDF, 295kB). Paper selected for inside cover and highlighted in Synfacts. Congrats to Matt and Guillaume!

Highlights

  • natchem May 2014 Group reports in Nature Chemistry: Synthesis of hydroxyphthioceranic acid using a traceless lithiation-borylation-protodeboronation strategy. More details >>
  • ACIE April 2014 Group reports in Nature Chemistry: Enantiospecific coupling of secondary & tertiary boronic esters. More details >>
  • September 2012 Sven Fritz secures the Best Postgraduate Oral Presentation at the 27th Postgraduate Symposium of the RSC Heterocyclic and Synthesis Symposium in Stevenage.
  • nature August 2012 Group reports in Nature: stereocontrolled organocatalytic synthesis of prostaglandin PGF in just seven steps. Highlighted in Synfacts, News section of Nature and Totally Synthetic. Leading news story in EN News. More details >>
  • April 2012 Varinder has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society! See the Royal Society website for the citation.
  • May 2012 Cath Fletcher secures the best poster prize on her synthesis of giganin at Dublin. 
  • April 2010 Muhammad Arshad wins the Best Poster Award at the RSC South West Regional Meeting in Bath. 
  • April 2010 Varinder appears on TV! Have a look.
  • May 2009 Mike Shaw is awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Fellowship to join Prof. K. C Nicolaou at Scripps.
  • May 2009 Varinder receives the RSC Stereochemistry Award 2009.
  • November 2008 Group reports in Nature: Highly Enantioselective Conversion of Secondary Alcohols into Tertiary Alcohols with Broad Scope. ..more