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Durham University

Research & business

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Prof. Ian R. Baxendale, (Director of Impact)

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Director of Impact in the Department of Chemistry
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42185

(email at

Research Interests

My general areas of interest are: Organic synthesis (natural products, heterocyclic and medicinal chemistry), Organometallic chemistry, Catalyst design and application, Meso flow chemistry, Microfluidics, Microwave assisted synthesis, Solid supported reagents and scavengers, and facilitated reaction optimisation using Robotics and Automation.

My primary research direction is the synthesis of biologically potent molecules which encompasses the design, development and integration of new processing techniques for their preparation and solving challenges associated with the syntheses of new pharmaceutical and agrochemical compounds. In our work we utilise the latest synthesis tools and enabling technologies such as microwave reactors, solid supported reagents and scavengers, enzymes, membrane reactors and flow chemistry platforms to facilitate the bond making sequence and expedite the purification procedure. A central aspect of our investigations is our pioneering work on flow chemical synthesis and microreactor technology as a means of improving the speed, efficiency, and safety of various chemical transformations. As a part of these studies we are attempting to devise new chemical reactions that are not inherently feasible or would be problematic under standard laboratory conditions. It is our further challenge to enhance the automation associated with these reactor devices to impart a certain level of intelligence to their function so that repetitive wasteful actions currently performed by chemists can be delegated to a machine; for example, reagent screening or reaction optimisation. We use these technologies as tools to enhance our synthetic capabilities but strongly believe in not becoming slaves to any methodology or equipment.

For those interested in our research and wishing to find out more we invite you to visit our website at:

Research Groups

Department of Chemistry

Research Interests

  • Automation
  • Flow Synthesis
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Process Chemsitry
  • Scale-up
  • Synthetic Chemistry


Chapter in book

Journal Article

Other (Print)


  • Baumann, Marcus, Baxendale, Ian R., Hayward, John J., Hopkin, Mark D., Jin, Jane, Kitching, Matthew O., Lanners, Steve, Ley, Steven V., Nikbin-Roudsari, Nikzad, Smith, Christopher D., Smith, Catherine J. & Tamborini, Lucia (2007), New opportunities for advanced organic synthesis-flow-based chemical processing, 51: 16th International Isotope Society (UK group) Symposium: Synthesis and applications of labelled compounds 2007. Cambridge, JOHN WILEY \& SONS LTD, 252-253.