If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Duncan began his career as an analytical chemist at Reckitt and Colman Pharmaceutical Division (now Reckitt Benckiser), working in both Manufacturing and R & D. He became a Graduate of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1991. Following this he carried out graduate studies with Prof. Chris Rayner at the University of Leeds, and was awarded a PhD for studies on the Payne-type rearrangement and nucleophilic trapping of 2,3-epoxysulfides. Between 1994 and 1998 he undertook postdoctoral studies with Professor Garry Procter at the University of Salford, studying the application of hetero-Diels-Alder cycloadditions to the total synthesis of aminoglycoside antibiotics; and with Professor Jim Thomas at the University of Manchester, working on the total synthesis of the bryostatins.

Duncan joined the Process R&D department of AstraZeneca Charnwood in 1999 as a process chemist. He specialised in early phase development projects, working closely with Medicinal Chemistry teams to design innovative routes to new pharmaceutical compounds, and leading teams of chemists, analysts and engineers in manufacturing campaigns at laboratory, kilo-lab and pilot plant scale. He developed an interest and expertise in metal catalysis as leader of the AZ Global Catalysis Group, acted as the AZ technical leader in a consortium that successfully bid for EU FP7 funding to investigate catalysis in continuous flow manufacturing processes, and ran an independent research program devising new routes to chiral heterocyclic scaffolds. Duncan joined the University of Huddersfield in 2011 as Senior Research Fellow.

Duncan serves as a committee member of the RSC Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group, and as treasurer of the Gregynog Synthesis Workshop, an annual conference for young synthetic organic chemists.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Preparation of new antibiotics and anti-tumour compounds, by both de novo synthesis and chemical modification of natural products;
  • Asymmetric catalysis, utilizing a variety of complementary techniques, for example: homogeneous and supported metal-ligand complexes; enzymatic catalysis; organocatalysis and phase transfer conditions;
  • New synthetic methodology for streamlined manufacturing processes, such as functionalization of conventionally unreactive C-H bonds;
  • Design and synthesis of new chiral heterocyclic scaffolds based on challenging architecture such as spirocyclic, bridged bicyclic, and uncommon ring sizes;
  • Innovative manufacturing technology, such as continuous flow processing, membrane reactors and microwave heating;
  • Green and sustainable chemical manufacturing.

Research Degree Supervision

Click Here to see all postgraduate research opportunities with Dr Duncan Gill

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Duncan Gill is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
Sulfides Chemical Compounds
Ions Chemical Compounds
Lewis Acids Chemical Compounds
Amines Chemical Compounds
Aminopeptidases Chemical Compounds
Imines Chemical Compounds
Microwave irradiation Chemical Compounds
Sulfonamides Chemical Compounds

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1993 2019

Synthesis of a protected keto-lysidine analogue via improved preparation of arabino-isocytosine nucleosides

Sweeney, J. B., Bethel, P. A., Gill, D. M., Ochocińska, A. M., Walsh, A. E. J. & Walton, S. M., 12 Mar 2019, In : Organic Letters. 21, 7, p. 2004-2007 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Microwave irradiation
reaction time
15 Citations (Scopus)

An iron-catalysed C-C bond-forming spirocyclization cascade providing sustainable access to new 3D heterocyclic frameworks

Adams, K., Ball, A. K., Birkett, J., Brown, L., Chappell, B., Gill, D. M., Lo, P. K. T., Patmore, N. J., Rice, C. R., Ryan, J., Raubo, P. & Sweeney, J. B., 1 Apr 2017, In : Nature Chemistry. 9, 4, p. 396-401 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chemical bonds
2 Citations (Scopus)

Catalytic sp3-sp3 Functionalisation of Sulfonamides: Late-Stage Modification of Drug-Like Molecules

Abdulla, O., Clayton, A. D., Faulkner, R. A., Gill, D. M., Rice, C. R., Walton, S. M. & Sweeney, J. B., 31 Jan 2017, In : Chemistry - A European Journal. 23, 7, p. 1494-1497 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

sigma Receptors
Pharmaceutical Preparations
6 Citations (Scopus)

An Improved Method for Difluorocyclopropanation of Alkenes

Gill, D., Mclay, N., Waring, M., Wilkinson, C. & Sweeney, J., Jul 2014, In : Synlett. 25, 12, p. 1756-1758 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Microwave irradiation
Boiling point
7 Citations (Scopus)

Flexible access to conformationally-locked bicyclic morpholines

Bogacki, R., Gill, D. M., Kerr, W. J., Lamont, S., Parkinson, J. A. & Paterson, L. C., 11 Oct 2013, In : Chemical Communications. 49, 79, p. 8931-8933 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle