The research program of the Fletcher group is focused on synthetic and physical organic chemistry with a special interest in dynamic systems, chirality and catalysis.

A major part of the program deals with the development of novel asymmetric synthesis methods. Overall we aim to develop new strategies for asymmetric synthesis, and use mechanistic insight to guide the process of discovering and improving new catalytic reactions. A theme of this program is to develop practical methods to convert simple starting materials into complex molecules in a straightforward manner.

A second part of the program is inspired by complex chemical phenomena observed in biological systems. The fundamental question of what “life” is and how living matter differs from other systems remains unanswered. We are working toward understanding how the most basic functions of life can be observed in purely synthetic systems by studying self-replicators that operate far-from-equilibrium, and mimicking engineering strategies seen in the biological world to develop smart materials.


April: Congrats to Joseph for winning the talk Prize at the SCI 30th Regional (South) Postgraduate Symposia on Novel Organic Chemistry at Imperial College London!

March: Congrats to Sarah and Ignacio for their Nature Communication about "A chemically fuelled self-replicator"!

February: Congrats to Elias for his new paper about "Controlling the Kinetics of Self-Reproducing Micelles by Catalyst Compartmentalization in a Biphasic System"! Link

February: Congrats to Reece for his new paper about the "Desymmetrization of meso-bisphosphates using copper catalysis and alkylzirconocene nucleophiles"! Link

January: Congrats to Joseph and Thomas for their new paper about Trapping Zirconium Enolates! Link


November: Congrats to Lucy, who has won the Lily Prize for Organic Chemistry Research! She is also runner up in the Syngenta Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme. Well done!

October: Congrats to Sarah for winning the prize at the AstraZeneca symposium!

October: Welcome to Elena, a new Post-Doc working on the Origin of Life, Violeta, a new DPhil working on Catalysis and Yan, a new DPhil working on Origin of Life!!

September: Welcome to Ivan and Josh, our two new part IIs!

September: Congratulations to Joseph for winning the best flash talk prize in the 22nd International Conference on Organic Synthesis!

August: Congratulation to Steve, who has got the title of Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford based on "the applicant’s excellent record in research and teaching"! Source

August: Congrats to Rob who has won the poster prize at the Systems Chemistry GRC!

July: New people in the group! Welcome to Lily (Undergraduate at Somerville College), Mimi (visiting from South Carolina State) and Alba (here for 6 months from Freiburg)!

June: Congrats to Joseph for winning the poster prize at the Oxford synthesis conference (OSSC18)!

June: Congratulations to Ignacio and Sarah for their new paper in Nature Communications about "A transient self-assembling self-replicator"! To find out more, follow this link (

June: Alexandre has left the CRL and will be doing an industrial placement in GSK (Stevenage) for 3 months.

June: Welcome to our new CDT rotation student Ndidi!

April: Reece has left the CRL and will be doing an industrial placement in Vertex (Abingdon) for 3 months. Enjoy your time there!

April: Nisha has her new paper about Catalytic Asymmetric Synthesis of Geminal-Dicarboxylates on ChemRxiv!  This way to read it!

April: The Fletcher group is going to the Bristol Synthesis Meeting! 

April: Nod and Alex are heading to Girona, in order to attend the Girona Seminar 2018 about "Predictive Catalysis, Transition-Metal Reactivity by Design".

March: Welcome to Maria Lebedeva, our new Post Doc who will work in origin of life!

February:  Mireia takes her farewell and we wish her the best of luck for the future! Welcome to our new CDT rotation student Lewis!

Modified 4/2/2019 by Alexandre Brethomé