Professor Peter Tyler

Prof Peter Tyler profile picture

Professor Ferrier Research Institute

Research interests

Carbohydrate Synthesis, Medicinal Chemistry, Enzyme Inhibitors, Nucleosides.

Professor Peter Tyler began the Carbohydrate Chemistry group (now the Ferrier Research Institute), with Professor Richard Furneaux in 1985.

Richard leads the commercial side of the now substantial business, while Peter sets the standard for excellence in practical chemistry. “I have maintained a strong focus on bench work and hopefully set an example of what a chemist should do. I do think the team has been successful because of this focus.”

A PhD from Victoria University of Wellington, supervised by Professor Robin Ferrier, landed him a job as an analytical chemist in the former DSIR. But when he teamed up with Richard to work on the synthesis of a new class of pesticides, the potential of his extraordinary talent for organic synthesis was realised.

“Chemistry is nothing in itself, but when partnered with biology, real progress can be made. I know there are people who are alive today because of the chemistry we’ve done, and that’s very satisfying.”

A significant collaboration with Professor Vern Schramm from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM) began in 1993 and has seen hundreds of drug candidates tested, with some licensed and progressing to clinical trials. Peter is currently pursuing new targets in the AECOM collaboration and lending a hand in the heparan sulfate synthesis programme.

His expertise and enthusiasm for practical chemistry have been crucial to the team’s success and Richard has always relied on him.

“Peter is our number one organic chemist. He has both an extra special chemical creativity and an incredible effectiveness. He is often right first time and he never gives up.”


View Peter's publications on Google Scholar.

Professor Peter Tyler's inaugural professorial lecture