Organic synthesis

This research group, led by Joanne Harvey, uses the techniques of synthetic chemistry to pursue nature-inspired drug discovery.

Research focus

Nature-inspired drug discovery is the keystone of the Organic Synthesis research group. Natural products from New Zealand marine sponges, fungi, and bacterial species provide the basis for several of our projects, which focus on synthesising analogues for SAR studies and structure-based drug design.

Total synthesis of natural products also allows us to develop new synthetic strategies and methods, which may be applied to the preparation of analogues. It also enables us to confirm the structure and/or stereochemical configuration of natural products.

Amira Brackovic works on the synthesis of bioactive natural product peloruside A
Amira Brackovic works on the synthesis of bioactive natural product peloruside A

We use our synthetic chemistry expertise for environment projects, such as synthesis of pest pheromones, and food chemistry projects, including studying the metabolism of synthetic food dyes.

Our research group is based in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. We are located in the modern synthesis lab in the Alan MacDiarmid Building on Kelburn Campus.

We are part of the VUW Centre for Biodiscovery. Our lab space is located in the purpose-built Alan MacDiarmid building, and we benefit from extensive NMR facilities within the School.

student standing in lab gear conducting experiment using equipment inside fumehood
Fumehood chemistry

Find out about our publications.

See People for contact information.

Read more about our research projects.

Academic staff

Associate Professor · Chemistry
School of Chemical and Physical Sciences · Organic chemistry