Professor Tom Sheppard


 Tom Sheppard is a Professor of Organic Chemistry focusing on the development of new synthetic methodology for a wide range of potential applications. Current areas of interest include organoboron chemistry, sustainable synthesis, tranisition-metal catalysis, and medicinal chemistry. Tom was appointed as a lecturer in 2007 and at the same time he was awarded an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship; he was promoted to Reader in 2013. Prior to taking up his academic appointment, he carried out a PhD with Professor Steve Ley CBE FRS at the University of Cambridge, and was a postdoctoral researcher with Professor William Motherwell FRS at UCL. 
Summary of research group
 We are primarily interested in the development of new synthetic methodology and its application to the synthesis of potentially useful molecules. Our research work is spread across a wide range of different areas including transition-metal catalysis, organoboron chemistry, organocatalysis, multicomponent reactions and sustainable chemistry. A common theme in a lot of the research projects is the development of new methods for activation or formation of carbon-oxygen bonds. For further details, see www.tomsheppard.eu
Research highlights
  • Our group developed B(OCH2CF3)3 as a novel direct amidation reagent which is widely applicable to a range of functionalised substrates (see http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5ob01801c). 
  • We have recently reported a highly efficient method for the preparation of chiral tetrahydrofuran scaffolds via the selective dehydration of pentoses (see http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.201503510).#
  • S. Higson, F. Subrizi, T. D. Sheppard, H. C. Hailes, "Chemical Cascades in Water for the Synthesis of Functionalized Aromatics from Furfurals", Green Chemistry, 2016, 18, 1855-1858. Features on the back cover of the journal.
Research Facilities
  • Mass Spec
  • MR
  • X-Ray crystallography
  • Junior Scientist Participation Program (JSP) bursary to attend the 44th Bürgenstock Stereochemistry Conference, Brunnen, Switzerland (2012)
  • Thieme Chemistry Journal Award (2011)
  • EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship (2007)
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Member of the Society of the Chemical Industry
Research interests
  • Catalysis: Gold, Palladium, Organocatalysis 
  • Organoboron Chemistry
  • Strategically Important Hydration and Dehydration Reactions
  • Novel Scaffolds for Medicinal Chemistry
  • Sustainable Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery: Nicotinic Acetyl Choline Receptors
  • CHEM2203 Organic and Biological Reaction Mechanisms
  • CHEM3205 Principles and Methods of Organic Synthesis
  • CHEMM201 Stereochemical Control in Asymmetric Synthesis