Professor Patrick McGowan

Research interests

Anti-Cancer Drugs
We have been working in this area for five years (Industrially funded postdoctoral fellow and PhD student) synthesising a range of potential anti-tumour compounds. We have developed the use of water and air stable and soluble titanium compounds as anti-tumour reagents towards cis-platin (conventional anti-tumour drug) resistant cell lines. Much of the work developed in this area involves patent applications. After in vitro testing, some of the compounds have shown extremely promising activity against cis-platin resistant cell lines. In vivo tests are currently underway and there is enormous potential for the further development of transitional metal compounds in this area.

The target molecules are derived from air and water sensitive precursors. Thus, the student will get training in handling air and water sensitive materials with the goal of making air and water stable materials given the techniques, expertise and the evidence that we have accumulated within the group. They would also get training in the biological in vitro testing of at Enact Pharma PLC, Salisbury, U.K.

Catalysis and Dihydrogen complexes
Our research group has been involved in the preparation, characterisation and evaluation of early and late transition metal compounds as catalysts. One area of interest is the use of late transition metal compounds as catalysts for the hydrogenation of polybutadiene (EPSRC funded). Working in catalysis with the industrial sector involves collaboration with BP Amoco PLC in the production of vinyl acetate using transition metal catalysts. We have also been working in the area of developing early transition organometallic compounds as ethene and propene polymerisation catalysts, and in the synthesis of polybutadiene catalysts.

We are interested in the preparation, stabilisation and characterisation of early and late transition metal dihydrogen complexes. We have prepared a number of new functionalised cyclopentadienyl and tri-azacyclononane ligands in our laboratories. Using our functionalised cyclopentadienyl and tri-azacyclononane complexes (EPSRC funding) we have been preparing transition metal organometallic and coordination hydride compounds. A student involved with these projects will manipulate air and water sensitive materials and synthesise new compounds which will be characterised using our multinuclear nmr facilities as well as our in-house microanalytical, mass spectrometry and x-ray crystallography facilities.

Postgraduate research opportunities

We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our research opportunities allow you to search for projects and scholarships.