The main focus of our research is in the field of Organic Synthesis, particulalry applied to carbohydrates. Sugars, and in particular oligosaccharides, play key roles in a plethora of biological processes and chemical synthesis allows us to make molecules that will either enable us to increase our understanding of these processes, or perhaps even more importantly enable us to interfere with undesired processes. So, as Organic Chemists, we are not only interested in synthesis for its own sake, but also in the potential that our efforts can have in the fields of Glycoscience and Medicine, be it by accessing biologically important carbohydrates, or by the synthesis of mimics of sugars as therapeutic agents. As well as mainstream synthesis we are also interested in synthetic access to proteins that bear particular defined carbohydrate structures: structurally defined glycoproteins, and we have recently expanded our expertise into the field of molecular biology in order to develop more efficient biocatalysts to achieve this aim. This research interest led to the launch of a spinout company, Glycoform (http://www.glycoform.co.uk) in 2002.
- Alexander SR., Lim D., Amso Z., Brimble MA. and Fairbanks AJ. (2017) Protecting group free synthesis of glycosyl thiols from reducing sugars in water; application to the production of N-glycan glycoconjugates. Journal of the Chemical Society, Perkin Transactions 1 15(10): 2152-2156. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7ob00112f.
- Fairbanks AJ. (2017) The ENGases: Versatile biocatalysts for the production of homogeneous: N -linked glycopeptides and glycoproteins. Chemical Society Reviews 46(16): 5128-5146. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c6cs00897f.
- Kavianinia I., Yang S-H., Kaur H., Harris PWR., Dobson RCJ., Fairbanks AJ. and Brimble MA. (2017) Synthesis and incorporation of an advanced lipid peroxidation end-product building block into collagen mimetic peptides.. Chemical Communications http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7cc05025a.
- Lepe PGT., Tucker N., Watson AJA., LeCorre-Bordes D., Fairbanks AJ. and Staiger MP. (2017) The electrospinnability of visco-elastic sugar solutions. Applied Rheology 27(3) http://dx.doi.org/10.3933/APPLRHEOL-27-35703.
- Lim D. and Fairbanks AJ. (2017) Selective anomeric acetylation of unprotected sugars in water. Chemical Science 8(3): 1896-1900. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c6sc04667c.