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.
- Currie MJ., Manjunath L., Horne CR., Rendle PM., Subramanian R., Friemann R., Fairbanks AJ., Muscroft-Taylor AC., North RA. and Dobson RCJ. (2021) N-Acetylmannosamine-6-phosphate 2-epimerase uses a novel substrate-assisted mechanism to catalyze amino sugar epimerization.. J Biol Chem : 101113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2021.101113.
- Fairbanks AJ. (2021) Applications of Shoda's reagent (DMC) and analogues for activation of the anomeric centre of unprotected carbohydrates. Carbohydrate Research 499 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carres.2020.108197.
- Fairbanks AJ., Flitsch SL. and Galan MC. (2020) Introduction to Glycosylation: New methodologies and applications. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry 18(36): 6979-6982. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0ob90110e.
- Qiu X. and Fairbanks AJ. (2020) Direct Synthesis of para-Nitrophenyl Glycosides from Reducing Sugars in Water. Organic Letters 22(6): 2490-2493. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.0c00728.
- Qiu X. and Fairbanks AJ. (2020) Scope of the DMC mediated glycosylation of unprotected sugars with phenols in aqueous solution. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry 18(37): 7355-7365. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0ob01727b.