Antony Fairbanks

ProfessorAntony Fairbanks

Beatrice Tinsley 324
Internal Phone: 95217


Research Interests

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 ( in 2002.

Recent Publications

  • Fairbanks A. (2023) The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022: masters of molecular LEGO. Chemistry in New Zealand 87(1): 18-27.
  • Mascherpa A., Ishii N., Tayagui A., Liu J., Sollogoub M. and Fairbanks AJ. (2023) Lysosomal Targeting of β-Cyclodextrin. Chemistry - A European Journal 29(4)
  • Qiu X., Chong D. and Fairbanks AJ. (2023) Selective Anomeric Acetylation of Unprotected Sugars with Acetic Anhydride in Water. Organic Letters 25(11): 1989-1993.
  • Fairbanks AJ. (2022) The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021 - some personal musings. Chemistry in New Zealand 86(1): 10-14.
  • Lassé M., Stampfli AR., Orban T., Bothara RK., Gerrard JA., Fairbanks AJ., Pattinson NR. and Dobson RCJ. (2022) Corrigendum to “Reaction dynamics and residue identification of haemoglobin modification by acrolein, a lipid-peroxidation by-product” [Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects Volume 1865, Issue 12, December 2021, 130013] (BBA - General Subjects (2021) 1865(12), (S0304416521001720), (10.1016/j.bbagen.2021.130013)). Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects 1866(5)