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Jolliffe Group

Researching organic and supramolecular chemistry
Explore our areas of research and key projects we are working on.

Our research

Synthesis of natural and novel cyclic peptides

We have developed a new method for the efficient head-to-tail synthesis of small cyclic peptides and examined its use in a number of model systems. Our methodology has been employed in the synthesis of the naturally occurring cyclic peptides mahafacyclin B and axinellin A and we are currently investigating the scope of our cyclisation method and its application in the synthesis of both naturally occurring and novel cyclic peptides.

Rigidified cyclic peptides as supramolecular scaffolds

In this project, we have used analogues of the naturally occurring Lissoclinum family of cyclic peptides, which incorporate oxazole subunits in the macrocyclic ring, to provide rigid scaffolds for the positioning of molecular receptor groups. These cyclic peptides are further rigidified by the presence of a network of bifurcated hydrogen bonds and their synthesis from amino acid building blocks allows a wide range of functional groups to be appended to the scaffold.

Compounds bearing dipicolylamino zinc(II) complexes have been used to bind biologically relevant anions (eg. pyrophosphate ions) in aqueous solution with high affinity and good selectivity. We are currently investigating how the selectivity of these receptors for target anions can be improved and looking at the attachment of alternative binding sites to the cyclic peptide scaffolds.

Molecular self-assembly

An understanding of the interactions between molecules is required to enable molecular building blocks capable of forming self-assembled structures to be designed. We are investigating the self-assembly of molecular aggregates (eg. capsules) using both hydrogen bonding and metal-ligand interactions as the glue to hold our molecular subunits together.

Our people

  • Professor Katrina Jolliffe
  • Dr James Wright, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dr Stuart Berry, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dr Lei Qin, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dr Liam Adair, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Eddie Zwicker, PhD student
  • Nikki Tzioumis, PhD student
  • Kate Leslie, PhD student
  • Genevieve Sergeant, PhD student
  • Jakob Lane, PhD student
  • Thomas Churchin, Honours student
  • Billy Ryder, visiting student

Mr Sam Falvey
Dr Karen K. Y. Yuen
Dr Zhenqin Zhang
Dr Jessica Veliscek-Carolan
Dr Benjamin Long
Dr Deni Taleski
Dr Robert B. P. Elmes
Dr Robert E. Thompson
Dr Xuejian Liu
Ms Tammie Barlow
Ms Li Li
Dr Huy Tien Ngo
Dr James Cochrane
Dr Philip G. Young
Dr Steven J. Butler
Dr David Bray
Dr Daniel Obando
Ms Rebecca Yi Ting Li
Dr Nima Sayyadi
Mr Michael Lee
Dr Jack K. Clegg
Dr Alex K. L. Yuen
Dr Ojia Skaff
Ms Clarissa K. L. Ng
Ms Gladys Wee Yu Lee


For information about opportunities to work or collaborate with the Jolliffe Group, contact Professor Jolliffe.

Honours Projects

The group has several Honours projects available every year. 

PhD Positions

There are currently PhD positions available in the group for students who can obtain their own scholarship funding.

Postdoctoral positions

Positions will be advertised when funding is available; however, please contact Professor Jolliffe if you intend to apply for your own funding.


Katrina Jolliffe

Professor of Chemistry
  • Room 515, School of Chemistry F11, University of Sydney NSW 2006