X-ray crystal structures

Rutledge Group

Research into organic chemistry and chemical biology
Developing new drugs and sensors for biomedical applications, chemical solutions to environmental problems, and biologically-inspired catalysts for synthesis.

Our aims

Our research uses the tools of organic synthesis, bio-organic chemistry, biocatalysis and chemical biology to develop new antibiotics, molecular sensors to study biological systems, and biologically-inspired catalysts for important synthetic transformations.

We seek new antibiotics from natural product and synthetic sources, and build fluorescent probes to study biomolecular targets that include amyloid beta and the estrogen receptor.

Rutledge Group research

Our research interests

We are working on a range of projects in the general area of organic chemistry and chemical biology.

Our team

Research students

  • Julius Adamson Redirecting Amyloid Formation Using Small-Molecule Complexes
  • Mathamsanqa Bhebhe Open Source Malaria Series 3: A Promising Aminothienopyrimidine Lead
  • Klementine Burrell-Sander Social Media, Science and Synthesis: Towards New Drug Candidates for the Treatment of Tuberculosis
  • Hung Duong Eumycetoma: A case study in Open Source Drug Discovery and Public Engagement with Science
  • Heather Lacey Hidden World: Soil-derived Actinobacteria as a Source of Pharmaceutical Leads
  • Simon Marais ‘Magic Bullet’ Cancer Drugs and Antibiotics
  • Carlota Rivera Montero Open-Source Tuberculosis: Synthesis and Evaluation of New Drug Candidates
  • Nicholas Smith Development and Synthesis of Boron Containing Antibacterial Agents

Post-Doctoral Researchers

  • Dr Malcolm Spain (2015–2017) A new class of inhibitors for the treatment of tuberculosis (NHMRC APP1084266)
  • Dr Sandra Ast (2013–2015) Charting Intercellular Space (ARC DP120104035)
  • Dr Qun Yu (2010–2012) Target Activated Therapeutics (NBCF Novel Concept Award)
  • Dr Elizabeth Barrett (2007–2008) Biologically Inspired Catalysts for Hydrocarbon Oxidation


HDR Students

  • Jamie Batten, PhD (2022) On the Antibiotic Potential of Azamacrocycles
  • Nicole Chapman, PhD (2021) Ancestral Sequence Reconstruction of Isopenicillin N Synthase
  • Marat Korsik, PhD (2021) Open Source Malaria: Medicinal Chemistry of Triazolopyrazines towards New Antimalarial Drug Candidates
  • Paul King, PhD (2020) Synthesis of 1-Alkylisochromans: A Photoredox Strategy
  • Edwin Gar-On Tse, PhD (2020) Open Source Malaria: Potent Triazolopyrazine-Based Antiplasmodium Agents that Probe an Important Mechanism of Action
  • Elva Shi, MPhil (2019) Functionalised Azamacrocycles for Modulating Amyloid Aggregation
  • Mojdeh Dinarvand, PhD (2018) Discovery and development of novel antibacterials from natural products
  • Prarthana Devi, PhD (2016) Synthetic Approaches to a Peptide Isostere: Towards New b-Lactamase Inhibitors
  • Joseph Wong, PhD (2016) Cyclam and Metal-Cyclam Complexes for Sensing and Therapeutic Applications
  • Ayesha Hussain, MSc (2014) Iron Promoted Allylic Amination of Unactivated Alkenes
  • Tim Sheedy, PhD (2013) Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Chloramphenicol-Cyclam and Cholesterol-Cyclam Adducts
  • Mingfeng Yu, PhD (2012) Scorpionand Metal-Cyclam Complexes Appended with Biologically-Active Motifs: Design, Synthesis and Evaluation
  • Yu Heng Lau, MSc (2011) Chemical Sensors Based on Pendant Cyclam Complexes
  • Kaitlin Beare, PhD (2010) Synthetic Approaches to the DEF Ring System of Integramycin
  • Cillian Byrne, PhD (2008) Peptide Based Nitrile Hydration: Mimics of the Nitrile Hydratase Active Site
  • Vicky Dungan, PhD (2008) Biologically Inspired Strategies for Hydrocarbon Oxidation
  • Sarah Barry, PhD (2007) Non-Heme Iron Oxidase Enzymes & Enzyme Mimics in Synthesis & Biosynthesis
  • Kate Houlihan, PhD (2007) Peptide Mimics of the Nitrile Hydratase Active Site
  • Conor Scully, PhD (2007) A Bio-inspired Strategy for Selective Heavy Metal Detection Using Ferrocenyl Peptides


Honours Students

  • Klementine Burrell-Sander (2021) Social Media, Science and Synthesis: Towards New Drug Candidates for the Treatment of Tuberculosis
  • Ciara Kenneally (2021) “Exciting, empowering and engaging”- Perspectives of teachers and project leaders on citizen science in Australian classrooms
  • Isaac Morgan (2020) Approaches to novel drugs to combat M. tuberculosis and other mycobacteria using target-oriented and diversity-oriented synthesis
  • Natalie Mazurek (2020) The Secondary Metabolites of Bacterial Species Amycolaptosis pretoriensis
  • Ben Sibary (2020) Mining Streptomyces Genomes for Bioactive Specialised Metabolites
  • Lily McCubbin (2019) Diversity Oriented Synthesis as a Tool for the Development of Anti-Tubercular Compounds
  • Julius Adamson (2018) Cyclam Conjugates for the Modulation of Amyloid-β Aggregation
  • Maraia Pickering (2018) Design and Synthesis of Antitubercular Agents based on Amine Natural Products
  • Nicholas Smith (2018) Nontoxic, Carborane-Cyclam Conjugates with Potent Anti-Tubercular Activity
  • Heather Lacey (2016) The Secondary Metabolites of Novel Fungal Species Aspergillus nanangensis
  • Jack Stewart (2017) The Evolutionary Origins of Non-heme Iron Oxygenases
  • Sebastien Dath (2017) Investigating the Role of Target-Activated Metal Complexes within the Estrogen Receptor
  • Chris Brown (2016) Target-Activated Metal Complexes for Imaging the Estrogen Receptor
  • Jamie Batten (2016) Nontoxic Metal-Cyclam Complexes: Synthesis, Structure and Activity Against Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
  • Ceri Jennings (2015) Towards a β-Lactamase Inhibitor
  • Danial Moawad (2015) Synthesis of Novel Aromatic Substituted Di-triazoles as Potential Antituberculosis Drugs
  • Hasini Murage (2015) The Synthesis of Cyclam-based compounds with Anti-tubercular activity
  • Andrew Counsell (2014) Spectroscopic and Crystallographic Characterisation of Propargylic Tetraazamacrocycles
  • Angus Jones (2012) Synthesis of Tetra-Click Cyclam Derivatives
  • Jack Orford (2011) The Synthesis of Target-activated Metal Complexes for Breast Cancer Imaging and Therapy
  • Kim Watson (2011) Cyclam Based Scorpionands: Toward a Novel Class of Antibiotics
  • Daniel Hutchinson (2010) Cyclobutanone antibiotics: new drugs to combat bacterial resistance
  • David Porter (2010) Allylic Aminations Using Iron Oxidation Catalysts with N-Boc-Hydroxylamine
  • Teresa Nguyen (2010) Chemo-enzymatic Approaches to Epoxide-Derived Natural Products
  • Samantha Cheung (2009) Biocatalytic epoxidation of alkenes using Mycobacterium sp. strain NBB4
  • Yu Heng Lau (2009) Tetraazamacrocyclic Scorpionand Complexes: Synthesis and Study of Pendant Coordination
  • Joseph Wong (2009) Synthetic Approaches to Cyclobutanone Analogues of β‐Lactam Antibiotics
  • Belinda Poon (2008) Biomimetic Iron-based Systems for the Selective Functionalization of Hydrocarbons
  • William Early (2007) Novel Peptide Mimics of the Nitrile Hydratase Active Site
  • Shwo Mun Wong (2006) New Iron-Based Reagents for the Dihydroxylation of Alkenes
  • Kieran Kenny (UCD, 2005) A new approach to Nd-hydroxyornithine
  • Ed Larkin (UCD, 2005) Synthesis of nitrile hydratase mimics
  • Eoin Rafter (UCD, 2005) New strategies for the bioremediation of nitrile contaminants
  • Niall Trehey (UCD, 2005) New catalysts for hydrocarbon oxidation
  • Jane Crowley (UCD, 2004) New strategies for the bioremediation of cyanide and nitriles
  • Julie-Ann Lough (UCD, 2004) Design and synthesis of enzyme mimics for the oxidation of hydrocarbons: Mandelic Acid Scaffolds
  • Deirdre Walsh (UCD, 2004) Design and synthesis of enzyme mimics for the oxidation of hydrocarbons: Phenylalanine Scaffolds


Summer Scholars and Visitors

  • Wunna Kyaw (2017) University of Sydney Summer Scholar
  • Leo Jiang (2016) University of Sydney Summer Scholar
  • Jiarun (Veronica) Lin (2016) University of Sydney Summer Scholar

·       Stone Woo (2016) University of Sydney Summer Scholar

  • Max Wright (2015) University of Sydney Summer Scholar
  • Hazel Chan (2014) University of Sydney Summer Scholar
  • Hersh Patel (2014) University College London
  • Kylie Yang (2014) University of Sydney Summer Scholar
  • Eve Marshall (2013) The University of York
  • Emily Calandra (2013) Study Abroad Internship Program, Texas A&M University

·       Ian Wallace Moyer (2013) Study Abroad Internship Program, Rochester University

  • Emma Watson (2013) University of Sydney Talented Student Program
  • Andrew Counsell (2012) University of Sydney Summer Scholar
  • Cyril Tang (2012) University of Sydney Talented Student Program
  • Yu Heng Lau (2008) University of Sydney Talented Student Program
  • Rowan Nieuwenhuizen (2008) University of Applied Science Leiden, Netherlands
  • Günther Thiele (2008) Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany
  • Shane Gallagher (2005) University College Dublin SFI UREKA Scholar
  • Paula Williams (2005) University College Dublin SFI UREKA Scholar
  • Darragh Gaffney (2004) University College Dublin SFI UREKA Scholar
  • Christa Prunkl (2003) Erasmus Scholar, University of Regensburg
  • Ina Rosnizeck (2003) Erasmus Scholar, University of Regensburg


For information about PhD opportunities contact Associate Professor Peter Rutledge via Research Supervisor Connect.

For current honours projects, you can view the Chemistry honours projects guide.

Peter Rutledge

  • Room 547, School of Chemistry F11, University of Sydney NSW 2006

Rutledge research group