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Research Fellows Directory

Fernanda Duarte

Dr Fernanda Duarte

Research Fellow


University of Oxford

Research summary

Demand for optically-pure compounds continues to rise, driven by society’s need for new pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. Traditionally, transition metals have been used. However, due to their toxicity, the concept of asymmetric organocatalysis (i.e. the use of small organic molecules to function as efficient and selective catalysts) has rapidly gained attention. Inspired by elements found in enzymes, the objective of this project is to combine theory- namely, state-of-the-art computation - and experiments to identify, design, and engineer efficient biomimetic organocatalysts for enantioselective chemical synthesis.We will focus on the design of biomimetic molecules, based on nature’s use of specific enzymes to selectively accelerate the formation of chiral compounds. Combined with experimental testing, this work will provide a platform for the generation of artificial organocatalysts with improved efficiency and selectivity.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Plagiarizing Proteins: In Silico Evolution of Catalysts for Selective Chemical Synthesis

Scheme: Newton International Fellowships

Dates: Nov 2015 - Jan 2017

Value: £101,000

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