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Professor Helen Hailes

My research

My research is focused on sustainable synthetic strategies and the use of synthetic chemistry to probe and understand biological problems. Several projects involve the discovery, optimisation and use of biocatalysts in single or multi-step pathways to construct single isomer biologically active molecules. In addition we are investigating reactions and multi-step cascades in water and other green solvents. We are also designing and synthesising new lipids for use in nanoparticle delivery applications, and as imaging reagents.

My journey

I have always worked full-time as has my husband who is also an academic. I had my daughter Becky when I was still doing postdoctoral research and then took up a lectureship. Within a few years of starting my independent research career I had Sam. We both juggled full-time lecturing, research and bringing up the children, and despite the hard work and long hours the relative flexibility of academic life helped. The children have been such a fabulous central part of our lives for many years, and Becky has just started a PhD and Sam has now started University!

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