Dr Andrew Sutherland


Reader in organic/polymer chemistry

Contact details

Email   a.j.sutherland@aston.ac.uk

Phone number  +44(0) 121 204 3425

Room number   MB132

Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
School of Engineering & Applied Science
Aston University
Aston Triangle
Birmingham, B4 7ET

Research group

Dr Sutherland is a member of the Advanced Materials Research Unit (AMRU) which is part of the Polymer and Advanced Materials Research Group within the School of Engineering & Applied Science

Research ethos

I trained formally as a synthetic organic chemist (PhD, Manchester, 1992; PDRA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1992-1994). This background in synthesis enables me to develop new materials with bespoke properties such as the ability to bind nanoparticles; emit light; enter living cells etc. The ability to use synthetic chemistry as a tool to make new polymers has proven to be both powerful and productive in with applications in both materials science and biology. Moreover the highly applied nature of the work has enabled me to become involved in numerous multi-centre/multi-disciplinary research projects both within the UK and more lately internationally.

Current projects

  • 2015-2017, PI (~£140K) 661317 - H2020-MSCA-IF-2014 - POLYCOMP*
    'POLYmer-COntrolled Mesocrystal application-oriented Production: a combined theoretical and experimental approach'
  • 2012-2015, Joint-PI (£498K @ Aston) 290022 – FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN ESTABLIS*
    ‘Ensuring STABiLIty in organic Solar cells (ESTABLIS). For more details please see the 
    ESTABLIS website.
    Dr Sutherland is the Director of Training for this Initial Training Network 
  • 2014-2016, PI (£12K) Royal Society InternationalExchanges Scheme 2014/R2*
    ‘Biodegradable Microspheres for Imaging and Cellular Delivery (BioMIC)’
  • 2014-2016, PI (£12K) Royal Society International Exchanges Scheme 2014 RFBR*
    ‘Metal cluster/polymer hybrid materials for bioimaging applications’
  • 2014-2018, Co-I (£94K) BBSRC, BB/L015633/1 iCASE Award*  
    ‘Amino-acyl tRNA synthetases: investigations of tRNA specificity for application in ProxiMAX / synthetic biology.

* international project


journal covers and images from our research


Please note that links to articles below will work only if you have appropriate access. If you are unable to access an article from these links, please email me to request a reprint.

  1. Chimonides, G. F., Behrendt, J. M., Chundoo, E., Bland, C., Hine, A. V., Devitt, A., Nagel, D. A., Sutherland, A. J. “Cellular uptake of ribonuclease A functionalised core–shell silica microspheres” J Mater Chem B, 2014, 2, 7307-7315 (Front cover). Link to the article.
  2. Efremova, O. A.,  Brylev, K. A., Kozlova, O., White, M. S., Shestopalov, M. A., Kitamura, N., Mironov, Y. V., Bauer, S., Sutherland, A.J. “Polymerisable octahedral rhenium cluster complexes as precursors for photo/electroluminescent polymers” J. Mater Chem. C, 2014, 2(40), 8630-8638. Link to the article.
  3. Nagel, D., Behrendt, J. M., Chimonides, G. F., Torr, E. E.,Devitt, A., Sutherland, A. J., Hine A. V.  “Polymeric Microspheres as Protein Transduction Reagents” Mol. Cell Proteomics, 2014, 13(6), 1543-1551 (Front cover). Link to the article.
  4. Isakova, A., Topham, P. D., Sutherland, A. J. “Controlled RAFT Polymerization and Zinc Binding Performance of Catechol-Inspired Homopolymers” Macromol., 2014, 47(8), 2561-2568. Link to the article.
  5. Efremova, O. A.,  Shestopalov, M.A., Chirtsova, N.A., Smolentsev, A. I., Mironov, Y. V., Kitamura, N. Brylev, K. A., Sutherland, A. J. “A highly emissive inorganic hexamolybdenum cluster complex as a handy precursor for the preparation of new luminescent materialsDalton Trans., 2014, , 43(16), 6021-6025. Link to the article.
  6. Erothu, H., Sohdi, A. A., Kumar, A. C., Sutherland, A. J., Dagron-Lartigau, C., Allal, A., Hiorns, R. C., Topham, P. D. “Facile synthesis of poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(ethylene oxide) copolymers via Steglich esterification” Polymer Chemistry2013, 4(13), 3652-3655. Link to the article.
  7. Behrendt, J. M., Nagel, D. A., Chundoo, E. Alexander, L. M., Dupin, D., Hine, A. V., Bradley, M., Sutherland, A. J. “Synthesis and Characterization of Dual-Functionalized Core-Shell Fluorescent Microspheres for Bioconjugation and Cellular Delivery” PLoS ONE 2013, 8(3): e50713. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050713. Link to the article.
  8. Zhou, Y., Behrendt, J. M., Sutherland, A. J., Griffiths, G. “Synthetic molecular mimics of naturally occurring cyclopentenones exhibit antifungal activity towards pathogenic fungi “ Microbiology 2011, 157, 3435-3445. Link to the article.
  9. Behrendt J. M., Afzaal M.,Alexander L. M., Bradley M., Hine A. V., Nagel D., O’Brien P., Preseland K., and SutherlandA. J. Thiol-Containing Microspheres as Polymeric Ligands for the Immobilization of Quantum Dots”. J. Mater. Chem. 2009, 19, 215-221. Link to the article.
  10. Gennet, N., Alexander, L. M., Sanchez-Martin, R. M., Behrendt, J. M., Sutherland, A. J., Brickman, J. M., Bradley, M., Li, M. “Microspheres as a vehicle for biomolecule delivery to neural stem cells”, New Biotechnol. 2009, 25, 442-449. Link to the article.
  11. McCairn M. C., Hughes M. D., Hine A. V. and Sutherland A. J. “A platform for both solid-phase peptide nucleic acid oligomer synthesis and subsequent in situ detection and quantification of nucleic acid sequences” J. Comb. Chem. 2006, 8(1) 639-642. Link to the article.
  12. McCairn M. C., Hughes M. D., Hine A. V. and Sutherland A. J. “Solid-Phase PNA Synthesis and In Situ Scintillation Proximity Assay for the Detection of PNA-DNA Hybridization” J. Comb. Chem. 2006, 8(1) 1-3. Link to the article.
  13. Parker K. J., Kumar S., Pearce D. A. and Sutherland A. J. "Design, synthesis and evaluation of a fluorescent peptidyl sensor for the selective recognition of arsenite." Tetrahedron Lett. 2005, 46 (41) 7043-7045. Link to the article.
  14. Li Y., Liu E. C. Y., Pickett N., Skabara P. J., Cummins S. S., Ryley S., Sutherland A. J. and O’Brien P. "Synthesis and characterisation of CdS quantum dots in polystyrene microbeads" J. Mater. Chem. 2005,15(12), 1238-1243. Link to the article.
  15. Hughes M. D., Zhang Z.-R., Sutherland A. J., Santos A. F. and Hine A. V. "Synthesis of new zinc finger proteins: screening the interactions of combinatorial protein libraries en masse identifies active proteins directly, without display, purification or sequencing" Nucleic Acids Res. 2005, 33(3) art. no. e32. Link to the article.
  16. Jegasothy S., Slater N. K. H., Denecker C., Sherrington D. C., Lei Z. and Sutherland A. J. "Kinetics of oxidation of hydroquinone by polymer supported hypervalent iodine oxidant, iodoxybenzoic acid" Chem. Eng. J. 2004, 105(1-2) 1-10. Link to the article.
  17. McCairn M. C. and Sutherland A. J. “Scintillation proximity assays for the real-time detection and quantification of the progress of reactions upon solid supports.” Chem. Commun. 2004, 296-297. Link to the article.
  18. McCairn M. C., Culliford S. J., Kozlowski R. Z. and Sutherland A. J. “Synthesis, evaluation and incorporation into liposomes of 4-functionalised-2,5-diphenyloxazole derivatives for application in scintillation proximity assays.” Tetrahedron Lett. 2004, 45 (10) 2163-2166. Link to the article.
  19. O’Brien P., Cummins S. S., Darcy D., Dearden A., Masala O., Pickett N. L., Ryley S. and Sutherland A. J. “Quantum dot-labelled polymer beads by suspension polymerization.” Chem. Commun. 2003, 2532-2533. Link to the article.
  20. Hughes M. D., Nagel D. A., Santos A. F., Sutherland A. J. and Hine A. V. “Removing the redundancy from randomised gene libraries.” J. Mol. Biol. 2003, 331, 973-979. Link to the article.
  21. Lei Z., Denecker C., Jegasothy S., Sherrington D. C., Slater N. K. H. and Sutherland A. J. “A facile route to a polymer-supported IBX reagent” Tetrahedron Lett. 2003, 44, 1635-1637. Link to the article.
  22. McCairn M. C., Hine A. V. and Sutherland A. J. “Synthesis and evaluation of scintillant-containing poly(oxyethylene glycol) polymer (POP-Sc) supports”, J. Mater. Chem. 2003, 13, 225-231. Link to the article.
  23. Clapham B. and Sutherland A. J. “Scintillation-based potassium signaling using 2,5-diphenyloxazole-tagged aza 18-crown-6”, Chem. Commun. 2003, 84-85. Link to the article.
  24. Sutherland A. J. “Quantum dots as luminescent probes in biological systems” Curr. Opin. Solid State and Mat. Sci. 2002, 6(4), 365-370. Link to the article.
  25. Culliford S. J., McCauley P., Sutherland A. J., McCairn M. C., Sutherland J., Blackburn J. and Kozlowski R. Z. “A novel cell-based scintillation proximity assay for studying protein function and activity in vitro using membrane-soluble scintillants” Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2002, 296, 857-863. Link to the article.
  26. McCairn M. C., Tonge S. R. and Sutherland A. J. “Synthesis and evaluation of Poly(Oxyethylene glycol) Polymer (POP) supports”, J. Org. Chem. 2002, 67, 4847-4855. Link to the article.
  27. Clapham B. and Sutherland A. J. “Stille coupling reactions of 4-substituted-2,5-diphenyloxazoles”, J. Org. Chem. 2001, 66, 9033-9037. Link to the article.
  28. Clapham B. and Sutherland A. J. "Use of a scintillant-containing macroporous resin in both solid phase synthesis and subsequent on-bead scintillation-based analysis", Tetrahedron Lett. 2000, 41, 2257-2260. Link to the article.
  29. Clapham B. and Sutherland A. J. "Synthesis and evaluation of a scintillant-containing solid support for use in combinatorial chemistry", Tetrahedron Lett. 2000, 41, 2253-2256. Link to the article.
  30. Clapham B., Richards A., Wood M. L. and Sutherland A. J. “Synthesis and scintillating efficiencies of 4-functionalised-2,5-diphenyloxazoles”, Tetrahedron Lett. 1997, 38, 52, 9061-9064. Link to the article.
  31. Sutherland A. J., Crowley P. J. and Sutherland J. K. “Synthesis of C-D-ring analogues of the azasteroid A25822”, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, 1996, 349-354. Link to the article.
  32. Carell T., Wintner E. A., Sutherland A. J., Rebek Jr. J., Dunayevskiy Y. M. and Vouros P. M. “New promise in combinatorial chemistry: Synthesis, characterisation, and screening of small-molecule libraries in solution”, Chemistry & Biology, 1995, 2, 171-183. Link to the article.
  33. Galan A., Sutherland A. J., Ballester P. and Rebek Jr. J. “Synthesis and rotational properties of a series of polyaromatic clefts”, Tetrahedron Lett. 1994, 35, 30, 5359-5362. Link to the article.

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