Dr Andrew Sutherland

Phone number
0121 2043425



Room number



I received my training as a synthetic organic chemist as a Ph.D. student at Manchester University (supervisor, Professor J K Sutherland) where I synthesised a variety of natural product analogues.  Subsequently, as a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1992-1994, PI Professor J Rebek Jr) I gained invaluable early experience of combinatorial chemistry through the synthesis and subsequent deconvolution of soluble combinatorial libraries. After a year spent at Warwick University as a temporary lecturer and a three-year period spent as a lecturer at the Nottingham Trent University, I moved to my current position, in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at Aston University, in October 1998. 


Qualifications & Education

  • BSc (Hons) Chemistry, Manchester University, 1989
  • MSc in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Manchester University, 1990
  • PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Manchester University, 1992



  • 2008 – date Senior Lecture, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Aston University
  • 1998 – 2008 Lecturer Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Aston University
  • 1995-1998 Lecturer, Department of Chemistry & Physics, Nottingham Trent University
  • 1994 – 1995 Temporary Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Warwick University
  • 1992-1994 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, MIT, USA


Teaching activity
My teaching activities reflect my research interests and are largely organic chemistry-based.  I teach on all of the Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and MChem programmes offered by the School. I give lectures in the following modules; CH1102 Molecular Structure, CH1104 Molecular Transformations, CH2101 Chemical Analysis, CH2102 Organic Synthesis, CH3103 Modern Synthetic Methods. I run the Year 1 Organic Chemistry Laboratory and jointly with Dr Al-Malaika run the Year 1 Introductory Chemistry Laboratory. I also give a number of tutorials and am responsible for organising both the Year 3 Literature Research Projects (CH3100) and the 60 credit Laboratory Research Projects (CH4103) carried out by our final year MChem students.


Research interests
My research interests focus on using synthetic organic chemistry as a tool with which to develop new materials. Bespoke monomers are designed and synthesised before being introduced into polymerisation reactions to generate materials with properties tailored for disparate applications in fields ranging from cellular delivery and bioimaging to molecular recognition, combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening.


Recent research funding
I have managed a series of highly successful interdisciplinary research projects, as PI or CoI. This includes working as PI on the Aston-based research targets (EPSRC grant EP/D038057/1) of a £1.6M (EPSRC-LSI Dec 2005) consortium. This ongoing consortium, which is additionally comprised of Prof P O’Brien (University of Manchester), Dr A Hine (Aston), Prof M Bradley and Dr J Brickman (Edinburgh University) and Dr M Li (Imperial College), conducts interdisciplinary research focused upon quantum dot-encoding of polymer-based particles for generic utility in Stem cell-based phenotypic studies. I was instrumental in initiating the formation of this collaboration through the EPSRC award (Oct 2004, as PI) of consortium building funds for the 2nd call in High-throughput Methods and Associated New Techniques. Other interdisciplinary, inter-university collaborations in which I have taken a key role include EPSRC grant (GR/N38183/01, June 2000), a three-way collaboration with Profs D Sherrington (Strathclyde) and N Slater (Cambridge), focusing on synthesis novel polymer supported reagents, and an EPSRC grant (£198K, GR/R30945/01, March 2001) as PI in collaboration with Prof O’Brien (Manchester), centred on the QD-based optical encoding of polymer microbeads and a CASE award with Reaxa, formerly Avecia (Dec 2003). Within Aston University, I have collaborated with Dr A Hine (LHS) on a number of interdisciplinary research projects, most notably on a highly successful BBSRC grant (£305K, 92/B14245, Nov 2000), generating 5 papers, 2 patents and a spin-out company.


PhD Supervision
PhD Ms Evita Chundoo Jan 2009-
MSc Mr Lutful Khan (co-supervised with Dr D Webb, PRG, SEAS)
PDRA Dr Jon Behrendt (July 2006)

I am always happy to consider PhD applicants, with experience of any aspect of organic chemistry or materials science, especially those who are able to supply their own funding.


Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Member of the EPSRC College (since 2003)
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (since 1990)
  • Member of the American Chemical Society (since 2002)


Selected publications 

J. M. Behrendt, M. Afzaal, L. M. Alexander, M. Bradley, A. V. Hine, D. A. Nagel, P. O’Brien, K. Presland and A. J. Sutherland “Thiol-containing microspheres as polymeric ligands for the immobilisation of quantum dots” J. Mater Chem. 2009, 19 215-221.

J. M. Behrendt and A. J. Sutherland  “Quantum Dots” GB Patent Application GB0902564.4 (filed 16th Feb 2009)

N. L. Pickett and A. J. Sutherland  “Labelled Beads” US Patent 20070238126 (filed 4th May 2007)

M. C. McCairn, M. D. Hughes, A. V. Hine and A. J. Sutherland “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.

M. C. McCairn, M. D. Hughes, A. V. Hine and A. J. Sutherland “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.

Parker K. J., Kumar S., Pearce D. A. and A. J. Sutherland "Design, synthesis and evaluation of a fluorescent peptidyl sensor for the selective recognition of arsenite." Tetrahedron Lett. 2005, 46 (41) 7043-7045.

Y. Li, E. C. Y. Liu, N. Pickett, P. J. Skabara, S. S. Cummins, S. Ryley, A. J. Sutherland and P. O’Brien  "Synthesis and characterisation of CdS quantum dots in polystyrene microbeads" J. Mater. Chem. 2005, 15(12), 1238-1243.

M. D. Hughes, Z. R. Zhang, A. J. Sutherland, A. F. Santos and A. V. Hine "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.

S. Jegasothy, N. K. H. Slater, C. Denecker, D. C. Sherrington, Z. Lei and A. J. Sutherland "Kinetics of oxidation of hydroquinone by polymer supported hypervalent iodine oxidant, iodoxybenzoic acid" Chem. Eng. J. 2004, 105(1-2) 1-10.

M. C. McCairn and A. J. Sutherland “Scintillation proximity assays for the real-time detection and quantification of the progress of reactions upon solid supports.” Chem. Commun. 2004, 296-297.

M. C. McCairn, S. J. Culliford, R. Z. Kozlowski and A. J. Sutherland “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.

P. O’Brien, S. S. Cummins, D. Darcy, A. Dearden, O. Masala, N. L. Pickett, S. Ryley S. and A. J. Sutherland “Quantum dot-labelled polymer beads by suspension polymerization.” Chem. Commun. 2003, 2532-2533.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research