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Dr Will Brittain

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry


William Brittain completed a masters degree in chemistry at the University of Birmingham in 2013. He then remained in Birmingham to conduct his PhD studies (awarded 2018) in the group of Prof. John Fossey with external supervision from Dr Ben Buckley (Loughborough University). For his PhD Will studied asymmetric copper catalysed reactions and in particular helped develop several asymmetric azide-alkyne cycloaddition reactions (click reactions). Will also took part in a visiting scholar program in 2015 and 2016 spending time in the laboratory of Prof. Eric Anslyn at the University of Texas at Austin. During his time in Texas he worked on the application of three-component boronic acid assemblies to asymmetric catalysis and high throughput enantiomeric excess (ee) determination.

Will moved to Durham University to take up a postdoctoral position with Prof. Steven Cobb in 2017. During his time in Durham he has contributed to a number of projects including peptide modification, protecting group development, biosynthetic pathway elucidation and asymmetric bi-aryl synthesis. In 2020 Will was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and appointed as an Assistant Professor (Research) to conduct independent research at Durham. He was recently appointed to the RSC Fluorine Interest Group committee. 

Research interests

  • Asymmetric Catalysis
  • Organic Methodology
  • Organofluorine Chemistry
  • Peptide Chemistry


Journal Article

Supervision students