Welcome to the website of the research group of Prof. Andy Lawrence. We are a synthetic organic chemistry research group based at the University of Edinburgh. Our research effort is primarily focused on the total synthesis of natural products, exploring new strategies and concepts in chemical synthesis, and developing new synthetic methodology (for further details see our research section and publication list).

Group News

July 2022 – Well done Annika & Lorna, our undergraduate project students, who both secured 1st class marks! Further congratulations to Annika for securing the Best Overall Performance Prize for BSc (Hons) Chemistry Research Project.

June 2022 – Congratulations to Dr David Jones on winning the Prize for Best Oral Presentation at the RSC Chemistry and Biology of Natural Products XV meeting, for his talk ‘A biomimetic approach to the synthesis and prediction of ulodione natural products’!

May 2022 – Congratulations to Adam on winning the Prize for Best Poster at the 2022 School of Chemistry Organic Section Retreat! This event is held at the University of Edinburgh’s Firbush Outdoor Centre on Loch Tay in the Scottish Highlands.

About | The University of Edinburgh

May 2022 – Congratulations to Shane who has graduated with First Class Honors from Trinity College Dublin! Shane completed his final year research project in the group, working with David and Jacob.

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March 2022 – Publications from our collaborative projects with the Campopiano Group (University of Edinburgh) and the Trauner Group (New York University) have appeared on the front covers of Green Chemistry and Nature Reviews Chemistry, respectively.


December 2021The group have been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Grant for our work on “Biomimetic [1,2]-Shifts in the Synthesis of Complex Diterpenes”.


December 2021 – The group Christmas dinner at the Sheep Heid Inn, possibly Edinburgh’s oldest pub, was a great success. Congratulations to David and Lorna for winning the Skittles championship and an honourable mention for Steven who scored the only strike (yes, we were that bad!).

December 2021 – Congratulations to Jacob on delivering a fantastic on-line poster at the RSC Organic Division Poster Symposium, and Adam for presenting his First-Year PhD Talk!

October 2021Congratulations to Jacob on delivering a fantastic presentation at the first day of the 36th Annual Postgraduate Symposium of the RSC Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group!

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September 2021Congratulations to Mária (visiting PhD student from the Slovak University of Technology) on winning the prize for best poster at the 73rd Annual Congress of the Slovak and Czech Chemical Societies in the High Tatra Mountains. Mária’s poster covered her work on new amine donors for biocatalysis, which is a collaborative endeavour with our colleagues in the Campopiano Group.


December 2020The group have been awarded an EPSRC New Horizons grant for the development of a new type of enantioconvergent multi-component reaction. An associated PDRA position is currently advertised, please contact Andy for further details.

November 2020A postdoctoral research associate position is currently available to join the group in early 2021. Deadline for applications is 05/01/2021, 17:00.

November 2020 – Welcome to Dr David Jones, the newest postdoctoral research fellow to join the Lawrence group! David joins us from University College Cork.

October 2020Sujlesh has completed her PGT MSc with Distinction! Congratulations Sujlesh, a richly deserved recognition of your hard work.

October 2020Welcome to Mária Štiblariková! Mária is a visiting PhD student from the Slovak University of Technology, in Bratislava.

September 2020Congratulations to Sujlesh on being awarded a School of Chemistry ‘2020 MSc Class Prize for Medicinal and Biolohgical Chemistry’! Here she is happily working in the lab with her supervisor Andy Tiberia.

August 2020 – Andy has been promoted to Professor at the University of Edinburgh, as a Personal Chair of Organic Synthesis.

June 2020 – Congratulations to both of our undergraduate project students who have been awarded School of Chemistry Prizes! Eilidh was awarded two prizes for ‘Best Final Year Project: MChemX’ and ‘Best Overall Performance: MChemX’, and Kris was awarded the prize for ‘Best Final Year Project: Year in Edinburgh’.

June 2020 – Applications for Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (starting in January 2021) for high income countries are now open (Deadline 20 July 2020). Please check eligibility criteria before contacting Andy to discuss.

Woman sitting at a desk using a laptop and making written notes. Laptop screen reads 'scholarship'.

June 2020 – Dr Blane Zavesky (Senior Chemist at Corteva Agriscience) has created a Synthesis Workshop video podcast describing Rob’s recent total synthesis of brevianamide A.

April 2020 – Rob has written a Behind the Paper blog post about his total synthesis of brevianamide A, which was published in Nature Chemistry.

March 2020 – Our most recent paper “Total Synthesis of Brevianamide A” has been published in Nature Chemistry. Congratulations Rob and Nick!

March 2020 – Congratulations to both of our undergraduate project students who have secured PhD positions. Kris will be moving to the University of Bristol to work with Prof. Varinder Aggarwal FRS, and Eilidh will be be moving to Queen’s University Belfast to work with Dr Stephen Cochrane.

January 2020 – Helen has been awarded a ScotCHEM PECRE award, which will enable her to undertake a research placement at the Australian National University in Canberra, with Prof. Mick Sherburn. Congratulations Helen!