Chemical Targets

SYNBIOCHEM - Chemical Targets

Targeting Chemical Diversity

Our 3 main challenge led projects aim to accelerate the production and scale up of diverse and novel alkaloids, flavonoids and terpenoids which represent key chemical scaffolds with diverse commercial interest.


A diverse class of bioactive compounds which make up many of the most important pharmaceutical and agrochemical compounds derived from natural products.


The modification of plant-derived flavonoids for drug development is currently under-explored due to their low bio-availability, complex chemical synthesis and lack of understanding of the natural biosynthetic pathways in plants.


Our final early targets are terpenoids which provide building blocks for the synthesis of high value chemicals with wide-ranging applications including uses as fragrances, flavours, Pharmaceuticals, insecticides and polymers.

Recent Publications

  • Dunstan MS et al, (2020). Engineering Escherichia coli towards de novo production of gatekeeper (2S)-flavanones: naringenin, pinocembrin, eriodictyol and homoeriodictyol. Synthetic Biology, In Press, DOI: 10.1093/synbio/ysaa012 Open Access
  • Leferink NGH, Dunstan MS, Hollywood KA, Swainston N, Currin A, Jervis AJ, Takano E, Scrutton NS. (2019). An automated pipeline for the screening of diverse monoterpene synthase libraries. Sci Rep. 9: 11936.
  • Leferink NGH,  Ranaghan KE,  Battye J, Johannissen LO,  Hay S,  van der Kamp M,  Mulholland AJ,   Scrutton NS. (2019). Taming the Reactivity of Monoterpene Synthases To Guide Regioselective Product Hydroxylation. Chem Bio Chem. 20: 1-7.