Molecular Design & Synthesis Group

Group is involved the design of new molecules with specific applications, and their synthesis. In most cases, molecules of biological relevance are targeted, particularly as new human and/or veterinary therapeutics. The main emphasis is on antimicrobial compounds in order to address the global Antimicrobial Resistance crisis. Small molecules, antimicrobial peptides, as well as their metal-based analogues, are the main synthetic targets at present. Research is now also targeting food applications including food preservation and stabilisation.This is a specialist group within the larger Centre of Applied Science for Health.

PI Names:
Dr Fintan Kelleher (lead)               
Dr Adrienne Fleming                     
Dr Mary Deasy                              
Dr Bernie Creaven                          
Dr Ed Carey                                  
Dr Brian Murray                            
Research Assistant:                   
Célia Brahmia

Postgraduate Research Students (Currently):
Agnieszka Wądołowska
Jordan Magtaan
Wayne Travers
Dean Winder
Keith Byrne
Gemma Newman
Holly Jenkins
Ronan McAteer

Projects and Programmes funded (in total >€12M) by Science Foundation Ireland; Irish Research Council; Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund; Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions – HEA; Technological Sector Research Strands III and I; Institutes of Technology Ireland; IT Tallaght President’s Research Award Programme.

Collaborations: Currently
Professors Colin Hill & Paul Ross – SFI funded APC Microbiome Institute, UCC; Professor Marc Devocelle, RCSI; Dr Goar Sánchez-Sanz, Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC); Professor Fiona Regan, DCU; Professor Michael Devereux, DIT; Dr. Orla Howe, DIT; Dr. Andrew Kellett, DCU; Prof. Matthias Tacke, UCD; Prof. Siobhan McClean, UCD
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, Maynooth University; Dr. Tony Morton-Blake, Trinity College Dublin

Dr. Pilar López Cornejo, University of Seville; Dr. Eva Enyedy, University of Szeged 
Dr. Nora Negeny, University of Budapest; Prof. Ivelina Georgieva, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Marcos Perez, University of Rio de Janeiro; Prof. Craig Butts, University of Bristol

Glanbia; Bimeda; Takeda; Henkel-Loctite; Ipsen Manufacturing Ireland Ltd; Nuritas; ICHEC; Connexicon

Selected Publications: 

  1. G. Sánchez-Sanz, D. Crowe, A. Nicholson, A. Fleming, E. Carey, F. Kelleher, “Conformational studies of Gram-negative bacterial quorum sensing acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) molecules: the importance of the n→* interaction”, BioPhys Chem. 2018, 238, 16-21.
  2. K. Manzor, K ó Proinsias and F. Kelleher, Tetrahedron Letters 2017, 58, 2959-2963.
  3. D. Crowe, A. Nicholson, A. Fleming, E. Carey, G. Sánchez-Sanz, F. Kelleher, “Conformational studies of Gram-negative bacterial quorum sensing 3-oxo N-acyl homoserine lactone molecules”, Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2017, 25, 4285-4296.
  4. D. Karcz, A. Matwijczuk, B. Boroń, B. Creaven, Leszek Fiedor, Andrzej Niewiadomy, Mariusz Gagoś  Journal of Molecular Structure 2017 1128,  44-50.
  5. M. Devocelle, S. McClean, BS Creaven, et al. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 2016, 14, 9278–9286.
  6. J. Ward, L. Li, F. Regan, M. Deasy, F. Kelleher. J. Incl. Phenom. Macrocycl. Chemistry 2015, 83, 377-386.

Research Visits/Visitors:
Nanjing University of Technology, April 2018. Presentation at the first Bilateral Workshop between IT Tallaght and NJUT; Hosted two Erasmus research visitors from School of Pharmacy, University of Leipzig, Germany and two form University of Montpellier, France; Hosted RCSI PhD student for 3 months as part of BioAT, Structured PhD Programme

Commercialisation outputs:
NDA with Connexion, Surgical Glue Company for a potential product using compounds synthesised within the MDS group; Three Invention Disclosures from SFI project.

Other Information: 

  • Founding and administration of AMR Ireland (AntiMicrobial Resistance Ireland)
  • SciFest – Secondary schools science competition
  • Science Week initiatives
  • Tallaght Health Days with Tallaght Hospital
  •  AMR Information Day – Tallaght, April 2018
  • Hosted jointly with TCD the SCI/RSC/ICI funded one day meeting on Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Organized multi-disciplinary industrial conferences with Dr. David Birkett (SCI - Society of Chemical Industry, and Henkel Ireland), with ITT as a venue (e.g. 3D-printing 31 August 2017)
  • Organised COST Meeting In Carlton House, July 2015 on Biomimetic Radical Chemistry
  • Organising Committee of 35th European Peptide Symposium to take place in DCU, August 2018
  • Joint Academic Director of MiCRA – Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway in IT Tallaght
  • Delivery of Level 10 PhD modules for Structured PhD programme in TU4D alliance
  • Extensive experience in supervision of postgraduate and post-doctoral level researchers
  • Extensive experience as External Examiners at Levels 6-10 for Institutions throughout the island of Ireland
  • Extensive experience as Journal Reviewers across a wide range of publishers
  • Management Committee level involvement in EU COST Actions
  • Coordination of the National Pharmaceutical Education Centre – responsible for of the industry relationships involved on the Education and training side of the Department of Science.
  • Coordination of the on-site company courses – Pfizer, Alkermes and BMS 
  • School Visits promoting Science
  • Synergy Centre at ITT Dublin
  • QQI Brand Logo
  • Member of the Technological University for Dublin Alliance
©2019 Institute of Technology Tallaght • Built by Digital Crew