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Integrated Catalysis (iCAT) CDT

Student in white lab gear peering down a microscope, in front of a backdrop of beakers and molecule

Research projects

iCAT research projects connect the disciplines of chemocatalysis, chemical engineering and biocatalysis in creative ways to solve problems in molecule making.

Lewis Caiger

The iCAT programme lets me engage with the vast chemistry department at Manchester, allowing me to make a more educated choice when choosing which group I want to work with. I also think iCAT is an excellent opportunity as it encourages us to work at the borders of chemistry with other sciences to achieve important advances in science and sustainability.

Lewis Caiger / iCAT CDT student

iCAT supports interdisciplinary fundamental research in bio and chemocatalysis; projects include science and engineering aspects to ensure that the solutions developed are applicable and sustainable.

The portfolio of CDT projects on offer encompasses a diverse range of approaches to integrated catalysis, including:

  • synergistic chemo and biocatalysis cascades;
  • iCAT approaches to new chemical reactivity;
  • technology-driven solutions to iCAT system design;
  • reaction monitoring in bio and chemo catalysis systems;
  • integrating emerging areas of chemocatalysis (eg electro and photo catalysis) with biocatalysis;
  • smart catalysis and molecular robotics.

Cohort 1 PhD project titles

For their PhD research, cohort 1 students are currently working on the below projects:

  • Development of asymmetric olefin amino-functionalizations via high-throughput experimentations (Supervised by: Prof. Daniele Leonori)
  • Integrated Electro-Biocatalysis for Arylation (Supervised by: Prof. Michael Greaney
  • Iridium Knots for Allosterically-Controlled Dual Photoredox–Anion-Binding Catalysts (Supervised by: Prof. David Leigh)
  • Merging transition metal-catalysis and electrochemistry for late stage functionalization of biologically active molecules (Supervised by: Prof. Igor Larrosa
  • A versatile biocatalytic platform for therapeutic oligonucleotide synthesis (Supervised by: Dr. Sarah Lovelock)
  • Development of dual catalysis systems for the preparation of peptide-drug conjugates (Supervised by: Dr. Sam Butterworth)
  • Integrating Biocatalysis and Metal-Mediated Radical Cyclizations for Diversity Oriented Synthesis (Supervised by: Prof. David Procter)
  • Merging Photocatalysis with Biocatalysis to Access Unexplored Chemical Space (Supervised by: Prof. Jason Micklefield)
  • Design and Evolution of Photo-Enzymes for Stereoselective Transformations of Nitrogen Radicals (Supervised by: Prof. Anthony Green)


Cohort 2 PhD project titles

For their PhD research, cohort 2 students will be working on the below projects from September 2021:

  • Merging enzymes and chemocatalysis for more sustainable amide bond synthesis (Supervised by: Prof. Jason Micklefield
  • Photoenzymatic C–H radical alkylation of arenes using S-adensoyl methionine analogues (Supervised by: Prof. David Procter)
  • Engineered separation for improved PVC circularity (Supervised by: Prof. Chris Hardacre
  • Engineered bio-  and heterogeneous catalysts for improved polymer circularity (Supervised by: Prof. Arthur Garforth)
  • Design and Evolution of Enzymes with Genetically Encoded N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands (Supervised by: Prof. Anthony Green)
  • Continuous reactors for improved catalyst performance (Supervised by: Dr Jordi Bures)
  • FLP Zintl Clusters for the Electrochemical Catalytic Reduction of Small Molecules (Supervised by: Dr. Meera Mehta)
  • Ru-based metalloenzymes for asymmetric C-H functionalization (Supervised by: Prof. Igor Larrosa)
  • Pump up the volume: Foldamers as molecular amplifiers (Supervised by: Prof. Simon Webb)
  • Integrated Bio-photocatalysis for Asymmetric sp3-Arylation (Supervised by: Prof. Michael Greaney)