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Dr Cian Kingston’s research journey
July 15, 2019

Cian received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University College Dublin in 2017 under the supervision of Professor Pat Guiry. During his time with SSPC, Cian conducted funded placements in the research groups of Professors’ Mark Lautens and Phil Baran at The University of Toronto and The Scripps Research Institute, respectively. Upon completion of his PhD he returned to Professor Baran’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow where he is currently focused on the development and mechanistic investigation of practical synthetic methods.

Thesis title
Palladium-Catalysed Enantioselective Synthesis of Sterically Hindered a-Aryl Indanones

My research
My research mainly focused on investigating the factors which influence the synthesis of an important motif in organic chemistry; a-aryl ketones. Building on previous research in my group, a range of studies were conducted to examine the mechanistic source of an interesting enantiodivergent effect resulting from choice of the achiral acid employed in the reaction. For further information on this topic, see: Kingston, C.; Guiry, P. J. Org. Chem. 2017, 82, 3806 and Kingston, C.; James, J; Guiry, P. J. Org. Chem. 2019, 84, 473.

My experience as a PhD student with SSPC
I really enjoyed my time as an SSPC funded PhD student working with Prof. Pat Guiry in University College Dublin, and I appreciate the opportunities the Centre provided me throughout my research career. Alongside the networking events, public engagement and outreach experiences, the Centre enabled two valuable research opportunities that shaped my career.

In the Summer of 2016, I travelled to Toronto to join the group of Prof. Mark Lautens for a four-month research placement. As well as being a really enjoyable experience, the trip provided me with new technical and problem-solving skills I applied throughout the remainder of my PhD. In late 2017, I had the opportunity to join Prof. Phil Baran’s lab in San Diego for a second SSPC funded placement, which led to my return as a postdoctoral researcher upon completion of my PhD. I have no doubt these opportunities played a huge role in the course of my career and I would like to thank Sarah, Rose and the rest of the SSPC team for their support along the way.

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