Skip to main content
School of Environment and Life Sciences

Dr James Wilkinson

Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry; Programme Leader for Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry


I studied for my BSc, MSc and PhD at King’s College London from 1985-1992. I carried out postdoctoral research at Salford and Sheffield before obtaining a temporary lectureship at Sheffield in 1997.

I have been a lecturer at Salford from 2000 and senior lecturer since 2008. I have served as Subject Group Leader for molecular bioscience and Director of Admissions for ELS and am currently programme leader for the chemistry programmes.


As well as leading Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry, I contribute to our programmes in Pharmaceutical Science, Biomedical Science, Biochemistry, the foundation year programmes and the MSc in Drug Design. This involves teaching organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, spectroscopy and clinical biochemistry at all levels from Foundation through to Masters. I currently coordinate four modules.

Research Interests

I have worked in organic synthesis since my PhD and, more recently, in medicinal chemistry. I began my research career investigating the synthetic use of free radicals but most of my publications have been in the area of organolithium chemistry applied to asymmetric synthesis.  The other area of interest is small molecule heparin sulfate mimics with applications as anti-cancer compounds and in prevention of endothelial dysfunction.

Qualifications and Memberships

BSC (Hons) Chemistry.

MSc Chemical Research.

PhD in Organic Chemistry.

Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and of the Biochemical Society.


Killoran, P.M.; Rossington, S.B.; Wilkinson, J.A.; Hadfield, J.A. “Expanding the scope of the Babler-Daubin oxidation : 1,3-oxidative transposition of secondary allylic alcoholsTetrahedron Lett. 2016, 57, 3954-3957.

Mahmoud, A. M.; Wilkinson, F. L.; Jones, A. M.; Wilkinson, J. A.; Romero, M.; Duarte, J.; Alexander, M. Y. “A novel role for small molecule glycomimetics in the protection against lipid-induced endothelial dysfunction: Involvement of Akt/eNOS and Nrf2/ARE signalling”   Biochim. Biophys. Acta  2016, 1861, 3311-3322.

Gooch, L.M.; Rossington, S.B.; Wilkinson, J.A. “Asymmetric synthesis of diarylmethane derivatives by dynamic kinetic resolution” Tetrahedron Lett. 2015, 56, 4025.

Slabu, I; Rossington, S. B.; Killoran, P. M.; Hirst, N.; Wilkinson, J. A. “Total synthesis of (±)-mimosifoliol by lateral lithiation” Tetrahedron Lett. 2013, 54, 1489.

Lagoutte, R; Wilkinson, J. A. “A novel one-step method for the reductive allylation of esters and the first total synthesis of (+/-) erythrococcamide B” Tetrahedron Lett. 2010, 51, 6942.

Wilkinson, J. A.; Raiber, E.-A.; Ducki, S. “New stabilizing groups for lateral lithiation of ortho-cresol derivatives and a new route to 2-substituted chromans” Tetrahedron 2008, 64, 6329.

Wilkinson, J.; Foretia, D.; Rossington, S.; Heagerty, A.; Leonard, J.; Hussain, N.; Austin, C. “2’-Hydroxy fendiline analogues as potent relaxers of isolated arteries” Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2007, 561, 160.

Crisostomo, A. G.; Moreno, R. B.; Navaratnam, S.; Wilkinson, J. A.; Bisby, R. H. “Generation of superoxide and singlet oxygen from ¿-tocopherolquinone and analogues” Free Radical Research 2007, 41, 730.

Wilkinson, J. A.; Rossington, S. B.; Coe, N. A.; Hirst, N.; McGown, A. T.; Leonard, J.; Hussain, N. “Synthesis and evaluation of 2’-substituted fendiline analogues as antileukemics” Letters in Drug Design and Discovery 2007, 4, 246.

Raiber, E.-A.; Wilkinson, J. A.; Manetti, F.; Botta, M.; Deakin, J.; Gallagher, J.; Lyon, M.; Ducki, S. “Novel heparin/heparan sulfate mimics as inhibitors of HGF/SF-induced MET activation” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2007, 17, 6321.

Wilkinson, J. A.; Raiber, E.-A.; Ducki, S. “New stabilizing groups for lateral lithiation of ortho­-cresol derivatives” Tetrahedron Lett. 2007, 48, 6434.

Wilkinson, J.A.; Ardes-Guisot, N.; Ducki, S.; Leonard, JNovel methods for the synthesis of 5-substituted-3-carboxy-2,5- and 4,5-dihydrothiophenes and 5-substituted 2- and 3-sulfolenes”  Tetrahedron 2007, 63, 1065.

Wilkinson, J. A.; Rossington, S. B.; Ducki, S.; Leonard, J.; Hussain, N. “Asymmetric alkylation of diarylmethane derivatives” Tetrahedron, 2006, 62, 1833.

Wilkinson, J. A.; Ardes-Guisot, N.; Ducki, S.; Leonard, J. “Towards the total synthesis of tangutorine by intramolecular Diels–Alder reaction” Tetrahedron Letters, 2005, 46(14), 8053.

Wilkinson, J.A., Rossington, S.B., Leonard, J., Hussain, N. “Asymmetric alkylation of diarylmethane derivatives” Tetrahedron Lett. 2004, 45, 1191.

Wilkinson, J.A., Rossington, S.B., Leonard, J., Hussain, N. “Asymmetric alkylation of diarylmethane derivatives: Improved results using a methoxyethoxy substituent” Tetrahedron Lett. 2004, 45, 5481.

Wilkinson, J.A., Rossington, S.B., Ducki, S., Leonard, J., Hussain, N. “Asymmetric alkylation of N-pivaloyl-o-benzylaniline” Tetrahedron Asymmetry 2004, 15 (19), 3011.