Dr Alexander J. Cresswell

Department of Chemistry

University of Bath
Claverton Down
United Kingdom

Office: 1 South 0.09

Group Office: 1 South 0.30

Laboratory: 1 South 0.28


Phone: +44 (0)1225 385382


Alexander James Cresswell was born in Bradford in West Yorkshire, England, in 1985. He obtained his M.Chem. from the University of Oxford in 2008 and his D.Phil. in 2012 working in the group of Professor Stephen G. Davies on stereoselective fluorination with boron fluorides. He then spent two years as a postdoctoral research associate with Professor Scott E. Denmark at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, working on iron-catalysed cross-coupling of alkylsulfur electrophiles and the first catalytic, syn-dichlorination of alkenes. On returning to the UK, he took up a second postdoctoral appointment with Professor Guy C. Lloyd-Jones at the University of Edinburgh, working on gold-catalysed C–H arylation. In late 2016, he was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to commence his independent research career at the University of Bath. His research interests lie in the design and mechanistic understanding of new catalytic, selective reactions for organic synthesis.

Career History
October 2016 – present
Royal Society University Research Fellow (University of Bath)
January 2014 – September 2016

PDRA (University of Edinburgh)

Advisor: Professor Guy C. Lloyd-Jones FRS, FRSE

Research: Gold-catalysed C–H arylation

January 2012 – December 2013

PDRA (University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign)

Advisor: Professor Scott E. Denmark

Research: (1) Iron-catalysed cross-coupling of alkyl sulfur electrophiles; (2) Catalytic, stereospecific syn-dichlorination of alkenes

October 2008 – January 2012

D.Phil. in Organic Chemistry (University of Oxford)

Advisor: Professor Stephen G. Davies

Industrial Advisor: Dr Melloney Morris (née Tyte)

CASE award studentship in collaboration with Syngenta

Research: Boron trifluoride and fluoroborates as fluorinating agents

October 2004 – July 2008

M.Chem. (1st Class) (University of Oxford)

Advisor: Professor Stephen G. Davies

Research: Ammonium-directed oxidation of allylic amines

July 2007 & 2006 – September 2007 & 2006

Summer student at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, University of Bradford

Advisor: Dr Klaus Pors

Research: (2007) Novel approach to anthraquinones using the Nozaki-Hiyama-Kishi reaction; (2006) Nitrene C–H insertions to prepare novel anticancer agents inspired by the duocarmycins


Professional Affiliations
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

  • Member of the American Chemical Society (ACS)

  • Member of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)

  • Member of the SCI's Young Chemists Panel

  • Member of the Editorial Board of Modern Synthetic Organic Chemistry (for the journal Frontiers in Chemistry)

  • Peer reviewer for RSC (Chemical Science, Chemical Communications, Organic & Biomolecular ChemistryCatalysis Science & Technology, RSC Advances) and Elsevier (Tetrahedron, Tetrahedron Letters)

Academic Prizes & Awards

​Royal Society University Research Fellowship

The Royal Society, October 2016

Best talk prize at 4th Royal Society of Chemistry Early Career Symposium

University of Strathclyde, June 2016

Best talk prize at Syngenta Doctoral Training Awards Conference

Jealott’s Hill, September 2011

Poster prize at the Pfizer Poster Symposium

Burlington House, London, December 2010

​Lilly Prize for Excellence in First Year of Postgraduate Study

University of Oxford, October 2009

Best talk prize at SCI Young Chemists Panel Regional Undergraduate Symposium

University of Bath, May 2008

Glaxosmithkline 3rd Year Undergraduate Prize in Practical Organic Chemistry

University of Oxford, November 2007

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