James is originally from Barnstaple in North Devon, UK. He completed a Masters degree in Chemistry for Drug Discovery at the University of Bath in 2008, where he was awarded the Robert W. Bolland Memorial Prize for Most Outstanding Chemistry Graduate. James was the recipient of a University of Bath Ph.D. Scholarship and completed his thesis entitled “New Applications of Organocatalysis” in 2011 under the joint supervision of Dr Steven Bull and Prof. Jonathan Williams. In 2012 James spent time at the Université Paris-Sud XI on a COST short-term scientific mission fellowship in the laboratory of Prof. David Aitken.
James subsequently moved to the University of St Andrews as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the group of Prof. Andrew Smith where he was involved in a number of successful research projects focused on the development and understanding of new Lewis base-catalysed processes.
In 2015 James began his independent research career at the University of St Andrews as a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow.
Presentations and Conferences
2017 – University of Birmingham “Catalytic Functionalisation of Alcohols“
2016 – EaStChem Seminar, University of St Andrews “Catalytic Functionalisation of Alcohols“
2016 – MSMLG 2016, University of Bath “Acylative Kinetic Resolution of Allylic Alcohols“
2015 – CASE 2015, Trinity College Dublin “Lewis Base Organocatalysis: Applications in the Synthesis and Functionalisation of Heterocycles”
2013 – 42nd Scottish Regional Meeting of the RSC Organic Devision, Heriot-Watt University
“NHCs in Organocatalysis: Stereospecificity and Mechanistic Insights”
2013 – Organic Symposium, University of St Andrews “Asymmetric Synthesis of Highly Substituted Lactones”
2012 – Organic Symposium, Université Paris-Sud XI “Asymmetric Synthesis of Highly Substituted δ-Lactones”
2011 – CASE 2011, University of Birmingham “DBN as an Efficient Acyl Transfer Agent”
2010 – ACS Pacifichem, Hawaii “Organocatalytic C-Acylation of N-Alkyl Pyrroles and Indoles”