Matthew Gaunt graduated from the University of Birmingham with First Class Honours for Chemistry in 1995. He subsequently completed his Ph.D. studies under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Spencer at the University of Cambridge as a Wellcome Trust Scholar in 1999.
He then moved to the University of Pennsylvania, undertaking research as a GlaxoWellcome Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Amos B. Smith. In 2001, Matthew returned to Cambridge to work with Prof. Steven V. Ley as a British Ramsay Memorial Fellow and Junior Research Fellow at Magdalene College.
Matthew began his independent research career in 2003 at Cambridge, firstly as a Royal Society University Research Fellow, then as Lecturer in 2006, Reader in 2010, and as Professor from 2012. He is currently Chair of Synthetic Chemistry. His research focuses on the development of new chemical reactivity enabled by catalysts and is driven by programs centred on metal catalysed C–H bond activation, catalysis through high oxidant state copper complexes and selective chemical modification of biomolecules. The group’s research has been acknowledged through a number of awards.
Matthew is an Associate Editor for Chemical Science and a scientific advisory board member of Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis.
In this way, we hope to be able to develop a chemo-catalytic equivalent to Nature's biosynthetic machinery that will enable us to build any molecule we want. Our approach to this is focussed on three main research programmes:
(A) metal catalyzed C-H bond functionalization,
(B) catalytic asymmetric synthesis using small molecule organic catalysts,
(C) cascade strategies for natural product synthesis.
A general carbonyl alkylative amination for tertiary amine synthesis.R Kumar, NJ Flodén, WG Whitehurst, MJ Gaunt – Nature (2020) 1(DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2213-0)
New Strategies for the Transition-Metal Catalyzed Synthesis of Aliphatic Amines A Trowbridge, SM Walton, MJ Gaunt – Chem Rev (2020) 120, 2613(DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.9b00462)
Rapid Syntheses of (-)-FR901483 and (+)-TAN1251C Enabled by Complexity-Generating Photocatalytic Olefin Hydroaminoalkylation.D Reich, A Trowbridge, MJ Gaunt – Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (2020) 59, 2256(DOI: 10.1002/anie.201912010)
Catalytic C(sp3)–H bond activation in tertiary alkylamines J Rodrigalvarez, M Nappi, H Azuma, NJ Flodén, ME Burns, MJ Gaunt – Nature chemistry (2020) 12, 76(DOI: 10.1038/s41557-019-0393-8)
Carboxylate-Assisted Oxidative Addition to Aminoalkyl PdII Complexes: C(sp3)−H Arylation of Alkylamines by Distinct PdII/PdIV Pathway WG Whitehurst, JH Blackwell, GN Hermann, MJ Gaunt – Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (2019) 58, 9054(DOI: 10.1002/anie.201902838)
Streamlined Synthesis of C(sp(3))-Rich N-Heterospirocycles Enabled by Visible-Light-Mediated Photocatalysis NJ Flodén, A Trowbridge, D Willcox, SM Walton, Y Kim, MJ Gaunt – Journal of the American Chemical Society (2019) 141, 8426(DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b03372)
Palladium-Catalyzed C(sp(3))-H Bond Functionalization of Aliphatic Amines C He, WG Whitehurst, MJ Gaunt – Chem (2019) 5, 1031(DOI: 10.1016/j.chempr.2018.12.017)
Palladium(II)-Catalyzed C(sp 3 )-H Activation of N,O-Ketals towards a Method for the β-Functionalization of Ketones DKH Ho, J Calleja, MJ Gaunt – Synlett (2019) 30, 454(DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1611664)
A Class of N–O-Type Oxidants To Access High-Valent Palladium Species M Nappi, MJ Gaunt – Organometallics (2019) 38, 143(DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.8b00712)
Mechanistic investigation into the C(sp3)–H acetoxylation of morpholinones CS Buettner, D Willcox, BGN Chappell, MJ Gaunt – Chemical science (2019) 10, 83(DOI: 10.1039/c8sc03434f)
A protein functionalization platform based on selective reactions at methionine residues.MT Taylor, JE Nelson, MG Suero, MJ Gaunt – Nature (2018) 562, 563(DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0608-y)
Multicomponent synthesis of tertiary alkylamines by photocatalytic olefin-hydroaminoalkylation A Trowbridge, D Reich, MJ Gaunt – Nature (2018) 561, 522(DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0537-9)
Selective Reductive Elimination at Alkyl Pd(IV) via Dissociative Ligand Ionization Enables Catalytic C(sp3)–H Amination to Azetidines M Nappi, C He, WG Whitehurst, BGN Chappell, MJ Gaunt – Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2018) 57, 3178(DOI: 10.1002/anie.201800519)
Diastereoselective C-H carbonylative annulation of aliphatic amines: A rapid route to functionalized γ-lactams ZM Png, JR Cabrera-Pardo, J Peiró Cadahía, MJ Gaunt – Chem Sci (2018) 9, 7628(DOI: 10.1039/c8sc02855a)
Enantioselective Copper-Catalyzed Arylation-Driven Semipinacol Rearrangement of Tertiary Allylic Alcohols with Diaryliodonium Salts DH Lukamto, MJ Gaunt – J Am Chem Soc (2017) 139, 9160(DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b05340)
Enantioselective Copper-Catalyzed Arylation-driven Semi-Pinacol Rearrangement of Allylic Alcohols with Diaryliodonium Salts DH Lukamto, MJ Gaunt – Journal of the American Chemical Society (2017)
Correction to “Palladium-Catalyzed Enantioselective C–H Activation of Aliphatic Amines Using Chiral Anionic BINOL-Phosphoric Acid Ligands”AP Smalley, JD Cuthbertson, MJ Gaunt – J Am Chem Soc (2017) 139, 8052(DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b05390)
Organic chemistry: Nickel steps towards selectivity.M Gaunt, P Williamson – Nature (2017) 545, 35(DOI: 10.1038/545035a)
Palladium-Catalyzed Enantioselective C–H Activation of Aliphatic Amines Using Chiral Anionic BINOL-Phosphoric Acid Ligands AP Smalley, JD Cuthbertson, MJ Gaunt – J Am Chem Soc (2017) 139, 1412(DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b12234)
Ligand-assisted palladium-catalyzed C-H alkenylation of aliphatic amines for the synthesis of functionalized pyrrolidines.C He, MJ Gaunt – Chem Sci (2017) 8, 3586(DOI: 10.1039/c7sc00468k)