John Murphy


Personal Statement

I am an organic chemist and my research group revels in exploring chemical reactivity in synthesis and in biology. We have a particular interest in electron transfer reactions and in radical chemistry, but are generally interested in mechanisms of organic reactions.

Read more about my research group at

I was born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA) and the University of Cambridge (PhD). I obtained my DSc in 2002.

After my PhD, I held Fellowships at the University of Alberta and the University of Oxford. I moved to the University of Nottingham as Lecturer, and was promoted to Reader there.

I moved to my current position as Merck-Pauson Professor of Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde in 1995.

I was visiting Professor at a number of institutions:

  1. l’Université d’Aix Marseille 1996
  2. NAIST, Japan, 2001
  3. Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, 2004
  4. Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 2017

I also was Visiting Fellow to the Australian National University in 1995 and 2007. I held a Royal Society Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship in 2001.

I was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (National Academy of  Scotland) in 2001. 

I was Director of the Glasgow Centre for Physical Organic Chemistry (GCPOC) 2008-2013.

From August 2006 - August 2008, I was Director of WestCHEM, the newly formed integrated Research School in Chemistry for the West of Scotland.

From 2013-2016, I was Head of Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry


2016 C W Rees Award for Heterocyclic chemistry (Royal Society of Chemistry)

2012 Bader Award  (Royal Society of Chemistry)

Research Interests

His chemical interests are in mechanistic and synthetic chemistry, in reactive intermediates and in the development of new reactions.

Academic / Professional qualifications

Charles Rees Award 2016 Winner

The citation reads: "Awarded for his highly innovative studies on the preparation, properties and applications of very reactive heterocycles, ranging from extreme electrophiles to super-reducing agents".

Academic / Professional qualifications

Bader Award 2012 Winner

The citation reads: "Awarded for his many highly creative and original contributions to reactivity in organic synthesis, including free radical chemistry, the concept of the radical-polar crossover reaction and electron transfer in the invention of organic super electron reducing agents".



  1. Royal Society International Exchanges Panel 2017-2019 (Event)

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

  2. ESOR (European Symposium on Organic Reactivity)

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

  3. 12th International Symposium on Organic Free Radicals (ISOFR)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventKey-note speaker and plenary lectures at conferences

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  1. Radicals on Campus

    Impact: Impact - for External PortalQuality of life and safety, Environment and sustainability - natural world and built environment

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  1. Industrial CASE Account - University of Strathclyde 2017 | Adams, Scott

    Project: Research Studentship Case - Internally allocatedResearch Studentship CASE (Internally Allocated)

  2. Industrial CASE Account - University of Strathclyde 2017 | Greaves, Megan

    Project: Research Studentship Case - Internally allocatedResearch Studentship CASE (Internally Allocated)

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  1. Charles Rees Award 2016

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  2. Bader Award 2012

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

View all »
John Murphy

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