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eng_tanPhD, BSc(Adel)

Tel: 03 479 7926
Location: Science II, 2n9

Research Interests

Interactions of Molecules with Enzymes and Directing Effects of Substituents in Radical Reactions

Part of my research group is involved in the study of enzyme interactions with unusual molecules. Various enzymes are under study, with families of synthetic molecules, in an attempt to correlate enzyme behavior with peculiar molecular structure and conformation. Transient and steady-state techniques are employed. It is our hope that this research will reveal unusual structural motifs that can be incorporated into the design of enzyme inhibitors and structural sensors. In collaboration with Dr. Keith Gordon, we are exploring the use of laser spectroscopy in some enzyme systems through diazo molecular probes.

My research group is also interested in selective radical reactions as they allow the introduction of chemical functionality to otherwise featureless substructures for further manipulation. This technique is particularly applicable to chiral pool compounds as it simplifies the synthesis of enantiomerically pure molecules. Selectivity in radical reactions can be achieved through the use of directing substituents which either activate or inactivate a particular position or stereochemical aspect. For example, the following reaction proceeds with >95% ee in quantitative yield via a bridged chlorine radical intermediate.

We are also trying to capture the imagination of students and the general public by representing molecular structure and function in exciting new ways.


Fellner, M., Walsh, A., Dela Ahator, S., Aftab, N., Sutherland, B., Tan, E. W., … Lentz, C. S. (2023). Biochemical and cellular characterization of the function of fluorophosphonate-binding hydrolase H (FphH) in Staphylococcus aureus support a role in bacterial stress response. ACS Infectious Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.3c00246

Banstola, A., Vautrelle, N., Bergin, D., Gray, J., Murray, E., Mohammad, Y., Rizwan, S., … Tan, E., & Reynolds, J. (2023, June). Translational feasibility of a novel focused ultrasound approach for phasic dopamine receptor stimulation in a sheep model of Parkinson’s disease. Poster session presented at the International Basal Ganglia Society (IBAGS) XIV Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden.

Wilson, S. A., Laing, R. M., Tan, E., Wilson, C. A., Garagoda Arachchige, P. S., Gordon, K. C., & Fraser-Miller, S. J. (2023). Determining deposits on knit fabrics, yarns, and fibers, from sensor-related treatments. Journal of the Textile Institute. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00405000.2023.2221427

Samanali, G. A. P., Wilson, S., Fraser-Miller, S., Tan, E. W., Laing, R., Wilson, C., & Gordon, K. (2022). Vibrational spectroscopic analysis of graphene treated natural textiles. Proceedings of the Dodd-Walls Centre Dunedin Symposium. Retrieved from

Nakano, T., Rizwan, S. B., Myint, D. M. A., Gray, J., Mackay, S. M., Harris, P., Perk, C. G., Hyland, B. I., Empson, R., Tan, E. W., … Reynolds, J. N. J., & Wickens, J. R. (2022). An on-demand drug delivery system for control of epileptiform seizures. Pharmaceutics, 14, 468. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14020468

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