Roland Armstrong

Roland Armstrong

Junior Research Fellow in Chemistry


I currently teach the 1st year Organic Chemistry course for the Department of Biochemistry at Magdalen College and have previously taught this course to Brasenose College undergraduates. I also supervise 4th year undergraduate students in the laboratory.


Chiral compounds can exist in either a left- or right-handed form. This property is of great importance because the molecules of life (for example enzymes, carbohydrates and DNA) are capable of recognising the difference between the two mirror forms of a chiral molecule. My research is principally focussed on the development of new catalytic enantioselective methods for organic synthesis. I have expertise in the areas of organocatalysis, atropisomerism, organoboron chemistry and transition-metal catalysis. I am currently working in the Department of Chemistry, where my research is directed towards developing new transition-metal catalysed processes for enantioselective C-C bond formation.

Selected Publications

Stereoselective Synthesis of Cyclohexanes via an Iridium Catalyzed (5 + 1) Annulation Strategy, Wasim M. Akhtar, Roly J. Armstrong, James R. Frost, Neil G. Stevenson, Timothy J. Donohoe, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 11916.

Enantiodivergent Synthesis of Allenes by Point to Axial Chirality Transfer, Roly J. Armstrong, Meganathan Nandakumar,
Rafael M. P. Dias, Adam Noble, Eddie L. Myers and Varinder K. Aggarwal, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 8203.

50 Years of Zweifel Olefination: a Transition-Metal-Free Coupling, Roly J. Armstrong and Varinder K. Aggarwal,
Synthesis 2017, 49, 3323.

Stereodivergent Olefination of Enantioenriched Boronic Esters, Roly J. Armstrong, Cristina García-Ruiz, Eddie L. Myers,
and Varinder K. Aggarwal, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 786.

Conjunctive Functionalization of Vinyl Boronate Complexes with Electrophiles: A Diastereoselective Three-Component
Coupling, Roly J. Armstrong, C. Sandford, Cristina García-Ruiz and Varinder K. Aggarwal, Chem. Commun. 2017, 53,

Synthesis of Functionalized Alkenes by a Transition-Metal-Free Zweifel Coupling, Roly J. Armstrong, Worawat
Niwetmarin and Varinder K. Aggarwal, Org. Lett. 2017, 19, 2762.

Homologation of Boronic Esters with Lithiated Epoxides, Roly J. Armstrong and Varinder K. Aggarwal, Org. Synth., 2017,
94, 234.

Catalytic Enantioselective Synthesis of Atropisomeric Biaryls by a Cation-Directed O-Alkylation, John D. Jolliffe, Roly J.
Armstrong and Martin D. Smith, Nat. Chem. 2017, 9, 558.

Cation-Directed Enantioselective N-Functionalization of Pyrroles, Roly J. Armstrong, Melissa D’Ascenzio and Martin D.
Smith, Synlett 2016, 27, 6.

Catalytic Enantioselective Synthesis of Atropisomeric Biaryls: A Cation Directed Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution
Reaction, Roly J. Armstrong and Martin D. Smith, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 12822.

For a full publication list, see

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