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Frances, 2nd Year

Dr Finian Leeper

Photo of Dr Finian Leeper


Official Fellow
Reader in Biological Chemistry


Finian J. Leeper has been a fellow at Emmanuel and a University Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry since 1982. Before that he was an undergraduate, postgraduate and research fellow at St. John's College and was a postdoctoral research assistant in McMaster University in Canada for 17 months (see his CV for more details).

Within College he has been a Tutor and then Graduate Tutor (responsible for all postgraduate admissions as well as other graduate affairs) until 2011. He is also Senior Treasurer of the Emmanuel College Boat Club.

Other than chemistry, his interests include sport and computers. He is Treasurer of the Chemistry Department Cricket Team.


His research involves various aspects of biological organic chemistry. He supervises a group of 5-7 research workers (Ph.D. students and post-doctoral research assistants) who are involved in the following projects: (i) Studies of enzyme reactions dependent on thiamin diphosphate. (ii) Synthesis of thiazolium salts as chemical models for the action of thiamin diphosphate. (iii) Studies of some of the early enzymes of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis. (iv) Studies of the biosynthesis of prodigiosin, an anticancer agent produced by Serratia marcescens. (v) Bio-orthogonal chemistry and the synthesis and use of novel agents for imaging cancer.

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