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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

My interest in chemistry started as a small child when my chemist father brought colour-changing solutions home from his lab. Following a degree from the University of Nottingham, I fled Thatcher’s Britain for Reagan’s America and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, where I researched the chemistry of azacrown lariat ethers. Since then I have styled myself a ‘supramolecular chemist’ learning such valuable skills as air sensitive techniques and X-ray crystallography (Alabama), multistep organic synthesis (SUNY, Long Island, NY) and computer modelling (University of Reading, UK) before joining the University of Brighton in 1993.

I have been an active researcher ever since, supervising PhD students, collaborating with colleagues worldwide and writing research papers. I am also the author of two books on supramolecular chemistry and numerous reviews. I am a longstanding member of both the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry. I am a member of the RSC Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry interest group and served for many years as its Secretary and Treasurer.

Approach to teaching

I believe that it is important to demonstrate how fundamental chemical principles underpin both cutting edge research and the solutions to real world problems. I use recent research papers and chemically-related world events to illustrate my lectures – none more so than the “What’s hot in chemistry” first year lectures where I introduce new examples every two weeks. I also like to show the relevance of chemistry to other fields which may not appear obvious at first, for example, how changes in Western art can be linked to advances in metal purification.

Research interests

My research is in the field of supramolecular chemistry and its overlap with bioinorganic chemistry, supported by computational methods. I am fortunate to work in a highly multidisciplinary School where collaborations with biologists and pharmacologists have helped me work effectively at the chemistry-life sciences interface. Research projects have been funded by a range of sources including the EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust (Research Fellowship), EU (INTAS and IRSES), US Army Research Office, Dstl, UK and US industry and charity sectors, and local businesses. Most recently I have used my experience of modelling chemical complexes to investigate interactions between chemical nerve agents and cyclic compounds such as cyclodextrins and calixarenes. Understanding how the agents bind will hopefully lead to simpler ways to detect them.

Supervisory Interests

Research areas where project applications are welcomed include: supramolecular chemistry and molecular recognition, macrocyclic chemistry, computational chemistry of small molecules and bioinorganic chemistry.

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Projects

Research Output

3D printed UV/VIS detection systems constructed from transparent filaments and immobilised enzymes

Sirjani, E., Migas, M., Cragg, P. & Dymond, M., 8 Feb 2020, In : Additive Manufacturing. 33, 101094.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Silica bound co-pillar[4+1]arene as a novel supramolecular stationary phase

    Mekapothula, S., Addicoat, M., Boocock, D., Wallis, J., Cragg, P. & Cave, G. W. V., 8 Jan 2020, In : Chemical Communications. 56, 12, p. 1792-1794 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Glycocluster Tetrahydroxamic Acids Exhibiting Unprecedented Inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms

    Taouai, M., Chakroun, K., Somer, R., Michaud, G., Giacalone, D., Ben Maaouia, M., Vallin-Butruille, A., Mathiron, D., Abidi, R., Darbre, T., Cragg, P., Mullie, C., Reymond, J-L., O'Toole, G. & Benazza, M., 26 Aug 2019, In : Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 62, 17, p. 7722-7738 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Hydrogen – an element for the Space Age!

    Cragg, A. & Cragg, P., Nov 2019, In : School Science Review. 100, 374, p. 31-35

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
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    Activities

    Mediterranean Journal of Chemistry (Journal)

    Peter Cragg (Reviewer)
    2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication Peer-review

    British Council

    Peter Cragg (Reviewer)
    2018 → …

    Activity: External funding peer-review

    Molecules (Journal)

    Peter Cragg (Editor)
    2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

    Preludium

    Peter Cragg (Reviewer)
    2018 → …

    Activity: External funding peer-review

    ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces (Journal)

    Peter Cragg (Reviewer)
    2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication Peer-review