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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.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Peter Cragg is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Calixarenes Chemical Compounds
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Ions Chemical Compounds
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2016 2020

Research Output 1988 2019

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

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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

Hydrogen-bonding interactions in crown-(thio)urea complexes with anions, chemical warfare agents and simulants

Cave, H., Ede, J. A., Sambrook, M., Dodd, H., Fucassi, F., Cragg, A., Lansley, A. & Cragg, P., 1 Sep 2019, In : Supramolecular Chemistry. 31, 11, p. 703-712 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chemical Warfare Agents

Hysteretic thermal spin-crossover in heteroleptic Fe(II) complexes using alkyl chain substituted 2,2’-dipyridylamine ligands

Geoghegan, B., Phonsri, W., Horton, P., Orton, J., Coles, S., Murray, K. S., Cragg, P., Dymond, M. & Gass, I., 15 Nov 2019, In : Dalton Transactions. 48, 46, p. 17340-17348 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bond length
Magnetic susceptibility
Crystal lattices

Activities 1991 2018

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces (Journal)

Peter Cragg (Reviewer)
2018 → …

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


Peter Cragg (Reviewer)
2018 → …

Activity: External funding peer-review

Molecules (Journal)

Peter Cragg (Editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

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