The primary area of research in the Hartley group is chemical biology, i.e., the use of synthetic organic chemistry to unlock the secrets of biology. We do this in two key ways: (a) we design, make and use small molecular probes to study oxidative stress and ageing (b) we find new ways to make large numbers of drug-like compounds, through titanium carbenoid chemistry and by a platform technology that we call MPEG-assised organic synthesis. Our research is both multidisciplinary and relevant to industry, and has given rise to an SME, Antoxis. All my PhD students have submitted within four years of starting work in my laboratory, all have been awarded their PhDs
For an interview with Dr Hartley on Healthy Ageing and Tackling Oxidative Stress (Interview in ENGLISH, introduction in SPANISH) click here.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and calcium ions in homeostasis and aging (ageing)
Intracellular targeting in particular to mitochondria
Molecular probes and functional molecules including photoactivatable and caged molecules
Technologies to facilitate clean synthesis and array synthesis
A prototypical small molecule modulator uncouples mitochondria in response to endogenous hydrogen peroxide production. McQuaker, S. J.; Quinlan, C. L.; Caldwell, S. T.; Brand, M. D.; Hartley, R. C. ChemBioChem 2013, 14, 901-1013 (front cover and doi:10.1002/cbic.201300115).
Selective uncoupling of individual mitochondria within a cell using a mitochondria-targeted photoactivated protonophore. Chalmers, S.; Caldwell, S. T.; Quin, C.; Prime, T. A.; James, A. M.; Cairns, A. G.; Murphy, M. P.; McCarron, J. G.; Hartley, R. C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 758-761(doi: 10.1021/ja2077922).
Using the mitochondria-targeted ratiometric mass spectrometry probe MitoB to measure H2O2 in living Drosophila. Cochemé, H. M.; Logan, A.; Prime, T. A.; Abakumova, I.; Quin, C.; McQuaker, S. J.; Patel, J. V.; Fearnley, I. M.; James, A. M.; Porteous, C. M.; Smith, R. A. J.; Hartley, R. C.; Partridge, L.; Murphy, M. P. Nature Protocols 2012, 7, 946-958 (doi:10.1038/nprot.2012.035)
Measurement of H2O2 within living Drosophila during aging using a ratiometric mass spectrometry probe targeted to the mitochondrial matrix Cochemé, H. M.; Quin, C.; McQuaker, S. J.; Cabreiro, F.; Logan, A.; Prime, T. A.; Abakumova, I.; Patel, J. V.; Fearnley, I. M.; James, A. M.; Porteous, C. M.; Smith, R. A. J.; Saeed, S.; Carré, J. E.; Singer, M.; Gems, D.; Hartley, R. C.; Partridge, L.; Murphy, M. P. Cell Metabolism 2011, 13, 340-350 (doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2011.02.003).
Low Molecular WeightMPEG-assisted Organic Synthesis Figlus, M.; Tarruella, A. C.; Messer, A.; Sollis, S. L.; Hartley, R. C. Chemical Communications 2010, 46, 4405-4407 (doi:10.1039/C0CC00415D).
"Biología Quimíca: Senalizadores y Sensores Quimicos." Congresso Internacional Biología, Química y Agronomía. Guadalajara, Mexico, September 2013.
"Targeting Mitochondria by ‘Magic Molecules’: Strategic Role of Chemistry." 3rd World Congress on Targeting Mitochondria, Berlin (Germany), November 2012.
"Mitochondria-targeted Probes and Functional Molecules to Test the Free Radical Theory of Ageing and Understand Smooth Muscle Contraction" ISACS5, Manchester (UK), July 2011
"Mitochondria-targeted Probes and Functional Molecules" EB2011 in Washington DC, April 2011
Lectures at five other international conferences 2008-13 [COST action CM0902 (2012), 42nd IUPAC conference (2009), GRC Combinatorial Chemistry, High Throughput Chemistry & Chemical Biology (2009), SPIN 2008 (2008), 37th Annual Meeting of the American Aging Association (2008)].
Invited discussion leader and session chair of "Drug Discovery and Enabling Technology" atHigh Throughput Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Gordon Research Conference, New London (NH), June 2011, and invited expert panel member at 3rd World Congress on Targeting Mitochondria, Berlin (Germany), November 2012.
Session chair at three other conferences [ISACS5 (2011), OMCOS 15 (2009); GRC Combinatorial Chemistry (2009)]
Organiser of conferences on the chemical biology of ageing and oxidative stress: ChemAgeIII (RSC, London, April 2006), Radical Chemistry and Biology - oxidative stress and ageing (Glasgow, March 2007).
Representative in British delegation to American Ageing association meeting in Colorado 2008
EPSRC panel member.
Other Notable Achievements
Originator of ‘Protection Hypothesis’ in behavioral ecology
First and currently best probe for quantify hydrogen peroxide in the mitochondria of living organisms (MitoB)