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Simon Turega

Dr Simon Turega MChem, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry


I joined the academic staff at Sheffield Hallam University in late 2014. After completing my MChem and PhD degrees at the University of Manchester I moved to the University of St Andrews. I left St Andrews to begin work in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield before taking up my current position. My research interests cover several areas, physical organic chemistry, chemical biology and synthetic chemistry.


BSc/Mchem Chemistry and BSc Biochemistry

Fundamentals or Organic Chemistry, Introduction to Cells and Biological Molecules, Organic and Biological Chemistry, Advanced Organic Synthesis and Spectroscopy, Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery, PSP1, PSP2


Molecular recognition

Much of my chemistry has involved the study of molecular recognition. Using a selection of synthetic model systems I studied the effect of changing the polarities of hydrogen bond donors and acceptors in my molecules and the solvents they are being studied in. There has been a lot of focus on how individual hydrogen bonds build up to form the type of complex molecular recognition seen in drug receptor interactions. Possibly what is most interesting is the hydrophobic effect where contacts between non-hydrogen bonding groups can build up to form a powerful driving force for molecular interactions.

Chemical biology

I am interested in chemical biology, in molecular recognition and the reversible covalent chemistry that controls gene regulation. This is directed towards the reversible methylation and acetylation of histone lysine residues and the development of small molecule probes to detect and quantify these processes. The work involves the synthesis of small molecules that can be made fluorescent and the observation of these probes in pluripotent cell lines.


Journal articles

Shipp, J., Parker, S., Spall, S., Peralta-Arriaga, S.L., Robertson, C.C., Chekulaev, D., ... Weinstein, J.A. (2022). Photocatalytic Reduction of CO2 to CO in Aqueous Solution under Red-Light Irradiation by a Zn-Porphyrin-Sensitized Mn(I) Catalyst. Inorganic chemistry, 61 (34), 13281-13292.

Zubi, A., Alnafisah, H.A., Turega, S., Marques, I., Gomes, J.R.B., Thomas, J.A., & Félix, V. (2021). Being Positive is Not Everything – Experimental and Computational Studies on the Selectivity of a Self‐Assembled, Multiple Redox‐State Receptor that Binds Anions with up to Picomolar Affinities. Chemistry – A European Journal, 28 (5), e202102465.

Hudspith, L., Shmam, F., Dalton, C.F., Princivalle, A., & Turega, S. (2019). Neurotransmitter selection by monoamine oxidase isoforms, dissected in terms of functional groups by mixed double mutant cycles. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry.

Aldewachi, H., Woodroofe, N., Turega, S., & Gardiner, P. (2017). Optimization of gold nanoparticle-based real-time colorimetric assay of dipeptidyl peptidase IV activity. Talanta, 169, 13-19.

Cullen, W., Turega, S., Hunter, C.A., & Ward, M.D. (2015). Virtual screening for high affinity guests for synthetic supramolecular receptors. Chemical Science, 6 (5), 2790-2794.

Zubi, A., Wragg, A., Turega, S., Adams, H., Costa, P.J., Félix, V., & Thomas, J.A. (2014). Modulating the electron-transfer properties of a mixed-valence system through host–guest chemistry. Chemical Science, 6 (2), 1334-1340.

Cullen, W., Turega, S., Hunter, C.A., & Ward, M.D. (2014). pH-dependent binding of guests in the cavity of a polyhedral coordination cage : reversible uptake and release of drug molecules. Chemical Science, 6 (1), 625-631.

Turega, S., Cullen, W., Whitehead, M., Hunter, C.A., & Ward, M.D. (2014). Mapping the internal recognition surface of an octanuclear coordination cage using guest libraries. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136 (23), 8475-8483.

Whitehead, M., Turega, S., Stephenson, A., Hunter, C.A., & Ward, M.D. (2013). Quantification of solvent effects on molecular recognition in polyhedral coordination cage hosts. Chemical Science, 4 (7), 2744-2751.

Turega, S., Whitehead, M., Hall, B.R., Meijer, A.J.H.M., Hunter, C.A., & Ward, M.D. (2013). Shape-, size-, and functional group-selective binding of small organic guests in a paramagnetic coordination cage. Inorganic Chemistry, 52 (2), 1122-1132.

Sun, H., Hunter, C.A., Navarro, C., & Turega, S. (2013). Relationship between chemical structure and supramolecular effective molarity for formation of intramolecular H-bonds. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135 (35), 13129-13141.

Adams, H., Chekmeneva, E., Hunter, C.A., Misuraca, M.C., Navarro, C., & Turega, S.M. (2013). Quantification of the effect of conformational restriction on supramolecular effective molarities. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135 (5), 1853-1863.

Turega, S., Whitehead, M., Hall, B.R., Haddow, M.F., Hunter, C.A., & Ward, M.D. (2012). Selective guest recognition by a self-assembled paramagnetic cage complex. Chemical Communications, 48 (22), 2752-2784.

Chekmeneva, E., Hunter, C.A., Misuraca, M.C., & Turega, S.M. (2012). Steric desolvation enhances the effective molarities of intramolecular H-bonding interactions. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 10 (30), 6022-6031.

Hunter, C.A., Misuraca, M.C., & Turega, S.M. (2012). Comparative analysis of the influence of H-bond strength and solvent on chelate cooperativity in H-bonded supramolecular complexes. Chemical Science, 3 (8), 2462-2469.

Hunter, C.A., Misuraca, M.C., & Turega, S.M. (2012). Solvent effects on chelate cooperativity. Chemical Science, 3 (2), 589-601.

Hunter, C.A., Misuraca, M.C., & Turega, S.M. (2011). Influence of H-bond strength on chelate cooperativity. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133 (50), 20416-20425.

Hunter, C.A., Misuraca, M.C., & Turega, S.M. (2011). Dissection of complex molecular recognition interfaces. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133 (3), 582-594.

Brittle, S.A., Richardson, T.H., Dunbar, A.D.F., Turega, S.M., & Hunter, C.A. (2011). Tuning free base tetraphenylporphyrins as optical sensing elements for volatile organic analytes. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 21 (13), 4882-4887.

Allen, V.C., Robertson, C.C., Turega, S.M., & Philp, D. (2010). A simple network of synthetic replicators can perform the logical OR operation. Organic Letters, 12 (9), 1920-1923.

Camara-Campos, A., Musumeci, D., Hunter, C.A., & Turega, S. (2009). Chemical double mutant cycles for the quantification of cooperativity in H-bonded complexes. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131 (51), 18518-18524.

Hunter, C.A., Ihekwaba, N., Misuraca, M.C., Segarra-Maset, M.D., & Turega, S.M. (2009). Cooperativity in multiply H-bonded complexes. Chemical Communications, 26, 3964-3966.

Chekmeneva, E., Hunter, C.A., Packer, M.J., & Turega, S.M. (2008). Evidence for partially bound states in cooperative molecular recognition interfaces. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130 (52), 17718-17725.

Brittle, S., Richardson, T.H., Dunbar, A.D.F., Turega, S., & Hunter, C.A. (2008). Alkylamine sensing using Langmuir−Blodgett films of n-Alkyl-N-phenylamide-Substituted Zinc Porphyrins. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 112 (36), 11278-11283.

Turega, S.M., Lorenz, C., Sadownik, J.W., & Philp, D. (2008). Target-driven selection in a dynamic nitrone library. Chemical Communications, 34, 4076-4078.

Jones, C.E.S., Turega, S.M., Clarke, M.L., & Philp, D. (2008). A rationally designed cocatalyst for the Morita–Baylis–Hillman reaction. Tetrahedron Letters, 49 (31), 4666-4669.

Backstrom, N., Burton, N.A., Turega, S., & Watt, C.I.F. (2008). The primary kinetic hydrogen isotope effect in the deprotonation of a nitroalkane by an intramolecular carboxylate group. Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry, 21 (7-8), 603-613.

Cowie, R.M., Turega, S.M., & Philp, D. (2006). Probing the limits of rate acceleration mediated by hydrogen bonds. Organic Letters, 8 (23), 5179-5182.

Turega, S.M., & Philp, D. (2006). Controlling a recognition-mediated reaction using a pH switch. Chemical Communications, 35, 3684-3686.

Postgraduate supervision

Philip Lane - A study of small molecule probes for the lysine specific demethylase 1 enzyme

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