Ella Cooper

PhD Researcher at University College Cork


Hi, my name is Ella Cooper. I am a PhD student at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland. I graduated with a BSc (Hons) Chemistry in 2021 from UCC. I am in my second year of a PhD in the School of Chemistry under the supervision of Dr Gerard McGlacken. My funding is provided through the Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme co-funded by Pfizer, Ireland as the industry partner.

My research is focused around the α-functionalisation of carbonyl containing compounds in continuous flow. This research was inspired by the inherent complexity and problems associated with these transformations in batch. These include incomplete enolisation and/or alkylation, problematic side reactions and non-ideal reaction conditions. It was our aim to directly target these issues and provide a continuous flow methodology to overcome such problems.

We succeeded in achieving the continuous alkylation of ketones in steady state yields of up to 96%. A scale-out to >3g was also successfully achieved.

The ultimate aim of this project is the safe and scalable, regioselective and enantioselective α-functionalisation of carbonyl containing compounds, applicable to industry.