The major advances that were made in chemistry in the last century were built on the development of a set of design rules for covalent chemistry that allowed the quantitative prediction of reactivity and molecular shape based on the chemical bonding in the molecules.
The goal of Professor Hunter and his team’s research is to establish a comparable set of rules for non-covalent chemistry that can be used for the design of supramolecular systems that are held together by weak interactions with equal reliability. This will not only be fundamental science in its own right, relevant to a broad range of chemical problems, but it will also be technology that can be implemented in biological and materials applications.
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After a PhD at the University of Cambridge with Jeremy Sanders, Professor Hunter was appointed to a Lectureship in Bioorganic Chemistry at the University of Otago in New Zealand in 1989. He moved to the University of Sheffield in 1991 and was promoted to Professor of Chemistry in 1997. In 2014, he returned to the University of Cambridge as the Herchel Smith Professor of Organic Chemistry and Fellow of Emmanuel College. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008 and an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2015.