Professor Paul Keller

Paul Keller

PhD University of New South Wales (1991)
BSc(Hons) University of New South Wales (1985)

Phone:    Office +61 2 4221 4692 / Lab +61 2 4221 3510
Office:     B18.222 / Lab B18.220

Postal Address:
School of Chemistry
University of Wollongong
Northfields Avenue

  • Professor

Research Interests

Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry

Organic Synthesis

  1. The design and synthesis of chiral ligands for metal catalysed reactions - chiral diamines, diphosphines and diarsines.
  2. Fullerenyl amino acid oligomers.
  3. Cascade reactions of indigos.  One and two step synthesis of newl heterocycles.

Medicinal Chemistry

  1. The design and synthesis of anti-viral drug-targets including HIV, dengue fever and the chikungunya virus.
  2. New anti-bacterial agents targeting multidrug resistant microbes (C. difficile, VRE, MRSA).
  3. The synthesis of radiolabelled markers for the early detection of Parkinson's disease.

Natural Product Chemistry

  1. Antarctic moss as proxies for climate change.
  2. Indonesian ephiphytes.
  3. The colours of Australia: Natural product studies of Australian Parrot Feathers.
  4. Ethnopharmacology studies of Indonesian traditional medicine and epiphytes. 

Representative Publications
  • Gregson, A. M.; Wales, S. M.; Bailey, S. J; Willis, A. C.; Keller, P. A.* Cyclic Phosphine Oxides and Phosphinamides from Di-Grignard Reagents and Phosphonic Dichlorides: Modular Access to Annulated Phospholanes J. Org. Chem. 2015, in press, DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.5b01476
  • Wales, S. M. Hammer, K. A. King, A. M. Tague, A. J. Lyras, D. Riley, T. V.; Keller, P. A.* Pyne, S. G.* Binaphthyl-1,2,3-triazole peptidomimetics with activity against Clostridium difficile and other pathogenic bacteria Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, 13, 5743-5756
  • Gregson, A. M. Wales, S. M. Bailey, S. J. Keller, P. A. Arsenous chloride-free synthesis of cyclic tertiary organoarsines from arylarsine oxides and di-Grignard reagents J. Organomet. Chem. 2015, 785, 77-83. 10.1016/j.jorganchem.2015.03.006
  • Shubina, T. E.; Sharapa, D, I.; Schubert, C.; Zahn, D.; Halik, M.; Keller, P. A.; Pyne, S. G.; Jennepalli, S.; Guldi, D. M.; Clark, T.* Fullerene Van der Waals Oligomers as Electron Traps J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 10890-10893
  • Bailey, S, J.; Wales, S. M.; Willis, A. C.; Keller, P. A.* Ring-Opening and -Expansion of 2,2'-Biaziridine: Access to Diverse Enantiopure Linear and Bicyclic Vicinal Diamines Org Lett. 2014, 16, 4344-4347. DOI: 10.1021/ol502164b
  • Chikungunya Virus: Emerging Targets and New Opportunities for Medicinal Chemistry, Adel A. Rashad, Suresh Mahalingam, and Paul A. Keller, J. Med. Chem. 2014, 57, 1147-1166. 10.1021/jm400460d
  • Shakoori, A.; Bremner, J. B.; Willis, A. C.; Haritakun, R.; Keller, P. A., Rapid Cascade Synthesis of Poly-Heterocyclic Architectures from Indigo. J. Org. Chem. 2013, 78, 7639-7647
  • John B. Bremner, Paul A. Keller, Stephen G. Pyne, et. al, Combating Vancomycin- and Methicillin-resistant Bacteria: Novel Binaphthyl-based Small Dicationic Peptoids with Therapeutic Potential, Angew Chemie 2010, 49, 537-540



  • PhD Univeristy of New South Wales (1991)
  • BSc(Hons) University of New South Wales (1985)

Positions Previously Held

  • Director - Centre for Medicinal Chemistry, UOW
  • Alexander von Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellow (1992-94 and 2001).

Current Funding

Recent News

Congratulations go to: 

  • Alexander Sele for the accepted manuscript “A cascade synthetic route to new bioactive spiroindolinepyrido[1,2-a]indolediones from indirubin” in Tetrahedron.
  • Jamie Smyth and Nichloas Butler for the accepted manuscript “A Twist of Nature – The Significance of Atropisomers in Biological Systems” in Natural Product Reports.
  • Nicholas Butler for being awarded his Bachelor of International Science with 1st Class Honours! He is currently continuing on with his studies in our group for his PhD, with a focus on diversity-oriented synthesis of heterocycles from cascade reactions with indigo.
  • Nyugen Thuy Viet Phuong for being awarded her Doctorate for her work on computational modelling and drug design for the Chikungunya virus. Good luck in your future studies, you will be sorely missed!
  • Ari Satia Nugraha for being awarded his Doctorate for his studies on natural products of tropical and polar plants. Good luck in your job as a lecturer and scientist at the University of Jember, Indonesia; we hope to see many novel natural products with your name on them!
  • Sreenu Jennepalli for being awarded his Doctorate for his work on the development of the synthesis of multi-fullerenyl peptide chains. He has currently accepted a postdoctoral position within our group, continuing on from previous work towards the generation of novel antibacterial agents.
  • Aaron Gregson, Steven Wales, and Stephen Bailey for the accepted manuscript “Cyclic Phosphine Oxides and Phosphinamides from Di-Grignard Reagents and Phosphonic Dichlorides: Modular Access to Annulated Phospholanes” in the Journal of Organic Chemistry.
Last reviewed: 6 October, 2015