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About Tot. Syn.

Wow; caught your interest for a minute! This blog is written solely by me (Paul), but would be almost useless without contributions of readers in the comments. Please do add your thoughts and opinions, but take a minute to look at the AUP too…

I finished my DPhil (also known as a PhD at lesser institutions :)) in July of 2008, where I worked on a total synthesis under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Burton at Trinity College, Oxford (DOI: 10.1039/b802473a). (However, we actually started in Cambridge, but Jon moved university in my third year). I did my undergrad at Heriot-Watt University, with a year of that at UM St. Louis, working with Professor Christopher Spilling; My MChem project was with Drs. Cooke and Howarth, and a summer project with Dr Arno Kraft (DOI: 10.1021/ol053072+).

Some thanks: I’d like to thank the rest of the Burton group, and Andy and Phil in particular for their help making this blog, and everyone on the inter-web for linking Tot. Syn. up (especially Dylan and Derek). Also the various members of the Holmes and Paterson groups who have shaped my obsession with total synthesis. The Boss (and he’ll always be that), for generally being a top bloke and spreading his enthusiasm, and also Dr. David Fox for being a genius.

I also need to extend a huge thank you to the publishing houses for giving me access to the literature as a journalist – primarily Wiley InterScience, the RSC and of course the ACS.

Please do drop me a line if you have questions, suggestions or the general urge to: ts (at) totallysynthetic.com [this account is getting spammed to hell, so try this one – sorry, it’s not hotlinked – it helps prevent spam].


I’ve used DOI’s to link to the literature; if you’ve never used them, read this.

Thanks to my lovely fiancée, Femke, for the picture below. Even if she is a deluded Nikon user…

Paul Docherty