The Cronin Group

Research in the Cronin Group is motivated by the fascination for complex chemical systems, and the desire to construct complex functional molecular architectures that are not based on biologically derived building blocks.


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Cronin Group Develop Chemical Search Engine to search for the simplest routes to life

In a paper published in Nature Communication, researchers from the Cronin Group have unveiled a new approach to synthesising complex peptides by using a robotic “search engine” to search through chemical space.

Professor Cronin said: “Proteins are some of the basic building blocks of life, and we’ve long known that they make up the working machinery of living cells. However, we’re still struggling to determine whether proteins came first or if the genetic machinery of DNA or RNA did.

“Our research aimed to help answer this question by creating a robot capable of creating many different random combinations of conditions, and them focusing in on the promising ones. Very quickly, we found that it was possible to assemble the building blocks just like the way we find them in modern proteins. Our chemical search engine is able to search large amounts of chemical space, similar to how systems like Google search the internet. Instead of reading HTML, however, the system performs chemical reactions.”

Article on RSC Chemistry World website

Article on University of Glasgow website

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Prof. Leroy (Lee) Cronin

Prof Leroy (Lee) Cronin
Regius Chair of Chemistry
Cronin Laboratory
School of Chemistry
Joseph Black Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ
Tel: +44 141 330 6650
Email: lee.cronin@glasgow.ac.uk

Latest Publications

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452. [Fe15]: a frustrated, centred tetrakis hexahedron

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451. Robotic Stepwise Synthesis of Hetero-Multinuclear Metal Oxo Clusters as Single-Molecule Magnets

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450. Standardization and Control of Grignard Reactions in a Universal Chemical Synthesis Machine using online NMR

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449. A robotic prebiotic chemist probes long term reactions of complexifying mixtures

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448. Identifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometry

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447. A molecular computing approach to solving optimization problems via programmable microdroplet arrays

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446. Influence of the Contact Geometry and Counterions on the Current Flow and Charge Transfer in Polyoxometalate Molecular Junctions: A Density Functional Theory Study

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445. Elucidating the Paramagnetic Interactions of an Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Radical-Functionalized Mn-Anderson Cluster

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444. Automatic Generation of 3D-Printed Reactionware for Chemical Synthesis Digitization using ChemSCAD

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443. Optimization of Formulations Using Robotic Experiments Driven by Machine Learning DoE


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