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.

Digitalization of Chemistry

Prof Lee Cronin has featured on the Thomson Reuters “State of Innovation” website, where he discusses 3D-printing medicine and the development of the “chemical internet”.

The vision is to develop cheap, universal, and accessible chemical robots that will allow the Design, Discovery and Digitization of Chemical Space. One of the things that made the internet possible was that html, the standard language to create web pages, was very cheap and easy. In the same way, the Cronin Group is focused on developing cheap and easy-to-use robots that can do chemistry. “If the robots are too complicated they will fail and no one will use them,” Cronin pointed out.

The digitalization of the chemical space may represent a major change in the discovery process in chemistry. In the future, it might be possible to develop an application for a robot to create a molecule and do design according to a specification. Once a discovery is made, the coordinates of the new molecule in the chemical space could be stored as a code, making reproducibility cheap and easy, and hence changing the manufacturing process as we know it. The code could be used again and again. The potential of this system in the pharmaceutical industry is massive. Complicated drug manufacturing processes could be simplified and done at once. Drug discovery and formulation is a very complex process that demands a significant investment in effort, time and money. By using inexpensive robotics and improving reproducibility, the cost of either drug discovery, formulation or manufacture could be greatly reduced.

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Prof. Leroy (Lee) Cronin

Prof Leroy (Lee) Cronin
Regius Chair of Chemistry
Advanced Research Centre (ARC)
Level 5, Digital Chemistry
University of Glasgow
11 Chapel Lane
Glasgow G11 6EW
Tel: +44 141 330 6650

Latest Publications


476. An artificial intelligence enabled chemical synthesis robot for exploration and optimization of nanomaterials


475. An autonomous portable platform for universal chemical synthesis


474. Robotic synthesis of peptides containing metal-oxide-based amino acids


473. Selection of assembly complexity in a space of tetrapeptides


472. Digitization and validation of a chemical synthesis literature database in the ChemPU


471. Formalising the pathways of life to using assembly spaces


470. Engineering Highly Reduced Molybdenum Polyoxometalates via the Incorporation of d and f Block Metal Ions


469. Effective Storage of Electrons in Water by the Formation of Highly Reduced Polyoxometalate Clusters

468. A Probabilistic Chemical Programmable Computer


467. Digitizing Chemical Synthesis in 3D Printed Reactionware

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