Selected Research Interests

Some of our research highlights are as follows:

Metal-catalyzed Synthesis 

We are interested in catalytic arylations using organoboron reagents or arylhalides. We have successfully used activated imines and aldehydes with various metal-catalysts (both inter- and intra-molecularly), like, Rh, Pd and Ru.

Some recent papers on this work include:

Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2020 , 3622-3632 (sequential process).

Synlett , 2018, 29, 497-502 (cyclization). 

Multicomponent Reactions (MCRs) and Sequential Catalytic Transformations

When catalysis is coupled with MCRs or used in sequential pathways one possesses a very powerful method for accessing important target compounds in an efficient sustainable way.  Here are some recent highlights from our group.

Asymmetric Organocatalysis

We have developed a series of cinchona-based chiral catalysts that have shown much potential in a number of reactions like the aldol condensation and the ketimine hydrosilylation reaction.  . We are still actively working in this area.

Medicinal Chemistry

We have been interested in the design and synthesis of a-glucosidase iminosugar inhibitors. We are also very interested in the design and synthesis of novel AChE and MAO-B inhibitors, that are implicated in neurodegenerative diseases.

Docking study showing the interaction of an iminosugar inhibitor with a mammalian a-glucosidase homology model (Carreiro et al.  Bioorg. Chem.  2014 )

Recently, and in concert with our asymmetric catalysis program, we are targeting large libraries of chiral cyclic compounds for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like; Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Some of our most promising hit compounds are the following:

Polymer Chemistry

In collaboration with Raquel Garcia and her team at MED research center at the University of Evora, we interested in the design and synthesis of novel MIPs (Molecularly Imprinted Polymers) for pesticide determination in olive oil samples. We are investigating various cutting-edge polymerization methods.


In collaboration with Maria Cabrita and her team at MED research center at the University of Evora, we have used NMR as a diagnostic technique to distinguish between different varieties of olive oil.

In addition:

We currently collaborate with many external groups, that include; Nick Turner’s group in Manchester, Óscar Lopez’s group in Seville, José Padrón in La Laguna, Holger Stark from Dusseldorf, Alfonso Garcia Sousa (University of Tartu, Estonia), Stefano Alcaro (Università Magna Græcia di Catanzaro, Italy) and many others.