O'Reilly Group - October 2019

We aim to integrate polymer engineering and precise nanostructure to create advanced polymeric materials that bridge the interface between synthetic, polymer and catalysis chemistry for applications in the field of nanotechnology.

About the O’Reilly Group

The O’Reilly Group develops path-finding biomimetic materials science. Group members focus on novel approaches to polymer synthesis and design through manipulation of the constituents and architecture of extended molecular chains. Evolution over hundreds of thousands of years has resulted in highly complex polymers such as the carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids that are the constituent parts of every living thing. Inspired by the science of nature, O’Reilly Group researchers work across disciplines to engineer nanoparticles and create new approaches to nanotechnologies. Our work results in self-assembling ‘living machines’, responsive fluorescent probes, and molecules capable of precisely controlled release or cascade reactions. This fundamental research enables useful applications in personalised medicine, environmental safety and drug delivery. We are fortunate to be supported by industry, with collaborators including BP plc, Unilever and Infineum UK Ltd; philanthropic partners such as Leverhulme Trust; and funding bodies including the European Commission and EPSRC. Our extensive international academic partnerships include the universities of Warwick, Cambridge, Oxford, Southampton, Fudan, Tongji, Northwestern and Victoria, to name just a few. The O’Reilly Group is based across two floors of the School of Chemistry and its physical resources comprise multiple labs well-equipped for synthesis and characterisation alongside access to the School’s extensive facilities.

The internationality of the O’Reilly Group is important – there is a diversity of ideas and contributions that creates great dynamism. At present the 22 Group members come from 11 countries, and we usually host visiting students and academic researchers throughout the year. We have a strong belief in equity of opportunity; career development is prioritised, with the opportunity to contribute to papers, take part in outreach, and mentor other Group members.  We aim to be as dedicated to developing our working relationships as we are to our science.