Dr Jack Chen


Senior Lecturer – Chemistry

School of Science

Auckland University of Technology

Phone: (+649) 921 9999 ext 8398

Email: jack.chen@aut.ac.nz

Our group is interested in the way molecules and nanoparticles self-organise into functional architectures. We are currently introducing responsive elements into systems that allow them to respond to light, transmit signals and demonstrate adaptive properties. Such systems offer exciting possibilities for the development of molecular machines, smart materials and molecular electronics.

Teaching Areas:

  • Molecular Design, Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry

Research Areas:

  • Self-assembly and emergent properties
  • Dynamic functional nanosystems
  • Reaction kinetics and mechanism
  • Green catalysis and sustainable chemistry


My PhD was conducted at the University of Auckland with Prof. Margaret Brimble, working on the synthesis of spirastrellolide B, a potent protein phosphatase inhibitor with potential anti-cancer properties. I then took up a Postdoctoral Fellow appointment in the same group for 18 months, where I was involved in a range of projects including the total synthesis of bioactive molecules from traditional Chinese medicines and a medicinal chemistry project to discover novel telomerase inhibitors. In 2011 I moved to Bristol, UK, for 3 years where I worked with Prof. Varinder Aggarwal developing synthetic methodology involving a novel form of activated allylboron reagents. In 2014 I took up a Postdoctoral Fellowship with Prof. Leonard Prins in Padova, Italy, where I studied the use of gold nanoparticle-based supramolecular systems for chiral catalysis. In 2016, I moved from Italy to take up my current position in the School of Applied Sciences at AUT.