Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy

Staff Profile

Dr Michael Hall

Reader in Organic & Biological Chemistry



After finishing my DPhil with Dr. Jeremy Robertson (Oxford) entitled "Silicon Tethered Ene and Allyl Transfer Reactions", I moved to Dublin for a postdoctoral position with Dr. Donal O'Shea (UCD) where I worked on the synthesis of switchable photodynamic therapy agents. I then moved to Paris to work with Professor Janine Cossy and Dr Christophe Meyer (ESPCI) on the total synthesis of phoslactomycin. I subsequently was appointed as a Lecturer at Newcastle University in 2007, before being to promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2016. In 2020 Dr Mike Probert (Newcastle) and I launched the spin-out company Indicatrix Crystallography, providing ENaCt crystallisation technology to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries.

Areas of Expertise

Organic Synthesis

Natural Products

Crystallisation of Small Organic Molecules

Prizes and Awards

  • RSC Emerging Technologies (Health) Finalist, 2020
  • Dave Kelly Cup, Gregynog Synthesis Meeting, 2019
  • Newcastle University Innovator of the Year, 2014
  • BioNow Awards, Medical Project of the Year, 2013
  • Medical Futures Innovation Awards, invited finalist 2011

External Roles

  • CEO, Indicatrix Crystallography (indicatrix.co.uk)
  • External Examiner (MSc Chemistry), University of Leeds, 2023-2027
  • External Examiner (BSc/MChem Chemistry), University of Kent, 2019-2023


  • DPhil, Linacre College, Oxford, 2003
  • MChem, Brasenose College, Oxford, 1999

Previous Positions

  • CNRS Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ESPCI, Paris, 2006
  • Postdoctoral Research Assistant, CSCB, University College Dublin, 2003-2005

Google Scholar



Research Interests

Synthetic organic chemistry: Natural Products, Bioactive molecules

Crystallisation of small organic molecules

Current Work

Current work is divided into three research areas; isolation, characterisation and synthesis of biologically active natural products, new synthetic methodology based on multicomponent "one pot" reactions and the development of new fluorophores for application in bioimaging and sensing.



The UK National Crystallography Service 2022-27 (EPSRC): £1,207,136


Northern Accelerator CCF (PoC): Robot Assisted Micro-crystallisation Platform for Polymorph Screening and Structural Solution – Prototype Workflow Development, Industrial Demonstrations and Market Development, £48,683

MICA: Novel mode of RNA polymerase inhibition by a new natural rifamycin, which is active against rifampicin-resistant RNA polymerase, Medical Research Council (MRC), £603,841

Industrial Demonstration of Newcastle High Throughput Crystallisation Screening Platform, Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), £11,845

N8 - High throughput structural elucidation of plant natural products and agrochemical metabolites, N8 Research Partnership, £31,580


Metabolomics by Automated Crystallography (MbAC): Solving the Structural Elucidation Bottleneck in Natural Product Discovery and Bioengineering through Automated Crystallisation and Single Crystal X-Ray Diffraction, NPRONET, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), £43,843


Bill toScale-up and Structural Elucidation of Novel Natural Product Antibiotics from the Demuris Actinomycete Collection, NPRONET, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), £10,000


Studying the development of a new natural product antibiotic for the treatment of ESKAPE infections, Rosetrees Trust, £54,171


A New Antibiotic for Gram Positive Bacterial Infections, Medical Research Council (MRC), £29,282


A Novel Crosslinking Strategy for MS Structural Biology, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), £116,056


Probing the Mechanisms of dSTORM Reporters, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), £118,521


Towards commercial application of a novel method to prevent and remove bacterial biofilms, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), £137,802

Diels-Alder/Ene Reactions for the Multi-Component Synthesis, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), £96,013

Total Funding to Date - £2,508,773


Undergraduate Teaching (BSc/MChem)

NES2402 - Organic Chemistry

NES3402 - Advanced Organic Chemistry (Module leader

NES3406 - Advanced Organic Chemistry DL (Module leader)

NES8404 - Pericyclic and radical reactions (Module leader)

Postgraduate Teaching (MSc)

NES8807 - Pericyclic and radical reactions (Module leader)

MChem and MSc project supervision