Ross Boyle

Prof Ross W Boyle

Professor of Biological Chemistry/ Module Coordinator for Biological Macromolecules/ Biological Safety and Genetic Modifications Committee Member

Faculty of Science and Engineering

01482 466410

Professor Boyle was promoted to Professor of Biological Chemistry in 2011 after joining the University as Reader in Biological Chemistry in 2000.

He studied for his PhD in organic photochemistry, under the supervision of George Truscott, at Paisley College, Scotland, where he gained his BSc in Chemistry in 1986.

In 1990, he moved to Canada to carry out postdoctoral research, first at the MRC Group in Radiation Sciences, Universite de Sherbrooke, Quebec, and then at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

He returned to the UK to take up a post as lecturer of biological chemistry, at the University of Essex, in 1996.


Research Interests

  • Synthetic chemistry of porphyrins and related molecules

  • Photodynamic therapy of cancer and other diseases

  • Fluorescent probes

  • Conjugation of photoactive species to biomolecules

Research groups

  • Prof Boyle's research group, Photobiology and Photomedicine Group, works closely with biomedical scientists and clinicians on an emerging cancer treatment called photodynamic therapy (PDT)

  • His research at Hull has received generous funding from EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust, EU and the Royal Society


Filatov, M.A., Karuthedath, S., Polestshuk, P.M., H. Savoie, Flanagan, K.J., Sy, C., Sitte, E., Telitchko, M., Laquai, F., Boyle, R.W., Senge, M.O. (2017), 'Generation of Triplet Excited States via Photoinduced Electron Transfer in meso-anthra-BODIPY: Fluorogenic Response toward Singlet Oxygen in Solution and in Vitro', Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139, pp 6282-6285

Ruiz-Gonzalez, R., Bresoli-Obach, R., Gulias, O., Agut, M., Savoie, H., Boyle, R.W., Nonell, S., Giuntini, F. (2017), 'NanoSOSG: a Nanostructured Fluorescent Probe for Intracellular Singlet Oxygen Detection', Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 56, pp 2885-2888

Spagnul, C., Turner, L.C., Giuntini, F., Greenman, J., Boyle, R.W. (2017), 'Synthesis and bactericidal properties of porphyrins immobilized in a polyacrylamide support: influence of metal complexation on photoactivity', Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 5, pp 1834-1845

Entract, G.M., Bryden, F., Domarkas, J., Savoie, H., Allott, L., Archibald, S.J., Cawthorne, C., Boyle, R.W. (2015), 'Development of PDT/PET Theranostics: Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of an 18F-Radiolabelled Water-Soluble Porphyrin', Molecular Pharmaceutics, 12, pp 4414-4423

Bryden, F., Maruani, A., Savoie, H., Chudasama, V., Smith, M.E.B., Caddick, S., Boyle, R.W. (2014), 'Regioselective and Stoichiometrically Controlled Conjugation of Photodynamic Sensitizers to a HER2 Targeting Antibody Fragment', Bioconjugate Chemistry, 25(3), pp 611-617


Modules list

  • Structure & Synthesis I: Benzene Chemistry

  • Structure & Synthesis II: Heteroaromatic Chemistry

  • Biological Macromolecules: Porphyrins and Related Macrocycles

  • Advanced Organic Chemistry: Retrosynthetic Analysis

  • Topics in Molecular Medicine: Photochemistry and Photobiology

  • Advanced Organic Chemistry

Research PhDs

  • Synthetic chemistry of porphyrins and related macrocycles

  • Photodynamic medicine

  • Biomolecular imaging

  • Bioconjugate chemistry

  • Photoactive polymers and materials

Completed PhDs

  • Lauren Turner, Self-Sterilising Surfaces to combat Healthcare Associated Infections, 2017

  • Kapiraj Chandrabalan, A Microfluidic Approach to the Study of Cellular Responses to Oxidative Stress, 2015

  • Francesca Bryden, Synthesis of Water-Soluble Porphyrin-Dendron Conjugates for Targeted Photodynamic Therapy, 2013

  • Emily Lumley, Development of a Microfluidic Device for their situ Production of Singlet Oxygen for Chemical and Biological Applications, 2012

  • Ishi Kuruppuarachchi, Polyacrylamide Nanoparticle Delivery Systems in Photodynamic Therapy, 2011

  • Aaron Bullous, Development of Porphyrin-Antiangiogenic Antibody Immunoconjugates for Photodynamic Therapy, 2010

  • Michael Benstead, Dipyrrin Complexes and their uses as Self Assembling Materials, 2010

  • Claire Hall, The Synthesis of Cationic Porphyrins for use in Photodynamic Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (PACT), 2008

  • Christopher Welch, Development of Synthetic Routes Towards Bis(Macrocyclic) Compounds for Imaging and Therapy of Cancer, 2008

  • Christopher Wilson, Design and Investigation of Porphyrin containing Liquid Crystals, 2007

  • Leanne Josefsen, Porphyrin-Nanosensor Conjugate: Novel Tools for the Study of Cellular Response to Oxidative Stress, 2007

  • Simon Fox, Synthesis of Porphyrins Bearing Exocyclic Rings and Related Studies, 2005

  • Sajida Ahmed, Glycosylated Porphyrins for use in Photodynamic Therapy, 2005

  • Baolu Shi, Combinatorial Synthesis of Unsymmetrically Functionalised Tetraarylporphyrins, 2003

  • Robert Hudson, Targeted PDT: Development of Site-Specific Photosensitisers, 2004

  • Kerry Elgie, Combinatorial Methods in Porphyrin Synthesis, 2002

  • Oliver Clarke, Isothiocyanato Porphyrins for Bioconjugation: Synthesis and Applications in Targeted Photochemotherapy and Fluorescence Imaging, 2001

  • Susanna Shaw, Synthetic Studies Towards Antibody Directed Enzyme Prodrug Photochemotherapy, 2001

Current PhD supervisions 

  • Guy Entract

  • Miffy Cheng

  • Steven Yap

  • Jordon Sandland

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BSc (Paisley)

  • PhD (Paisley)

External roles

  • Middle England Regional Chemistry Interactive Alliance (MERCIA) Coordinator

  • Dalhousie University, NS, Canada

  • Trinity College Dublin

  • University College London

  • Institute of Biotechnology, Rijeka, Croatia

  • Univesitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain

Awards and accolades

  • C. Chem. FRSC