Dr. Rob Smith

Senior Lecturer in Organic/Medicinal Chemistry

School of Physical Sciences and Computing

JB Firth, JBF006

+44 (0) 1772 89 4384


Subject Areas: Chemistry

Dr Rob Smith is an organic/medicinal chemist whose teaching and research focuses on synthesis at the interface of chemistry and biology. Much of the work carried out in the Smith group focuses on the design and development of molecules for healthcare applications. Dr Smith is also Chairman of the Lancaster and District section of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Dr Smith is research active within the area of materials science and is a member of the Biological Materials Research Group.

Full Profile

Dr Smith took his first degree at the University of Central Lancashire and completed his Ph.D on the design and synthesis of novel metalloporphyrin catalysts at the University of Surrey. He then then took up a postdoctoral position at Nottingham Trent University, where he worked for Prof. James Davis and Dr Ray Leslie, on the synthesis of novel electrochemical sensors and the synthesis of antimicrobial agents. After three years in Nottingham, he moved back to the University of Central Lancashire in 2008, where I was appointed as Lecturer of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry. In 2012 he was promoted to senior lecturer of organic and medicinal chemistry.

Dr. Smith's research focus around the development of highly coloured dyes and stains for use in the areas of biosensors, wound chemotherapy and optical imaging for medical applications (such as surgical oncology).

One afternoon a week Dr Smith runs a scheme called ‘Junior Researchers’, which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to come into the laboratory and work on novel research projects.


Royal Society of Chemistry, MRSC


Featured Publications 

Okoh, O.A., Bisby, R.H., Lawrence, C.L., Rolph, C.E., Smith, R.B. Promising near-infrared non-targeted probes: Benzothiazole heptamethine cyanine dyes. Journal of Sulfur Chemistry (2013) 1-15

Tyler, A.R., Okoh, A.O., Lawrence, C.L., Jones, V.C., Moffatt, C., Smith, R.B. N-Alkylated 2,3,3-trimethylindolenines and 2-methylbenzothiazoles. Potential lead compounds in the fight against Saccharomyces cerevisiae infections. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2013) 64 , pp. 222-227

Brocklesby, K.L., Johns, S.C., Jones, A.E., Sharp, D., Smith, R.B. Smart Bandages – A Colourful Approach to Early Stage Infection Detection & Control in Wound Care. Medical Hypotheses (2013) 80 (3) , pp. 237-240

More publications

Research Activities

Synthesis at the interface of chemistry and biology


Designing novel cascade reactions to yield highly functionalised cyanine dyes.

The development of novel near-infrared probes for surgical oncology.

The development of novel antimicrobial agents.

Smart bandages – A colourful approach to early stage infection detection & control in wound care

Teaching Activities

Rob's teaching covers a wide range of areas and covers lectures in organic, medicinal and natural product chemistry. He particularly enjoys bringing the excitement of research into the lecture theatre.

The modules Rob teaches on are as follows: FZ1029, FZ2026, FZ2027, FZ2029, FZ3023, FZ3025, FZ3026, FZ3027, FZ3120 and FZ3200.

External Roles

Chairman of the Lancaster and District Section of the Royal Society of Chemistry

External examiner for Ph.D and MRes qualifications and numerous external universities

Full Profile


Ph.D Organic Chemistry, University of Surrey, 2007

BSc (Hons) Chemistry, University of Central Lancashire, 2002


Rob has presented at research conferences, both within and outside the UK, with the most memorable being ACS Conference in Boston (USA), The HEA variety in chemistry conference in Dublin and the SET for Britain Conference at the Houses of Parliament.