Robert Britton

Dr. Robert BrittonDr. Robert Britton is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at Simon Fraser University (SFU). He obtained his BSc in organic chemistry from the University of Waterloo while working with professor Victor Snieckus, and his PhD in natural product isolation, structural elucidation, and total synthesis from the University of British Columbia with professors Edward Piers and Raymond Anderson. He spent two years at Cambridge with professor Ian Paterson as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) post-doctoral fellow, and then joined Merck's Process Research Group as a senior scientist before starting an independent career.

His research program at SFU focuses on the concise synthesis of structurally and stereochemically complex natural products and the discovery of new synthetic methods to support drug discovery and development. Current interests include the synthesis of natural products that may prove useful in the treatment of cancer and Alzheimer's disease, and the development of new fluorination strategies to support PET imaging and drug discovery. This research program is funded by NSERC, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Brain Canada, and several industrial partners; it has been recognized by a F. Hoffmann-La Roche Visiting Scholar Award, IntelliSyn Pharma Research Excellence Award, Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, and the Boeringer Ingelheim Young Investigators Award.

Britton is the recipient of an IntelliSyn Pharma Research Excellence Award (2016) and is an Elected Honorary Member of Golden Key Honor Society (2012).


University: Simon Fraser University
Faculty: Science
Department: Chemistry
Position: Professor

Recent Publications

Christian Roth, Sherry Chan, Wendy Offen, Glyn Hemsworth, Lianne Willems, Dustin King, Dr. Vimal Varghese, Prof. Robert Britton, Prof. David Vocadlo, Prof. Gideon Davies. Structural and Functional Insight into Human O-GlcNAcase. Nature Chemical Biology, 2017;13(6):610-612.

Matthew Nodwell, Hua Yang, Milena Colovic, Zheliang Yuan, Helen Merkens, Martin Reiner, Francois Benard, Paul Schaffer, Robert Britton.18F-Fluorination of Unactivated C-H Bonds in Branched Aliphatic Amino Acids: Direct Synthesis of Oncological Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Agents. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2017;139(10):3595-3598.

Stanley Chang, Michael Holmes, Jeffrey Mowat, Michael Meanwell, Robert Britton. a-Arylation and Ring Expansion of Annulated Cyclobutanones: Stereoselective Synthesis of Functionalized Tetralones. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition. 2016;56(3):748-752.

Christopher Adamson, Robert J. Pengelly, Saeideh Shamsi Kazem Abadi, Saswati Chakladar, Jason Draper, Robert Britton, Tracey M. Gloster, Andrew J. Bennet. Structural Snapshots for Mechanism-Based Inactivation of a Glycoside Hydrolase by Cyclopropyl Carbasugars. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition. 2016;55(48):14978-14982.

Milan Bergeron-Brlek, Jake Goodwin-Tindall, Nevena Cekic, Christian Roth, Wesley F. Zandberg, Xiaoyang Shan, Vimal Varghese, Sherry Chan, Gideon J. Davies, David J. Vocadlo, Robert Britton. A Convenient Approach to Stereoisomeric Iminocyclitols: Generation of Potent Brain-Permeable OGA Inhibitors. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition. 2015; 54(51):15429-15433.