top of page

Current Members

Dr Stephen Butler - Lecturer in Synthetic Supramolecular Chemistry

Stephen completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Warwick University in 2004. After a brief period working in polymer chemistry with Prof. David Haddleton, he migrated to Sydney and studied a PhD with Prof. Katrina Jolliffe. Here he developed a keen interest in supramolecular chemistry and molecular recognition; his PhD focused on the synthesis of cyclic peptides for sensing biologically important anions. Following the award of his PhD in 2010, he undertook postdoctoral work at Sydney with Prof. Richard Payne, developing synthetic sulfopeptides to study chemokine-receptor interactions. He then returned to the UK to work with Prof. David Parker FRS at Durham University, creating highly emissive lanthanide complexes for use as optical probes in cellular imaging. In 2013 he was awarded a Ramsay Memorial Fellowship to develop fluorescent molecular probes for the detection of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Stephen was appointed as Lecturer in Synthetic Supramolecular Chemistry at Loughborough University in June 2015.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Sams picture.jpg
  • LinkedIn Social Icon

Samantha Bodman (2020-2022)

Sam completed her PhD in Christchurch, New Zealand at the University of Canterbury (UC) under the supervision of Associate Professor Chris Fitchett. Her PhD focused on the synthesis of molecules and metal complexes for a range of applications, such as organic electronics and solar cells. In particular, the synthesis of molecules that have the potential to undergo singlet fission and utilising metallosupramolecular chemistry to control the distance and orientation between the chromophores for optimal energy transfer. She completed a six-month Organic Teaching Fellowship during her PhD and collaborated with Dr Matthew Cowan in the Department of Chemical and Processing Engineering at UC following her PhD. She relocated to Loughborough in January 2020 to join the Butler Group working on an EPSRC funded project on the development of new luminescent probes for multisite recognition of polyphosphate anions.

PhD Students

Caty Marsden (2019-2023)

Caty picture.jpg
  • LinkedIn Social Icon

Caty was born in Preston, Lancashire, and studied for an MChem at Lancaster University, with a year studying abroad at Queensland University of Technology. For her Master's project, Caty worked with Dr Nick Fletcher, developing tethered ligands, in an attempt to demonstrate control of stereochemistry in tris heteroleptic ruthenium(II) complexes. During her time at Lancaster she enjoyed rowing for the university, and also carried out two summer internships with Dr John Hardy and Dr Michael Coogan. Caty recently moved to Loughborough University to begin her PhD concerned with the development of macromolecular MRI contrast agents. 

Lydia Topping (2020-2023)

  • LinkedIn Social Icon

Lydia Topping was born in Preston, Lancashire and studied for a BSc in Medicinal Chemistry at Salford university with and industry placement at Cancer Research UK. During her time at Cancer research, her work focussed on designing and developing Autotaxin inhibitors. For her final year project, Lydia developed novel synthetic methods to synthesise Heperan Sulfate inhibitors in order to block the c-Met/HGF pathway responsible for cancer progression. Lydia joined the Butler group in October 2020 and is developing stable molecular lanthanide tags for site-specific labelling of peptides and proteins, enabling protein interactions to be studied using a combination of NMR and emission spectroscopy.

Jamie Webb (2020-2024)

Jamie Webb.png
  • LinkedIn Social Icon

Jamie grew up in Merseyside, completing his BSc in Chemistry at Manchester Metropolitan University (2016) before attending Loughborough University to complete his MSc in Pharmaceutical Science and Medicinal Chemistry with Distinction (2018). 

His MSc project was undertaken supervised by Dr. Benjamin Buckley working on the synthesis of novel oxazole and oxindole derivatives towards decarboxylation methods. Jamie is also an elite 800m runner, representing GB on the world stage, making the 2019 World Championships semifinals, and finishing 2nd at the 2019 European Indoors. Jamie started his PhD in October 2020 focussing on the development of ratiometric luminescent probes for detecting reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in biological fluids, supported by Elite Sport PhD funding to enable both his sporting and academic ambitions. 

Hannah Pyle (2020-2024)

  • LinkedIn Social Icon

Hannah was born in Texas, USA and moved to the UK in 2003. In 2020, she completed an MChem in Medicinal Chemistry with Year in Industry at Queen’s University Belfast. During her placement year, she completed a research project looking into improving the extraction of extracellular vesicles from plasma and serum at QIMR Berghofer in Brisbane, Australia. For her Master’s project, Hannah worked with Professor Karl J. Hale, developing a synthesis for a tetra-substituted alkene to be used for further mechanistic studies. Throughout Hannah’s time at Queen’s, she was an avid trampolinist and was head coach for her last 3 years. Hannah started her PhD in October 2020 at Loughborough University. Hannah’s project aims to create molecular receptors that bind and sense target biological phosphate anions in water.

Dom Howes (2021-2025)


Dom graduated from Loughborough University in 2021 with an MChem. In his Masters year he worked with Dr Iain Wright, using DFT to investigate the structure-property relationships of oligofurans and oligothiophenes. In his time as an undergraduate, Dom enjoyed watching Loughborough’s national rugby team and playing football and basketball. Dom’s PhD is focussed on using novel lanthanide complexes for the selective sensing of important biological anions through emission spectroscopy. Dom is also an avid F1 and motorsport fan. 

Kate Jones (2022-2026)

Kate Jones.jpg
  • LinkedIn Social Icon

Kate was born in Salford, Manchester and completed her MChem in Chemistry at Manchester Metropolitan University, graduating in 2020. For her final year project, Kate worked on synthesising models of amavadin to better understand the biological function of the complex within the funghi, Amanita Muscaria. During her time at MMU, Kate enjoyed competing in Trampolining, running the chemistry society and also carrying out a summer research project under Dr Mark McLaughlin. After graduating, she worked at Reckitt's as an analytical assistant on the brand Mucinex for two years, focusing on analysing novel dosing formats using HPLC methods. Kate began her PhD at Loughborough in October 2022 to develop existing MRI contrast agents, with environmental responsive polymers. 

Alex Frost (2022-2026)

Alex grew up in Cambridge and completed her BSc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Huddersfield in 2017, followed by her MRes in Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Science at Nottingham Trent University in 2018. She worked with Dr Chris Garner on her project focusing on the synthesis of an α-substituted BODIPY label for organophosphate induced delayed neuropathy binding site target identification. Alex then spent 4 years in industry, notably as the Site Process Chemist at polyurethane foam manufacturer, Recticel Ltd, before joining the Butler group at Loughborough University in October 2022. Her PhD project aims to develop lanthanide tags for new protein conjugation methods to study protein-protein interactions by optical and paramagnetic NMR spectroscopy.

bottom of page