Ben Bhawal



Tel.: 0131 651 7112

Website: Bhawal Group


Ben has a broad interest in catalysis as an enabling tool for the construction of organic molecules. The Bhawal Lab has research programmes on establishing new paradigms in site-selective functionalisation and unlocking novel chemical reactivity with earth-abundant metal catalysts. An important aim of our work is to apply our chemistry to the modification of complex molecules as a strategy to expedite the discovery of new pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and other bioactive molecules.


Ben completed both his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Cambridge. He completed his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Steven Ley and his research focussed on using flow techniques to perform catalytic transformations. He then moved to France to work at École Polytechnique in the group of Prof. Fabien Gagosz. During this time, he investigated novel gold-catalysed routes to rapidly access complex polycyclic indoles. Subsequently, he was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship to join the group of Prof. Bill Morandi, with whom he was fortunate to work at both the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung and ETH Zürich. With Prof. Morandi, he worked on the development of novel reversible catalytic reactions and their applications.

In 2021, he was awarded a Christina Miller Fellowship to initiate his independent research career at the University of Edinburgh.