Name Dr Rebecca Butler MChem (Hons) CSci CChem MRSC FHEA PGCert
Job Title Senior Lecturer (Pharmaceutical Chemistry)
Faculty Faculty of Science and Engineering
School School of Pharmacy
Subject(s) Organic chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry and drug discovery
Tel 01902 322197

Rebecca Butler Image

I graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2000 with a MChem (Hons, 1st class) in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry. I then went on to complete a PhD at the University of Nottingham in synthetic organic chemistry where I worked towards the total synthesis of Gelsemine under the supervision of Prof Nigel Simpkins. My next role was as a post-doctoral researcher working with Nobel Laureate Prof K. Barry Sharpless at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, looking at developing simple, reliable and effective reactions. I then joined Novartis as an industrial Medicinal Chemist in 2006 where I remained until joining the School of Pharmacy, here at Wolverhampton, in 2014.
These experiences mean that I am an expert in synthetic chemistry, organic chemistry, drug discovery and pharmaceutical chemistry. I thoroughly enjoy teaching these disciplines to the students on the MPharm, BSc/MSci Pharmaceutical Science, HND Pharmaceutical Science, BSc/MChem Chemistry, Foundation and MSc degree courses.

My experience in industry was working in the fields of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases. In the early days I was a team leader in the parallel synthesis group. I then moved on to lead several early stage drug discovery projects whilst working towards devising and synthesising new molecules for more advanced projects. I bring these experiences into my teaching especially when focussing on drug design and discovery.

At the University I have responsibilities in the following areas:
• MSc Pharmaceutical Science Course Leader
• FSE Foundation Year Coordinator
• School of Pharmacy Admissions and Marketing Team Leader
• School of Pharmacy Outreach Leader
• Faculty of Science and Engineering Science Teachers Network Leader
• Module and Strand Leader

I am also a member of the following groups within the University:
• Pedagogic Research Group
• UWARD (University of Wolverhampton Antimicrobial Research Development)
• Faculty of Science and Engineering Outreach Committee
• Staff Wellbeing Committee (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
• Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment Team
• University Quality Panel

I have also previously volunteered with the SCI Fine Chemicals Group and am currently Secretary of the RSC Birmingham and West Midlands Section.


◾Teaching and learning in higher education
◾Organic chemistry
◾Synthetic chemistry
◾Pharmaceutical chemistry
◾Medicinal chemistry
◾Parallel synthesis
◾Analytical chemistry
◾Drug discovery and design
◾Respiratory diseases
◾Gastrointestinal diseases

Learning Spaces in Higher Education:
Having designed the new suite for team based learning, I am now interested, and carry out research, to determine how we make the most of our spaces and how to design and use effective learning spaces to enhance the student experience and learning outcomes.

Lung retention of drugs for respiratory conditions:
My focus as an industrial scientist was in respiratory diseases and my research looks to discover novel methods to predict lung retention using in vitro methods. Currently these studies have to be completed in animals and there is much need to develop a cell based system which can be used to assess new drugs in the discovery process.

Inhibiting methods of antibiotic resistance:
Some species of bacteria are able to transfer DNA though a process called competence. This is accelerated when the organisms are put under stress (e.g. during treatment with antibiotics) allowing any enhanced survival traits to be shared with the surrounding population. This survival mechanism ensures a rapid development of resistant populations. The principal goal of my research is to determine whether you could interfere with competence and block the transfer of resistance between bacteria and investigate how this could be used in the development of new antibiotic agents.

Fellow of the Higher Teaching Academy (FHEA): Awarded April 2015
Awarded in recognition of attainment against the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and learning support in higher education.

Chartered Chemist (CChem), Royal Society of Chemistry: Awarded March 2009
The award of CChem recognises the experienced practising chemist who has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of chemistry, significant personal achievements based upon chemistry, professionalism in the workplace and a commitment to maintaining technical expertise through continuing professional development (CPD).

Chartered Scientist (CSci), Royal Society of Chemistry: Awarded March 2009

Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC), Royal Society of Chemistry: Awarded May 2006

Queen's Scout Award, The Scout Association: Awarded April 1997
The Queen's Scout Award is the highest youth award achievable in the Scouting movement in the Commonwealth realms.


Research Presentations, Posters, External Lectures and Workshops




  1. ALT Conference Presentation. ‘Design and Evaluation of a Space Suitable for Team Based Learning’. Liverpool, 2017
  2. EduLearn. ‘Does a “good” space as determined by the student body lead to effective learning and teaching and/or student satisfaction?’ Poster. Barcelona, 2017
  3. Wolverhampton Annual Research Conference. ‘Does a “good” space as determined by the student body lead to effective learning and teaching and/or student satisfaction?’ Poster. Wolverhampton, 2017
  4.  Wolverhampton Annual Research Conference Presentation. ‘Design and Evaluation of a Space Suitable for Team Based Learning’. Wolverhampton, 2017
  5. PedRIO 'Employability in the Curriculum and Beyond' Conference. ‘Embedding Employability Skills and Engagement through the use of Team Based Learning’. Plymouth, 2017
  6. Plugging the Antibiotics Gap: A Medicinal Chemist's Perspective, ‘Targeting the Competence Pathway’. Short presentation and poster. Alderley Edge 2016
  7. HEA Stem Conference, Inspire to Succeed: Transforming Learning and Teaching in STEM. ‘Delivering Science using Team Based Learning Approaches: Lessons Learned and Hands-on Demonstration’. Nottingham, 2016
  8. Rich Exchanges. ‘Utilising TBL for the new MPharm Course, Lessons Learnt’ University of Wolverhampton, 2015
  9. Visiting Lecturer for Kings College London Pharmacology undergraduate teaching course: Drug safety and toxicology, Small Molecules. 2012 and 2013
  10. Outreach University Presentations. Tools for the Medicinal Chemist, Parallel Chemistry. 2006 and 2007
  11. UKASF User Profile, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, Horsham, UK. 2006








  1. Butler, R.; Leblanc, C.; McKeown, S. C.; Charlton, S. J. Preparation of IP receptor agonist heterocyclic compounds. PCT Int Appl. 2015, WO 2014125413 A1 20140821.
  2. By Bala, Kamlesh Jagdis; Butler, Rebecca; Collingwood, Stephen Paul; Hall, Edward Charles; Edwards, Lee; Legrand, Darren Mark; Spiegel, Katrin. Heterocyclic compounds for the treatment of cf. U.S. 2015, US 9034879 B2 20150519. 
  3. Butler, R., Hunt, T., & Smith, N. J. ENaC inhibitors for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Pharmaceutical Patent Analyst, 2015, 4(1), 17–27.
  4. Butler, R. The cost of drugs. WLV dialogue magazine, 2015
  5. Boissel, V.; Butler, R.; Oakley, P. J.; Press, N. J.  in Microwaves in Drug Discovery and Development: Recent Advances, 2014, 56-84. Ed.; Future Medicine. [Online]
  6. Bala, K. J.; Butler, R.; Collingwood, S. P.; Hall, E. C.; Edwards, L.; Legrand, D. M.; Spiegel, K. Preparation of heterocyclic compounds, especially aminopyridine and aminopyrazine derivatives, as mutant and wild type CFTR enhancers for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. PCT Int. Appl. 2013, WO 2013038386 A1 20130321.
  7. Fairhurst, Robin Alec; Butler, Rebecca; Oakley, Paul; Collingwood, Stephen Paul; Smith, Nichola; Stanley, Emily; Rodriguez Perez, Maria Ines. Organic compounds 75074 U.S. 2012, US 8318935 B2 20121127. 
  8. Kwok, S. W.; Fotsing, J. R.; Fraser, R. J.; Rodionov, V. O.; Fokin, V. V. Transition-metal-free catalytic synthesis of 1,5-Diaryl-1,2,3-triazoles. Org. Lett. 2010, 12, 4217-4219.
  9. Danahay, H.; Coote, K.; Paisley, D.; Czarnecki, S.; Atherton, H.; Young, A.; Gosling, M.; Abraham, W.; Sabater, J.; Lock, R.; Smith, N.; Stanley, E.; Butler, R.; Bloomfield, G.; Baettig, U.; Collingwood, S. P. Novel dimeric amiloride derivatives: airway efficacy and reduced renal-based effects. Abstracts of Papers, 24th Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC). Baltimore MD, October 21-23rd 2010.
  10. Baettig, U.; Butler, R.; Smith, N.; Stanley, E.; Oakley, P.; Collingwood, S.; Danahay, H.; Coote, K.; Atherton, H.; Paisley, D. Dimeric modulators of ENaC for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Abstracts of Papers, 240th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA, United States, August 22-26, 2010; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2010; MEDI-229.
  11. Fairhurst, R. A.; Butler, R.; Oakley, P.; Collingwood, S. P.; Smith, N.; Stanley, E.; Rodriguez Perez, M. I. Pyrazine-amide derivatives as epithelial sodium channel blockers and their preparation, pharmaceutical compositions and use in the treatment of diseases. PCT Int. Appl. 2008, WO 2008135557 A1 20081113.
  12. Vogel, J. C.; Butler, R.; Procter, D. J. An asymmetric, SmI2-mediated approach to γ-butyrolactones using a new, fluorous-tagged auxiliary. Tetrahedron. 2008, 64, 11876-11883.
  13. Kwok, S. W.; Fotsing, J. R.; Fraser, R. J.; Rodionov, V. O.; Fokin, V. V. Metal-free catalytic synthesis of 1,5-diaryl-1,2,3-triazoles. Abstracts of Papers, 236th ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, United States, August 17-21, 2008; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2008; ORGN-020.




Grants Awarded




  1. Wolverhampton Learning and Teaching Awards - 2017
  2. Aspire to HE – Maths Hangouts - Breaking Down the GCSE Maths Barrier - 2017
  3. Wolverhampton Strategic Priority Project - 2016
  4. QR and FSE Funding - “Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS): Infrared Alpha FT-IR Spectrometer” 2016
  5. RSC Grant –  Research fund 2015
  6. RSC Grant – Communication and Personal Impact Training for Early Career Female Scientists, 2014