Discover More About… Our Scientists’ Experience of Peptide Synthesis

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With the purchase of a new PurePep® Chorus peptide synthesizer, we sat down with two of our peptide synthesis experts to get to know them better.

If you would like to find out more about peptide synthesis and the benefits of using the PurePep Chorus read our FAQs here.

Dr James Krupa

James and peptide synthesiser

James completed his PhD in 2015 under the guidance of Prof. Neil Thomas at the University of Nottingham. During this time James made 19F MRI probes for imaging matrix metalloproteinase activity. James describes his PhD as a split between organic and peptide synthesis, involving the synthesis of a fluorinated amino acids, SPPS, organic synthesis and lanthanide chelation chemistry. James’s 19F MRI probe was the first of its kind to come out of the University of Nottingham.

After his PhD, James moved to a peptide synthesis company working with a range of different synthesizers and peptides. He was exposed to many different types of automation, resins, coupling agents and even GMP synthesis. He also completed large scale amino acid loading onto resins, giving him experience in a range of different scales, from milligrams to hundreds of grams.

James has also completed a Post Doc at the University of Nottingham, where he was making Xeon probes for MRI. He spent time attaching a range of cryptophane cages onto different peptides.


James has worked at Charnwood Discovery for the last five years, working on a variety of organic synthesis. This includes a range of different chemistry on resin such as reductive aminations, SNAr reactions, and unusual protections bringing some colour to the typical amide couplings and Fmoc deprotections.

Senior Research Chemist II, Dr Ruggero Dondi is another of our peptide synthesis experts at Charnwood Discovery. The experiences Ruggero has with peptide chemistry complements James’s and between the two of them we have a broad range of peptide knowledge in-house.

Dr Ruggero Dondi

Ruggero completed his PhD at the University of Leicester under the supervision of Prof. Glenn Burley and Prof. Paul Cullis. During this time, he worked on pyrrole-imidazole peptides as DNA minor groove binders, which gave him experience in Boc and Fmoc solid phase synthesis and use of natural and unnatural amino acids.

After his PhD Ruggero went on to a Post Doc position at the University of Bath where he worked on further peptide projects, earning experience preparing retro-inverso, depsi-peptides and hard sequences (eg beta amyloid 1-40, ACP 65-74, TAT 48-57, R8, cyclic RGD). He also worked on:

Synthesis of cationic peptide–porphyrin derivatives for light-triggered drug delivery and photodynamic therapy.

Synthesis of tight-junction modulator peptides for paracellular transport of insulin.

Dr Ruggero Dondi

Development of cell-penetrating peptides conjugated with liposomes.

Outside of academia Ruggero has worked on a number of peptide projects as well as chemical synthesis. Some of the more interesting peptide projects include peptide stapling using Cu and Cu-free click-chemistry, maleimide-thiol ligation, photochemical thiol-ene and reductive amination.

Find out about our expert synthetic chemistry team which is equipped with the latest design and data analysis tools.

We offer a range of different working models that can be tailored to our clients’ needs, covering all stages of the drug discovery process from hit identification, right through to pre-clinical development.