Dr James Howard

Synthetic Organic Chemist
Phone - +61 2 9717 9817
James Howard


Role at ANSTO

James joined the Chemical Deuteration team at ANSTO as part of the National Deuteration Facility (NDF) in 2016. There he is responsible for the synthesis of a variety of deuterated molecules and also maintains a number of analytical instruments essential for the successful operation of the Chemical Deuteration laboratories.


Organic synthesis, natural product isolation and identification, NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, chromatography, and chemical safety.


James completed his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry in 2015 at the University of Tasmania. His research was focused on the development of new methods for the synthesis of biologically relevant small molecules. In early 2015, James accepted appointment at the University of Leeds as a postdoctoral research fellow investigating the utility of engineered enzymes as tools for synthetic organic chemistry. Further to advancing his own chemical knowledge and education, James has maintained an active interest in teaching undergraduate chemistry as well as promoting community engagement.


  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK (2015 – 2016)
  • PhD, University of Tasmania (2015)
  • Grad. Cert. Res., University of Tasmania (2015)
  • BSc (Hons), University of Tasmania (2010)

Professional Networks 

Member of the Royal Australian Chemistry Institute (MRACI)

Selected publications

Howard, J. K.; Müller, M.; Berry, A; Nelson, A. ‘An enantio- and diastereoselective chemoenzymatic synthesis of α-fluoro β-hydroxy carboxylic esters’ Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2016, 55 (23), 6767-6770. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201602852; Angew. Chem. DOI: 10.1002/ange.2016028524.
Howard, J. K.; Rihak, K. J.; Hyland, C. J. T.; Bissember, A. C.; Smith, J. A. ‘Visible Light Dye-Photosensitised Oxidation of Pyrroles Using a Simple LED Photoreactor’ Org. Biomol. Chem. 2016, 14, 8873-8880. DOI: 0.1039/C6OB01719C
Howard, J. K.; Amin, C.; Lainhart, B.; Smith, J. A.; Rimington, J.; Hyland, C. J. T. ‘Synthesis of Nitrogen-Substituted Methylenecyclopropanes by Strain-Driven Overman Rearrangement of Cyclopropenylmethyl Trichloroacetimidates’ J. Org. Chem. 2014, 79, 8462-8468. DOI: 10.1021/jo501423u 
Howard, J. K.; Hyland, C. J. T.; Just, J.; Smith, J. A. ‘Controlled Oxidation of Pyrroles: Synthesis of Highly Functionalized γ-Lactams’ Org. Lett. 2013, 15, 1714-1717. DOI: 10.1021/ol400491p
For a full list of James’ published works, please visit his ORCID (orcid.org/0000-0002-1764-5919)