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Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry+44 (0) 191 33 44065


Allegra Franchino, whose name means the Cheerful, is originally from the lake city of Como, in Northern Italy. She was trained in asymmetric catalysis, particularly using transition metals and bifunctional ligands, both during her BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Milan (Gennari–Pignataro group) and RWTH Aachen, and her doctoral studies at the University of Oxford under the guidance of Prof. Darren Dixon (2013–2017). After the PhD, she took a permanent post in an API TEVA plant near Milan, but soon missed academic research too much. Hence, in September 2018 she joined the Echavarren group at ICIQ, Spain, supported by a MSCA COFUND fellowship, to learn about gold and H-bond donor catalysis. She then spent a year at ETH Zurich in the Morandi lab, working on iron catalysis, amination and N-heterocycles synthesis. In September 2022, she declined a MSCA individual fellowship to move to Durham University as Assistant Professor in Organic Chemistry. Her group works on the combination of transition-metal complexes and organocatalysts for the synthesis of enantioenriched added-value products from unsaturated feedstock substrates.

Franchino Group Website

Research Groups
  • Catalysis and Sustainable Chemical Processes
  • Bioactive Chemistry and Synthesis
  • Enantioselective Catalysis Year 4 Lecture Course
  • Core Chemistry Year 2 (arenes, alkenes, alkynes) 
  • Organic Chemistry Year 1 Tutorials
  • Organic Chemistry Year 2 Tutorials
  • Senior Demonstrator Year 1 Teaching Lab

Research interests

  • Merging transition-metal and organocatalysis for selective synthesis
  • Asymmetric catalysis targeting bioactive compounds, carbo- and heterocycles
  • Design of bifunctional ligands and catalysts
  • Non-covalent interactions and supramolecular systems
  • Mechanistic studies of catalytic reactions (kinetics, modern physical organic chemistry, NMR spectroscopy)


Journal Article

Supervision students