Dr Michael J Hall

Dr Hall is a Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University. Born in Scotland, Dr Hall lived in the UK, the USA and Belgium before moving back to the UK to study chemistry at Brasenose College, Oxford (1999), including a MChem project in the group of Professor Harry Anderson. This was followed by a DPhil at the Dyson Perrins Laboratory and Linacre College, Oxford with Professor Jeremy Robertson working on organosilicon chemistry. Subsequently Dr Hall completed postdoctoral positions at University College Dublin, with Professor Donal O'Shea, and at the ESPCI ParisTech, with Professor Janine Cossy. In 2007 Dr Hall was appointed as a Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University before taking further positions at Newcastle University in as a Lecturer in 2008, Senior Lecturer in 2016 and Reader in 2022.

See his academic family tree here (http://academictree.org/chemistry/tree.php?pid=756946&pnodecount=4&cnodecount=2&fontsize=1)


Postdoctoral Researchers

 coming soon...


PhD Students 


 Jamila Oppong

Ms. Jamila Akosua Oppong received her B.Sc. Biochemistry in 2008 from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana,and M.Sc. Biological Science in 2014 from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. She had previously worked on the development of a genetically encoded FRET-based Biosensor for the detection of the bacterial second messenger, Cyclic di-GMP, in addition to probing the functions of the Pseudomonas Aeruginosa pilZ Protein. She is currently a PhD candidate in the lab of Michael J. Hall at the School of Chemistry, in collaboration with Prof Waldemar Vollmer and Dr Joe Gray. Her current project focuses on Novel Synthetic Probes to Analyse and Functionalize the Bacterial Cell Wall using D-amino acid molecules via an integrated chemistry/biology approach.

  Yanhua Zhong

Yanhua was born in China and graduated her BSc in Guangdong Pharmaceutical University. After working one year as in quality control, she chose to continue her further education. She completed her MSc degree in Drug Chemistry in Newcastle University in 2017 and joined MJH research group to start her PhD (in collaboration with Dr Jem Stach) in the same year. Her project focuses on examination of the biosynthesis of antibiotic natural products from actinobacteria. Yanhua enjoys drawing and reading in her spare time.   

 Xin "Damon" Wen

Xin was born in Chongqing China and obtained his B.Sc. degree in Pharmaceutical Engineering from Shanghai Institute of Technology in 2016. After a few months of internship at the Chongqing Institute for Food and Drug Control Centre, he completed his M.Sc. degree in Drug Chemistry at Newcastle University in 2018. In the same year, he began his Ph.D. working with the MJH research group focusing on siderophores and developing new reactions for the synthesis of small organic molecules. Out of the lab, Xin likes playing Go, basketball and listening rap music.



 Felicity Frank

Felicity grew up in Berwick-upon-Tweed and completed her MChem degree in Chemistry from Newcastle University in 2018. She initially joined the MJH group in the summer of 2017 in an undergraduate research position and then re-joined the group in 2018 to begin her PhD (as a joint student with Dr Julian Knight) continuing her work on the synthesis of BODIPY dyes. In her spare time Felicity enjoys cooking, playing the piano and playing badminton.


 Aminah Almarshad 

Aminah was born in Saudi Arabia and obtained her BSc degree in chemistry from Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University in 2015. In the same year, she joined the ARAMCO Summer B Program and worked as lab scientist in R&D before started a job as a teaching assistant at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University in 2016. After teaching for a number of years she completed an MSc degree in Chemistry at Newcastle University in 2019 and joined the MJH research group to start her PhD in 2020 focusing on synthesis of BODIPY Dyes. In her spare time, Aminah enjoys reading and spending time with her family. 



Jake Weatherston

Jake grew up in Ashington and is a Newcastle United fan. He graduated with a master’s degree in chemistry from Newcastle University in 2017, including an MChem with the MJH research group. Upon graduation Jake worked for Hi-Force Research as a synthetic organic chemist for a period of three years. He subsequently took up a PhD position with Indicatrix Crystallography and Newcastle University. The collaborative project will see Jake focus on the development of our encapsulated nanodroplet crystallization technology. Jake is a guitarist, an avid music fan and a collector of vinyl records. He is also a lover of food and nature spending a lot of his time travelling the UK, camping and most recently cooking.

Jess Metherill 

Jess grew up in Sheffield and completed her MChem degree in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry at Newcastle University in 2021. During her undergraduate degree Jess worked for one year within a Protein Crystallography group at the University of Copenhagen. Upon graduating, she accepted a PhD CASE award with AstraZeneca in Crystallography (as a joint student with Dr Michael Probert). This project will focus on the development of the high-throughput Encapsulated Nanoscale Crystallisation technology (ENaCt), with the aim to ‘control’ the solid form of new drug-like molecules to have improved bioavailability and physical properties. In her spare time, Jess enjoys travelling and spending time with her friends.


Xinyi Zhang

Xinyi was born in Anhui, China. She completed her BSc in Anhui Medical University in 2019. After graduation, she went to Vancouver to study language for 4 months. She obtained her MSc degree in Drug Chemistry in Newcastle University in 2021, and she joined MJH group to start her PhD in 2022. Her program focuses on the development of organic methodology for the synthesis of complex bioactive natural products. Xinyi enjoys watching Japanese animation and playing guitar in her spare time.

Visiting Students 

Andrea Tomasso 

Andrea grew up in Paris, France. As an ERASMUS exchange student from the university of Versailles, she is continuing her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Newcastle University. She decided to joined the MJH group to undertake a research project on developing reaction methodology to access new molecules capable of treating drug resistant tuberculosis. In her spare time Andrea enjoys traveling around the world, formulate cosmetic products and learning new languages.


Previous Group Members

Postdoctoral Researchers (funding) - Subsequent position

Dr Kin Lok Ho - (MRC with Prof N Zenkin) - Radiosynthetic Chemist at Quotient Sciences, UK

Dr Charlie McMonagle (with Dr M Probert) - Postdoctoral Researcher, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), BM01, Grenoble, France

Dr Andrew Tyler (BBSRC via NPRONET with Dr M Probert) - Research Scientist, NewChem Technologies Limited, UK

Dr James Murray (BBSRC with Dr J Gray) - Research Fellow, Center for Self-Assembly and Complexity, Pohang University of Science and Technology (Prof Kimoon Kim), South Korea

Dr Joseph Cowell (MRC) - Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Reading (Prof L Harwood), UK

Dr Sandra Rihn (BBRSC) - Postdoctoral Researcher, Ecole Normale Superieure, Lyon, France

PhD Students - Year of Completion and Subsequent position

2021, *** - CARA Fellow, Newcastle University, UK

2021, Dr Lina Mardiana - Scientist, Indicatrix Crystallography, UK

2021, Dr Ronnie Ragbirsingh - Teaching Laboratory Technician, Newcastle University

2020, Dr Kin Lok Ho - Postdoctoral Researcher, Newcastle University (Dr MJ Hall), UK

2019, Dr Rebecca Clarke - Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Glasgow, UK 

2019, Dr Hadiza Isah - TBC

2018, Dr Andrew Tyler - Postdoctoral Researcher, Newcastle University (Dr MJ Hall), UK

2016, Dr Stephanie Morton - Postdoctoral Researcher, Demuris Ltd., UK

2016, Dr Abrar Bayazeed - Lecturer, School of Chemistry, Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

2016, Dr Matokah Mohammed Abualnaja - Lecturer, School of Chemistry, Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

2014, Dr Joseph Cowell - Postdoctoral Researcher, Newcastle University (Dr MJ Hall), UK

2014, Dr Ali H. Essa - Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, University of Basrah, Iraq

2014, Dr Reinner I. Lerrick - Lecturer, School of Chemistry, Nusa Cendana University, Indonesia

2012, Dr Lynsey J. Watson (nee Cotterill) - Scientist, Aesica Pharmaceuticals Limited, UK

MPhil Students - Subsequent position

2018-19: Heinrich Von Koeller - PhD, Technical University of Braunschweig (Prof Werz), Germany

MChem Students - Subsequent position

2020-21: Jamie Sample, Sarah Hipkin

2020-21: Jai Breivik, Alex Dodds, Esther May

2019-20: Emily Atkinson, Harry Clarke, Conar Sinton

2018-19: Alex J Hallatt (PhD NCL), Leah McGeorge

2017-18: Tom Comerford (Biome, York University), Nathan Price, Felicity Frank (PhD NCL), James Leventis

2016-17: Jake Weatherston (High Force Research Ltd), Megan Edwards, James Greenhalgh

2015-16: Calum Day (PhD NCL)

2014-15: Rebecca Clarke (PhD NCL), Nathan Potts (PhD NCL), Peter Kinsella

2013-14: Fiona Black (PhD NCL), Clare Smith 

2012-13: Daniel Perry (PhD NCL), John David Jolliffe (PhD Oxford, Martin D. Smith)

2011-12: Brett Allsop, Hannah Fleetwood, Stephanie Morton (PhD NCL)

2010-11: Matthew Stuart Dunn, Christopher Harold Stephenson, David Kershaw

2009-10: Joseph Cowell (PhD NCL), Philippa Ramsden, Charlotte Chapman (PhD Nottingham, Ross Denton)

2008-09: Stuart Thompson (PhD NCL), Thomas Peter Llewelyn Winstanley (PhD NCL)

MSc Students

2017-18: Xin Wen (PhD NCL), Ziyu Feng, Hannah James

2014-15: Adeyemi Oduwole, Rafid Taj Aldeen (PhD NCL), Mohammed Al-Owaidi, Ronnie Ragbirsingh (PhD NCL), Long Qian, Dongzhe Zhang

2013-14: Banaz Alnaqshabandi, Yihan Mao, Tsz Him Lee, Jianyuan Zhou, Liangwen Gu

2010-11: Assel Baibek, Antonia Sofikiti

2009-10: Abrar Bayazeed (PhD NCL), Ting Wang, ShuMeng Cai, Mary Ahuoiza Bello

2007-08: Maryam Mousadoust (PhD Northumbria), Priscilla Hackman

2006-07: Robin Silson, Joan Joyce

ERASMUS Students

2018: Edward Thake (University of Malta), Ben Vella (University of Malta), Philipp Mauker (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)

2012: Sven Ole Reichmann

Funded Undergraduate Summer Students

2019: RSC Summer student, Reece Paterson (PhD NCL)

2014: RSC Summer student, Daniel O’Connor (PhD Nottingham)

2013: NCL Summer student, Peter Evans (PhD NCL)

2008: Nuffield Science Project, Charlotte Young