Lecturer in Organic Chemistry

Sarah Jenkinson

  • I am Lecturer in Organic Chemistry for the Department of Biochemistry.

  • I have MChem and DPhil degrees from the University of Oxford and subsequently held post-doctoral research positions in the area of carbohydrate chemistry.

  • I teach at several colleges in Oxford and am a strong proponent of the tutorial system.

Sarah Jenkinson


I teach all aspects of the Organic Chemistry course at Trinity and several other colleges. I co-organise and lecture the first-year Organic Chemistry course for the Department of Biochemistry, and am involved in developing the new first-year Mechanistic Biochemistry course.


My research interests are focussed on the synthesis of small biologically active molecules, such as iminosugars and nucleosides, derived from carbohydrates. I am also interested in the synthesis of rare and branched sugars to allow access to new building blocks.

Iminosugars are found in the water extracts of many plants and have interesting biological properties. We are investigating their synthesis and application as small molecules that can be used as pharmacological chaperones to treat protein mis-folding diseases such as cystic fibrosis and lysosomal storage disorders such as Tay-Sachs, Sandhoff, Niemann-Pick & Fabry diseases. In addition we are investigating the action of iminosugars as glycosidase inhibitors – these could have many therapeutic uses, for example, as diabetes drugs, as well as in the development of novel anti-cancer strategies.

Selected Publications

Liu, Z., Yoshihara, A., Jenkinson, S.F., Wormald, M.R., Kelly, C., Heap, J.T., Marqvorsen, M.H. S., Estévez, R.J., Fleet, G.W.J., Nakagawa, S., Izumori, K., Nash, R.J., Kato, A., ‘Hanessian-Hullar Reaction in the Synthesis of Highly Substituted trans-3,4-Dihydroxypyrrolidines: Rhamnulose Iminosugar Mimics Inhibit α-Glucosidase’, Tetrahedron 76 (2020), 130758

Nash, R.J., Bartholomew, B., Penkova, Y.B., Rotondo, D., Yamasaka, F., Stafford, G.P., Jenkinson, S.F., Fleet, G.W.J., ‘Iminosugar idoBR1 Isolated from Cucumber Cucumis sativus Reduces Inflammatory Activity’, ACS Omega 5 (2020)

Liu, Z., Jenkinson, S.J., Yoshihara, A., Wormald, M.R., Izumori, K., Fleet, G.W.J., ‘D-Idose, D-iduronic acid and D-idonic acid from D-glucose via seven carbon sugars’, Molecules 24 (2019), 3758

Martínez, R.F., Jenkinson, S.F., Nakagawa, S., Kato, A., Wormald, M.R., Fleet, G.W.J., Hollinshead, J., Nash, R.J., ‘Isolation from Stevia rebaudiana of DMDP acetic acid, a novel iminosugar amino acid: synthesis and glycosidase inhibition profile of glycine and -alanine pyrrolidine amino acids’, Amino Acids 51 (2019), 991-998

Kato, A., Nakagome, I., Nakagawa, S., Kinami, K., Adachi, I., Jenkinson, S.F., Désiré, J., Blériot, Y., Nash, R.J., Fleet, G.W.J., Hirono, S., ‘In Silico Analyses of Essential Interactions of Iminosugars With the Hex A Active Site and Evaluation of Their Pharmacological Chaperone Effects for Tay-Sachs Disease’, Org. Biomol. Chem. 15 (2017), 9297-9304

Glawar, A.F.G., Martínez, R.F., Ayers, B.J., Hollas, M.A., Ngo, N., Nakagawa, S., Kato, A., Butters, T.D., Fleet, G.W.J., Jenkinson, S.F., ‘Structural essentials for β-N-acetylhexosaminidase inhibition by amides of prolines, pipecolic and azetidine carboxylic acids’, Org. Biomol. Chem. 14 (2016), 10371-10385

Ayers, B.J., Glawar, A.F.G., Martínez, R.F., Ngo, N., Liu, Z., Fleet, G.W.J., Butters, T.D., Nash, R.J., Yu, C.-Y., Wormald, M.R., Nakagawa, S., Adachi, I., Kato, A., Jenkinson, S.F., ‘9 of 16 Stereoisomeric Polyhydroxylated Proline Amides are Potent β-N-Acetylhexosaminidase Inhibitors’, J. Org. Chem.  79 (2014), 3398-3409

Martínez, R.F., Liu, Z., Glawar, A.F.G., Yoshihara, A., Izumori, K., Fleet, G.W.J., Jenkinson, S.F., ‘Short and Sweet: D-Glucose to L-Glucose and L-Glucuronic Acid’, Angew. Chem. Int. Edit 53 (2014), 1160-1162

Jenkinson, S.F., Best, D., Saville, A.W., Mui, J., Martínez, R.F., Nakagawa, S., Kunimatsu, T., Alonzi, D.S., Butters, T.D., Norez, C., Becq, F., Blériot, Y., Wilson, F.X., Weymouth-Wilson, A. C., Kato, A., Fleet, G.W.J., ‘C-Branched Iminosugars: α-Glucosidase Inhibition by Enantiomers of isoDMDP, isoDGDP and isoDAB – L-isoDMDP Compared to Miglitol and Miglustat’, J. Org. Chem. 78 (2013), 7380-7397

Jenkinson, S.F., Fleet, G.W.J., Nash, R.J., Koike, Y., Adachi, I., Yoshihara, A., Morimoto, K., Izumori, K., Kato, A., ‘Looking-glass synergistic pharmacological chaperones: DGJ and L-DGJ from the enantiomers of tagatose’, Org. Lett. 13 (2011), 4064–4067