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About Dr Gabriele Wagner

I graduated from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, with a degree in Chemistry and did my PhD at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. After a number of post-doctoral stays in France and Portugal, I took up a Lectureship in Chemistry at the University of Surrey, and then moved to Germany to teach at the Universities of Augsburg and Ulm. Since September 2015, I am appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Natural Sciences at the University of Chester.


I am teaching chemistry with an emphasis on organic/inorganic synthesis and the characterisation of chemical compounds and biological samples. At the University of Chester, I am currently involved in the following modules:

  • SE4007 Chemistry Fundamentals I
  • SE5014 Chemical Science
  • SE5051 Experiential Learning
  • SE5054 Science and Engineering Placement Year
  • SE5056 Spectroscopy
  • SE5057 Physical Aspects of Spectroscopy
  • SE6015 Reactors and Catalysis
  • SE6042 Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Drug Development


My main research interests is in the chemistry of platinum group metals and the application of the resulting compounds for medicinal applications and as catalysts for the production of fine chemicals, mostly for the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Synthesis of cytotoxic platinum compounds for the treatment of cancer
  • Mode of action of these compounds in cancer cells
  • Delivery of platinum drugs into cancer cells and tumours
  • Platinum group compounds as catalysts for new organic transformations

The overall aim is to underpin the results from the experimental work with a theoretical understanding of the underlying principles, as the basis for successful applications. All projects have a strong interdisciplinary aspects at the interface between chemistry, biological sciences, pharmacy and medicine.

Methodologies: organic and inorganic synthesis, spectroscopic methods and single-crystal X-ray diffraction for the structural analysis of the compounds, in vitro cytotoxicity studies using cancer cells, bioassays, DFT calculations and molecular modelling.

Published Work

For a full list of publications please visit my ORCID profile. 

Book chapters

  • Chiral Ferrocene Derivatives. An Introduction. G. Wagner and R. Herrmann, Ferrocenes, Togni, A.; Hayashi, T. (Ed.), VCH Weinheim (Germany), 1995, 173-218.
  • Microwave-assisted Reductions. T. N. Danks and G. Wagner, Microwave-assisted Organic Synthesis, Tierney, J.; Lidström, P. (Ed.), Blackwell Publishing, Oxford (UK), 2005, 75-101.

Selected journal publications

  • Iminoacylation. 1. Addition of Ketoximes or Aldoximes to Platinum(IV)-bound Organonitriles. V. Yu. Kukushkin, T. B. Pakhomova, Yu. N. Kukushkin, R. Herrmann, G. Wagner, A. J. L. Pombeiro, Inorg. Chem., 1998, 37, 6511-6517.
  • Rhodium(III)-mediated Oxime-Nitrile Coupling Giving Chelated Iminoacylated Species. V. Yu. Kukushkin, I. V. Ilichev, G. Wagner, J. J. R. Fraústo da Silva, A. J. L. Pombeiro, J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 1999, 3047-3052.
  • Iminoacylation. 5. Facile Re(IV)-mediated Coupling of Acetonitrile and Oximes. G. Wagner, A. J. L. Pombeiro, N. A. Bokach, V. Yu. Kukushkin, J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 1999, 4083-4086.
  • Pt(IV)-assisted [2+3] Cycloaddition of Nitrones to Coordinated Organonitriles. Synthesis of Δ4-1,2,4-Oxadiazolines. G. Wagner, A. J. L. Pombeiro, V. Yu. Kukushkin, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2000, 122, 3106-3111.
  • A Novel Route to (imine)Pt(II) Species: a Facile Reduction of (imine)Pt(IV) Complexes with Carbonyl Stabilized Phosphorous Ylides. G. Wagner, T. B. Pakhomova, N. A. Bokach, J. J. R. Fraústo da Silva, J. Vicente, A. J. L. Pombeiro, V. Yu. Kukushkin, Inorg. Chem., 2001, 40, 1683-1689.
  • Stereoselective [2+3] Cycloaddition of Nitrones to Platinum-bound Organonitriles. First Enantioselective Synthesis of Δ4-1,2,4-Oxadiazolines. G. Wagner, M. Haukka, J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 2001, 2690-2697.
  • Theoretical Study of the [2+3] Cycloaddition of Nitrones to Nitriles. Influence of Nitrile Substituent, Solvent and Lewis Acid Coordination. G. Wagner, Chem. Eur. J., 2003, 9, 1503-1510.
  • Cycloaddition of Nitrones to Free and Coordinated Cinnamonitrile: Effect of Metal Coordination and Microwave Irradiation on the Selectivity of the Reaction. B. Desai, T. N. Danks, G. Wagner, Dalton Trans., 2003, 2544-2549.
  • Ligand Discrimination in the Reaction of Nitrones with [PtCl2(PhCN)2]. Selective Formation of Mono-oxadiazoline and Mixed Bis-oxadiazoline Complexes under Thermal and Microwave Conditions. B. Desai, T. N. Danks, G. Wagner, Dalton Trans., 2004, 166-171.
  • Novel Platinum-catalysed Cascade Reactions: Cyclisation, Ring Expansion and 1,2-Oxygen Shift Reaction of a Camphor-derived Diyne. M. Lampropoulou, R. Herrmann, G. Wagner, Tetrahedron, 2004, 60, 4635-4643.
  • Quantum-chemical Study of the Lewis Acid Influence on the Cycloaddition of Benzonitrile Oxide to Acetonitrile, Propyne and Propene. G. Wagner, T. N. Danks, V. Vullo, Tetrahedron, 2007, 63, 5251-5260.
  • Synthesis and Characterization of Platinum(II) Oxadiazoline Complexes and their In Vitro Antitumor Activity in Platinum Sensitive and Resistant Cancer Cell Lines. H. M. Coley, J. Sarju, G. Wagner, J. Med. Chem., 2008, 51, 135-141.
  • Design, Synthesis, Characterisation and Chemical Reactivity of Mixed-ligand Platinum(II) Oxadiazoline Complexes with Potential Cytotoxic Properties. G. Wagner, A. Marchant, J. Sayer, Dalton Trans., 2010, 39, 7747-7759.
  • Synthesis, characterisation and in vitro cytotoxicity of mixed ligand Pt(II) oxadiazoline complexes with hexamethylenetetramine and 7-nitro-1,3,5-triazaadamantane. S. Sieste, I. Lifincev, N. Stein, G. Wagner, Dalton Trans., 2017, 46, 12226-12238.


  • BSc in Chemistry (Diplom-Chemiker) at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany
  • PhD in Chemistry (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • Member of GDCh
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)