Dr Oliver Hutt

Research Group Leader - Chemistry & Polymers

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Dr Hutt is formally trained as an organic chemist and he currently manages the Chemistry & Polymers Group at CSIRO. He carried out his PhD in total synthesis of natural products with Prof. Lew Mander at the ANU and then post-doctoral studies in medicinal chemistry at the University of Kansas and the University of Minnesota with Prof. Gunda Georg.

Dr Hutt currently leads the Chemistry & Polymer Group, which has three core research themes:

*Flow Chemistry: You can check out our research at FloWorks.

*Polymer Chemistry: The home of RAFT! Check out our history.

*Polymer Science: Material interphases and adhesion. Check out our Topcoat reactivation technology.

Other Interests

Dr Hutt's research interest lies at the interface of the traditional disciplines. He works with multidisciplinary teams of chemists, biologists, and material scientists across a variety of fields.

Biomedical Polymers & Lipid Systems

We are interested in novel biomaterials that help overcome many of the challenges associated with the effective delivery of a range of therapeutic macromolecules, including proteins and oligonucleotides. We have focused on developing high-throughput synthesis methods for the synthesis and characterisation of self-assembling carbohydrate amphiphile libraries. This work has uncovered some rare and interesting liquid crystal mesophases. More recently, we have also extended this chemistry to development of carbohydrate decorated polymers for liver targeting applications.

Williams, E. G., Hutt, O. E., Hinton, T. M., Larnaudie, S. C., Le, T., MacDonald, J. M., Gunatillake, P., Thang, S. H., & Duggan, P. J. Glycosylated RAFT polymers with varying PEG linkers produce different siRNA uptake, gene silencing and toxicity profiles. Biomacromolecules. (2017) ASAP.

Feast, G. C., Lepitre, T., Tran, N., Conn, C. E., Hutt, O. E., Mulet, X., Drummond, C. J., Savage, G. P. Inverse hexagonal and cubic micellar lyotropic liquid crystalline phase behaviour of novel double chain sugar-based amphiphiles. Colloids Surf.B. (2017) 151, 34.

Feast, G. C., Hutt, O. E., Mulet, X., Conn, C. E., Drummond, C. J., Savage, G. P. The High-Throughput Synthesis and Phase Characterisation of Amphiphiles: A Sweet Case Study. Chem. - Eur. J. (2014) 20: 2783-2792.

Chemical Biology – Synthesis and Evaluation of Chemical Probes & Nanoparticles

We undertake the synthesis of fluorescent small molecule probes and develop novel self-assembling reporter nanopaticles and subsequently use these in vitro for assay development and in vivo to track and study complex biological processes.

Cao, B., Hutt, O. E., Zhang, Z., Li, S., Heazlewood, S. Y., Williams, B., Smith, J. A., Haylock, D. N., Savage, G. P., Nilsson, S. K. Design, synthesis and binding properties of a fluorescent α9β1/α4β1 integrin antagonist and its application as an in vivo probe for bone marrow haemopoietic stem cells. Org. Biomol. Chem. (2014) 12: 965 - 978.

Bye, N., Hutt, O.E., Hinton, T., Acharya, D., Waddington, L., Moffat, B.; Wright, D., Wang, H., Mulet, X., Muir, B. Nitroxide loaded hexosomes provide MRI contrast in vivo. Langmuir (2014) 30(29), 8898-906.

Organic Chemistry - Reaction & Mechanism

All of our work is underpinned by a deep understanding of chemistry at the molecular level. It’s this depth that enables us to put together so many different types of molecules. We particularly love chemical reactions that rapidly generate structurally complex organic molecules. These types of molecules are rare and have a number of interesting properties that makes them particularly amenable to drug discovery applications. However, the chemical reactions that lead to these types of molecules are also quite rare. We have discovered a number of interesting transformations through our investigations on hypervalent iodine chemistry.

Ngatimin, M., Frey, R., Levens, A., Nakano, Y., Kowalczyk, M., Konstas, K., Hutt, O. E., Lupton, D. W. Iodobenzene-Catalyzed Oxabicyclo[3.2.1]octane and [4.2.1]Nonane Synthesis via Cascade C-O/C-C Formation Org. Lett. (2013) 15: 5858-5861.


We are passionate about transitioning the chemical industry to a cleaner, greener future through the adoption of new technologies. Check out FloWorks for more information on our research.

Hutt, O.E., Hornung, C., Brzozwski, M., York, M., Water, J., Polyzos, A., Tsanaktsidis, J., King, S., Savage, G.P., Simpson, G. (2016) Sustainable chemical manufacture and economic prosperity flowing as One, United Nations Centre for Regional Development, Seventh Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific, 2-4 November, Adelaide, SA, Australia, p. 1-31.

For more information on these areas contact me or check out my other publications.

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