Dr. Florence O. McCarthy


Department of Chemistry and ABCRF,

Room 2.24 Cavanagh Building,
University College Cork ,
Cork, Ireland
Tel. +353-(0)21-4901695
Fax. +353-(0)21-4274097 (Chemistry Departmental Office)

Fax. +353-(0)21-4901656 (Cavanagh Building)

Email:   f.mccarthy@ucc.ie




Lecturer of Organic Chemistry


Florence McCarthy graduated from the School of Pharmacy, University of Sunderland, UK. His PhD was undertaken in Medicinal Chemistry with Prof. Paul Groundwater at the University of Sunderland entitled “Synthesis of Novel Ellipticines as Molecular Probes and DNA Binders”. He then held a Post-doctoral position with Prof. Bill Denny, Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, University of Auckland, New Zealand in conjunction with Pfizer Global Research and Development where he worked on inhibitors of the Wee1 and Chk1 checkpoint kinases and an ErbB kinase inhibitor programme. He joined UCC as a Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and the Department of Chemistry in 2003, being made permanent in 2005. Teaching duties involve a variety of years and programmes including Chemistry, Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds (CPC), Pharmacy, Food and Nutritional Sciences and Nursing. Dr. McCarthy is also the Academic-in-charge of the Waters Mass Spectrometry Laboratory.


Research Interests

Synthetic medicinal chemistry approaches to cancer research, especially:


Upcoming Research Opportunities

If you are interested in a career in medicinal/pharmaceutical chemistry research or for information on research positions within Dr. McCarthy's group please contact by phone or email as above.

Representative Publications

Journal Publications

1. Computer Simulations Reveal a Novel Nucleotide-type Binding Orientation for Ellipticine-based Anticancer c-kit Kinase Inhibitors. D. Thompson, C. Miller, F.O. McCarthy. Biochemistry (2008) 47, 10333-10344

2. Exploring DNA topoisomerase I inhibition by the benzo[c]phenanthridines fagaronine and ethoxidine using steered molecular dynamics. R. L. Clark, F. M. Deane, N. G. Anthony, B. F. Johnston, F. O. McCarthy and S. P. Mackay. Bioorg. Med. Chem. (2007) 15, 4741-4752

3. Synthesis, isolation and characterisation of β-sitosterol and β-sitosterol oxide derivatives. F. O. McCarthy, J. Chopra, A. Ford, S. A. Hogan, J. P. Kerry, N. O’Brien, E. Ryan and A. R. Maguire, Org. Biomol. Chem. (2005)  3(16), 3059-3065.

4. Qualitative and quantitative comparison of the cytotoxic and apoptotic potential of phytosterol oxidation products with their corresponding cholesterol oxidation products. E. Ryan, J. Chopra, F. McCarthy, A. R. Maguire and N. M. O’Brien, Brit. J. Nut. (2005) 94, 443-451

5. The design of novel ellipticine-amino acid topoisomerase I inhibitors. D. Cairns, F.O. McCarthy, P.W. Groundwater and S.P. Mackay, Clinical Cancer Research (2000) 6: 137, Suppl. S NOV.

6. A mechanistic investigation into the microbial chiral inversion of 2-arylpropionic acids using deuterated derivatives of 2-phenylpropionic acid. W. Rhys-Williams, F. McCarthy, J. Baker, Y.F. Hung, M. Thomason, A. W. Lloyd and G. W. Hanlon. Enzyme Microb. Technol. (1998), 22(4), 281-287.

Patents Granted

7. Preparation of pyrrolocarbazoles, benzofuroisoindoles and azacyclopentafluorenes, inhibitors of checkpoint kinases Wee1 and CHK1). PCT Int. Appl. (2003) Appl. No.WO 2003091255 A1 20031106. R.J. Booth, W.A. Denny, E.M. Dobrusin, A.J. Kraker, L.H. Mitchell, J.B. Smaill, A.M. Thompson, H.H. Lee, F.O. McCarthy, B.D. Palmer.


8. The design of novel ellipticine-amino acid topoisomerase I inhibitors. D. Cairns, F.O. McCarthy, P.W. Groundwater and S.P. Mackay, EORTC, 7-10 November 2000 Amsterdam, poster session 3, no. 137.

9. Molecular modelling of novel ellipticine-amino acid inhibitors of topoisomerase I. F.O. McCarthy, D. Cairns, P.W. Groundwater and S.P. Mackay, British Pharmaceutical Conference, 23-25 September 2002 Manchester, MO2013.

10. Potential health impact of dietary β-sitosterol and β-sitosterol oxidation products. F.O. McCarthy, J. Chopra, A. Ford, E. Ryan, N. O’Brien and A.R. Maguire, Irish Schools of Pharmacy Research Seminar, March 2005, no. 11.

Conference Presentations

11. Presentation at Royal Society of Chemistry/ Institute of Chemistry/ Society of Chemical Industry Joint Conference “The Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules” – (9th June 2005) Cork Institute of Technology, Cork.



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Last Update: 24.02.2005