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Assoc Prof David Gammon

  • BSc Hons (1977), HDE (1978), PhD (1985), University of Cape Town, RSA
  • Teacher (1979—1980), Rondebosch Boys High School, RSA
  • NSERC Post Doctoral Fellow (1986—1989), York University, Toronto, Canada
  • Teacher (1989—1990), Havergal College, Toronto, Canada
  • Lecturer (1991—1998), Senior Lecturer (1999—2003), Associate Professor (2004—present), University of Cape Town, RSA
  • Recipient of the UCT Distinguished Teacher Award (2003)

Research Interests

These fall in three main areas, with each involving active collaborations as indicated:

  • Synthesis of modified sugars and glycosides, and investigation of their biological activity and interaction with relevant enzymes:
    • analogues of mycothiol and its biosynthetic precursors, in relation to probing the role of mycothiol in the Mycobacteria, and developing inhibitors of enzymes involved in its biogenesis; collaborators include Professor Stefan Oscarson (University College Dublin), Professor Hans-Joachim Knölker (Technische Universität Dresden), Dr. Comfort Nkambule (Tshwane University of Technology), Professor Roger Hunter (Chemistry, UCT), Professor Kevin Naidoo and Associate Professor Daan Steenkamp (Chemical Pathology, UCT)
    • unusual sugars found in repeating units of O-specific polysaccharides of pathogenic bacteria, with particular emphasis on Shigella species, as a contribution to the preparation of new glycoconjugate vaccines; collaborators Associate Professor Neil Ravenscroft (UCT)
  • New catalytic methodologies for synthetic modification of carbohydrates and other small molecules, in particular using Zeolites and related materials as heterogeneous catalysts; collaborators Professor Bert Sels (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
  • Plant natural products, chemical ecology and indigenous knowledge systems, with particular focus on plants of the succulent karroo biome in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces, and the development of innovative approaches to studying the phytochemistry and molecular biology of plants in relation to patterns of plant use; collaborators Professor Timm Hoffman (Plant Conservation Unit, UCT), Dr. Lesley Green (Social Anthropology, UCT) and Professor Jill Farrant (Biological Sciences, UCT)

Research Group

Current PhD students:  Taigh Anderson, Josh Cohen, Millie Hilgart, Gabriel Mashabela, Denis Ngumbu Muhunga, Geoffrey Nokwequ (TUT), Nicholas Watermeyer, Nicola Wheat

Graduated with MSc: Meryl Abrahams, Diane Chen, Jenni Case, H. Kinfe, Linda Mbeki, Camielah Mohamed, Phaladi Motsoetsoe, Denis Ngumbu Muhunga, Ian Rogers

Graduated with PhD: Bryan Brack, Kapinga Bamuamba, Marilize le Roes, Pieter Levecque, Henok Kinfe, Vuyo Mavumengwana, Theo Mudzunga, Freddy Muganza Munyololo, Uwe Wilkenhoener, Seanette Wilson

Previous Post Docs: Dr. Pieter Levecque, Dr JJ Nair, Dr Comfort Nkambule, Dr Denise Saravanakumar

Representative Publications

  1. David W. Gammon, Roger Hunter and Seanette A. Wilson, “An efficient synthesis of 7-hydroxy-2,6-dimethylchromeno[3,4-d]oxazol-4-one – a protected fragment of novenamine”; Tetrahedron, 2005, 61, 10683-10688.
  2. Rikard Slättegård, Peter Teodorovic, Henok Hadgu Kinfe, Neil Ravenscroft, David W. Gammon and Stefan Oscarson, “Synthesis of Structures Corresponding to the Capsular Polysaccharide of Neisseria meningitidis Type A”; Org.  Biomol. Chem., 2005, 3(20), 3782-3787.
  3. Roald Brosius, David W. Gammon, Frederik Van Laar, Eric van Steen, Bert Sels, Pierre Jacobs, “Vapour phase synthesis of 2-methyl- and 4-methyl-quinoline over BEA* zeolites.” J. Catal., 2006, 239, 362-368.
  4. David W. Gammon, Henok H. Kinfe, Dirk E. De Vos, Pierre A. Jacobs, and Bert F. Sels, “A New Procedure for Highly Regio- and Stereoselective Iodoacetoxylation of Protected Glycals and α-1,2-Cyclopropanated Sugars”. Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry, 2007, 26(3), 141 – 157.
  5. Rikard Slättegård, David W. Gammon and Stefan Oscarson, “Synthesis of fused bicyclic thioglycosides of N-acylated glucosamine as analogues of mycothiol.” Carbohyd. Res., 2007, 342, 1943-1946.
  6. Bamuamba, K., Gammon, D.W., Meyers, P., Dijoux-Franca, M.-G., Scott, G., “Antimycobacterial activity of 5 plant species used as traditional medicines in the Western Cape Province (South Africa), Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2008, 117, 385-390.
  7. Pieter Levecque, David W. Gammon, Henok Hadgu Kinfe, Pierre Jacobs, Dirk De Vos, Bert Sels, “Tandem Epoxidation-Alcoholysis or Epoxidation-Hydrolysis of Glycals Catalyzed by Titanium(IV) Isopropoxide or Venturello’s Phosphotungstate Complex”. Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis, 2008, 350(10), 1557-1568.
  8. David W. Gammon, Daniel J. Steenkamp, Vuyo Mavumengwana, Mohlopheni, J. Marakalala, Theophilus T. Mudzunga, Roger Hunter, Muganza Munyololo, “Conjugates of plumbagin and phenyl-2-amino-1-thioglucoside inhibit MshB, a deacetylase involved in the biosynthesis of mycothiol”. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2010, 18, 2501–2514.
  9. Pieter Levecque, David W. Gammon, Pierre Jacobs, Dirk De Vos and Bert Sels, “The use of ultrastable Y zeolites in the Ferrier rearrangement of acetylated and benzylated glycals”, Green Chemistry, 2010, 12, 828–835.
  10. Anneleen L. W. Demuynck, Pieter Levecque, Aklilu Kidane, David W. Gammon, Eugene Sickle, Pierre A. Jacobs, Dirk E. De Vos and Bert F. Sels. “Retro-Diels-Alder reactions of masked cyclopentadienones catalyzed by heterogeneous Brønsted acids.” Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis, 2010, 352(18), 3419–3430.
  11. Comfort M. Nkambule, Nomfundo W. Kwezi, Henok H. Kinfe, Mbulelo G. Nokwequ, David W. Gammon, Stefan Oscarson, and Erik Karlsson, “Efficient regioselective protection of myo-inositol via facile protecting group migration.” Tetrahedron, 2011, 67, 618–623.
  12. Muganza Munyololo, David W. Gammon, and Ilka Mohrholz, ”Extending the scope of the Ferrier reaction: fragmentation-rearrangement reactions of selectively substituted 1,2-cyclopropanated glucose derivatives,” Carbohydrate Research, 2012, 351, 49–55.
  13. Mbulelo G. Nokwequ, Comfort M. Nkambule, and David W. Gammon, “Armed–disarmed effect on the stability of cysteine thioglucosides.” Carbohydrate Research, 359 (2012) 18–23.