Dr Lisa Ivy Pilkington

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Research Fellow



2009 BA/BSc Conjoint (majoring in Chemistry, Statistics and German, University of Auckland, NZ)

2010 BSc(Hons, First Class; Chemistry, University of Auckland, NZ)

2014 PhD (Chemistry, University of Auckland, NZ)

2016 MSc (Statistics, University of Oxford, UK)


Previous Appointments:

2014-2015 Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (ACSRC and School of Chemical Sciences, University of Auckland, NZ). Supervised by Assoc. Prof David Barker and Dr Euphemia Leung.

2016-2017 Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (School of Chemical Sciences, University of Auckland, NZ). Supervised by Dr Bruno Fedrizzi and Assoc. Prof David Barker.


Current Appointment: 

2017-current Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (School of Chemical Sciences, University of Auckland, NZ). Supervised by Assoc. Prof David Barker.



Research | Current

My research focuses on the synthesis of organic molecules for a number of purposes including assessing their role as potential therapeutic agents and in biological processes. This involves the adaptation of existing and creation of new synthetic methods to achieve the preparation of novel compound structures.

Past and present projects include: 

  • The synthesis and investigation of novel, selective inhibitors of the CYP1 family of enzymes as anticancer agents.
  • The synthesis of novel inhibitors of the PC-PLC enzyme and study of their efficacy as antiproliferative agents against human cancer.
  • The synthesis of polysulfide compounds to explore their role in biological processes, particularly in cell-signalling. 
  • The synthesis of bioactive thieno-pyridines and pyrroloquinolines - compounds that have been shown to inhibit a number of important enzymes involved in cell regulation and are being analysed for their antiproliferative activity. 
  • The asymmetric synthesis of 1,4-benzodioxane lignans - biologically active compounds that exhibit a range of activites including cytotoxicity and hepaprotective properties. 


Further areas of reserach include the adaptation of statistics to organic and analytical chemistry, including:

  • Utilisation of statistical methods to explore the underlying differences and effects of various factors on an array of biological matrices. 
  • The investigation into the statistical modelling of the biological activities of ligands.

Teaching | Current




2017 - Lottery Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellowship

2016 - L H Briggs Memorial Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis (Chemistry, University of Auckland) 

2015 - Gavin and Anne Kellaway Medical Research Fellowship

2015 - New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women Fellowship

2015 - Dean's List for Excellence (University of Auckland)

2011-2014 - University of Auckland Doctoral Scholar

2010 - University of Auckland Honours Scholarship

2009 - Statistic New Zealand Prize

2009 - Senior Prize in Statistics

2008,2009 - Faculty of Science Summer Scholarship

2008,2009 - Grace Kay Award

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Language Editor (Biocatalysis)

Faculty of Science Post Doctoral Society (Secretary, Chemistry Department Rep.)


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Damavandi, M., Pilkington, L. I., Malmström J, Whitehead, K. A., Travas-Sejdic, J., & Barker, D. (2018). Poly-p-phenylenevinylene-g-poly(2-(methacryloyloxy)Ethyl)trimethylammonium chloride (PPV-g-PMETAC): A fluorescent, water-soluble, selective anion sensor. Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 56 (17), 1997-2003. 10.1002/pola.29087
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jenny Malmstrom, Jadranka Travas-Sejdic, David Barker
  • Pilkington, L. I., Yang, X., Liu, M.-W., Hemar, Y., Brimble, M. A., & Reynisson, J. (2018). A Chemometric Analysis of Compounds from Native New Zealand Medicinal Flora. Chemistry, an Asian journal10.1002/asia.201800803
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Johannes Reynisson, Margaret Brimble
  • Pilkington, L. I. (2018). Lignans: A Chemometric Analysis. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23 (7).10.3390/molecules23071666
  • Duhamel, N., Slaghenaufi, D., Pilkington, L. I., Herbst-Johnstone, M., Larcher, R., Barker, D., & Fedrizzi, B. (2018). Facile gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry stable isotope dilution method for the quantification of sesquiterpenes in grape. Journal of chromatography. A, 1537, 91-98. 10.1016/j.chroma.2017.12.065
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bruno Fedrizzi, David Barker
  • Zafar, A., Pilkington, L. I., Haverkate, N. A., van Rensburg, M., Leung, E., Kumara, S., ... Hoskins, C. (2018). Investigation into Improving the Aqueous Solubility of the Thieno[2,3-b]pyridine Anti-Proliferative Agents. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23 (1).10.3390/molecules23010145
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Johannes Reynisson, Ayesha Zafar, Natalie Haverkate, David Barker, Bill Denny, Euphemia Leung, Sisira Kumara
  • McBrearty, J., Barker, D., Damavandi, M., Wilson-Nieuwenhuis, J., Pilkington, L. I., Dempsey-Hibbert, N., ... Whitehead, K. A. (2018). Antimicrobial synergy of cationic grafted poly( para -phenylene ethynylene) and poly( para -phenylene vinylene) compounds with UV or metal ions against Enterococcus faecium. RSC Advances, 8 (41), 23433-23441. 10.1039/C8RA02673D
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Barker
  • Damavandi, M., Pilkington, L. I., Whitehead, K. A., Wilson-Nieuwenhuis, J., McBrearty, J., Dempsey-Hibbert, N., ... Barker, D. (2018). Poly(para-phenylene ethynylene) (PPE)- and poly(para-phenylene vinylene) (PPV)-poly[(2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl) trimethylammonium chloride] (PMETAC) graft copolymers exhibit selective antimicrobial activity. European Polymer Journal, 98, 368-374. 10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2017.11.044
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Barker
  • Binsaleh, N. K., Wigley, C. A., Whitehead, K. A., van Rensburg, M., Reynisson, J., Pilkington, L. I., ... Dempsey-Hibbert, N. C. (2018). Thieno[2,3-b]pyridine derivatives are potent anti-platelet drugs, inhibiting platelet activation, aggregation and showing synergy with aspirin. European journal of medicinal chemistry, 143, 1997-2004. 10.1016/j.ejmech.2017.11.014
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Johannes Reynisson, David Barker