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  • Dr. Alison Thompson, BSc, PhD


Full Professor, and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Pyrrole Chemistry for Chemical Biology and Energy, Faculty of Science 


Dalhousie University 

Research Interests:

Medicinal chemistry, organic synthesis, inorganic chemistry, biological activities of compounds

Organic and medicinal synthetic chemistry enables drug discovery and an understanding of biochemical processes that lead to disease

In the Thompson group we pride ourselves upon being synthetic organic chemists who use our skills to design and synthesise new compounds with interesting biological activities. In particular, we synthesise pyrrole-containing compounds and other analogues of the ubiquitous natural product prodigiosin. We work with collaborators, locally, nationally and internationally, to evaluate the therapeutic value of these compounds as novel treatments for a range of cancer types.

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

Dr. Thompson is a BHCRI Senior Scientist and has been a member on a BHCRI Scientific Review Committee.


(902) 494-3305




Department of Chemistry, Chemistry Building, Dalhousie University, PO BOX 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2


Bis[Pyrrolyl Ru(II)] Triads: a New Class of Photosensitizers for Metal-Organic Photodynamic Therapy. Smithen, D.A.: Monro, S.; Pinto, M.; Roque III, J.: Diaz-Rodriguez, R.M.; Yin, H.; Cameron, C.G.; Thompson, A.; McFarland, S.A. Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 12047-12069 (NSERC).

Stepwise Synthetic Approach is Necessary to Access g-Conjugates of Folate: Folate-Conjugated Prodigiosenes A. Marchal, E.; Figliola, C.; Thompson, A. RSC Advances 2019, 9, 14078-14092 (CIHR, BHCRI, CCNS, TFF, CBCF-Atlantic, Breast Cancer Society of Canada/QEII Foundation Awards for Breast Cancer Research NSHRF).

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Dalhousie University. Thompson, A. Can. J. Chem. 2018, 96, page v, special issue to honour Dal200 – Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary.

Photo-induced Anticancer Activity and Singlet Oxygen Production of Prodigiosenes. Savoie, H.; Figliola, C.; Marchal, E.; Crabbe, B.W.; Hallett-Tapley, G.L.; Boyle, R.W.; Thompson, A. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2018, 17, 599-606 (BHRCI, CCNS, TFF, CIHR, NSHRF, NSERC, NSGS).

Prodigiosenes Conjugated to Tamoxifen and Estradiol. Marchal, E.; Figliola, C.; Thompson, A. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2017, 15, 5410-5427 (CIHR, BHCRI, CCNS, TFF, NSHRF).

Synthesis and Anticancer Activity of Prodigiosenes bearing C-Ring Esters and Amides. Lund, K-l. A.R.; Figliola, C.; Kajetanowicz, A.K.; Thompson, A. RSC Advances 2017, 7, 18617-18627 (CIHR, NSHRF).

Synthesis and Photobiological Activity of Ru(II) Dyads Derived from Pyrrole-2-Carboxylate Thionoesters. Smithen, D.A.; Yin, H.; Beh, M.H.R.; Hetu, M.; Cameron, T.S.; McFarland, S.A.; Thompson, A. Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 4121-4132 (NSERC).

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