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MSc in Chemistry from the University of Dar es Salaam, October 2012
PhD in Synthetic Chemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand
Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College
When he returned to Malawi, Kennedy initiated the Malawi Natural Products Research Group, a grouping of natural products scientists and some indigenous knowledge holders. Kennedy was nominated as the chairperson of the group.
His PhD research was on the development of novel methodology for the synthesis of angucycline antibiotic natural products. In particular, for the synthesis of 1,8-dihydroxy-3-methyltetraphene-7,12-dione, commonly known as tetrangulol. Kennedy and his team also reported on the synthesis of 1,10,12-trimethoxy-8-methylbenzo[c]phenanthridine in their quest to synthesise phenanthroviridone, a nitrogen-containing angucycline antibiotic from an intermediate product in the synthesis of tetrangulol.
He is also interested in the extraction, isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds from medicinal plants.
1st Prize for PhD Oral Presentation titled “A Novel synthesis of tetrangulol, a natural angucycline antibiotic, from biaryl-1-alkynes mediated by platinum(II) or gold(III) catalysis” at the SACI-RSC South Africa (North) Young Chemists Symposium, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, 1st December 2016
2016 Penny Huddle Award for tutoring undergraduate students at the University of Witwatersrand
Ngwira KJ, Rousseau AL, Johnson MM, de Koning CB. 2017. Reactions of [2‐(2‐naphthyl) phenyl] acetylenes and 2‐(2‐naphthyl) benzaldehyde O‐phenyloximes: synthesis of the angucycline tetrangulol and 1, 10, 12‐trimethoxy‐8‐methylbenzo[c]phenanthridine. Euro. J. Org. Chem. 2017(11):1479–88
Pradeep P, Ngwira KJ, Reynolds C, Rousseau AL, Lemmerer A, et al. 2016. Novel methodology for the synthesis of the benzo[b]phenanthridine and 6H-dibenzo[c,h]chromen-6-one skeletons. Reactions of 2-naphthylbenzylamines and 2-naphthylbenzyl alcohols. Tetrahedron 72(51):8417–27