Bill Lockley obtained his PhD in 1972 with Professor Basil Weedon at Queen Mary College (London) on the structural elucidation and synthetic chemistry of antibiotics and biological pigments, before studying the photochemical preparation of nitrenes and nitrogen ylids as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor W Lwowski (New Mexico State University).
Later he worked variously with Professor Trevor Goodwin (terpenoid biosynthesis), Heffyn Rees (steroid biochemistry in insects) and George Britton (carotenoid biosynthesis pathways). During this period he developed a life-long interest in the use of isotopes in solving chemical and biological problems. To exploit this interest in an industrial setting he joined the Drug Metabolism Department of Fisons Pharmaceutical Division in 1977 as head of isotopic synthesis.
He held this position during the transition of the company first to Astra and finally to AstraZeneca. Over these years he also had senior management roles in clinical bioanalysis, toxicokinetics, drug metabolism, physical chemistry and chemical process development. He joined the University of Surrey in 2002 to pursue his research interests in isotopic chemistry having already supervised a series of PhD students from the Radiochemistry group led by Prof John Jones, with whom he had an extensive research collaboration spanning some 25 years. He is currently a visiting professor in the Division of Chemical Sciences where he carries out his own research in addition to supervising related M Chem projects.
Prof. Lockley is a qualified teacher with an interest in teaching scientific research skills. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a member of the Advisory Board of the International Isotope Society (IIS) and chair of its UK Scientific Committee. He has spoken at or helped organise the regular triennial IIS International Symposia and has been a joint organiser of the last ten annual UK IIS Symposia. He has wide contacts in the pharmaceutical industry and with academics in the field of isotopes. He spends much of his leisure time in joint educational activities with his wife, Sue Sareen, a well-known artist.
Prof Lockley's current research interest is in the use of catalytic systems for labelling organic compounds with hydrogen isotopes. For this he mostly employs the stable (non-radioactive) isotope deuterium. This hydrogen isotope can be handled without special precautions and has important uses in mass spectrometry. It can also act as a model for the industrially important reactions of its radioactive partner, tritium.
- 30 Years with ortho-directed hydrogen isotope exchange labelling, Lockley WJS, J Label Compd Radiopharm, 50, 779-788 (2007).
- Tritium chemistry: history, current status and future developments. Lockley WJS in Synth Appl Isotop Lab Comp, Proc 9th Int Symp, Edinburgh, 2006, Eds Willis CL, Lockley WJS, J Label Compd Radiopharm, 50, 256-259 (2007), ISSN 0362-4803
- Radiochemistry: a vital role supporting drug development. Drug Discovery World, Fall 2004, 59-64 (2004).
Isotope labelling methodologies
- Tritium labelling via an iridium-based solid-phase catalyst. Hickey MJ, Kingston LP, Mather AN, Lockley WJS, Wilkinson DJ. J Label Compd Radiopharm, 49, (4) 2006, 388-389.
- One-step exchange-labelling of pyridines and other N-heteroaromatics using deuterium gas: catalysis by heterogeneous rhodium and ruthenium catalysts, E Alexakis E, Jones JR, Lockley WJS, Tetrahedron Letters, 47, 5025-5028 (2006).
- Labelling of anilines, benzylamines and some N-heterocyclics using cycloocta-1,5-dienyliridium(I)-1,1,1,5,5,5-hexafluoro-pentan-2,4-dionate and isotopic hydrogen gas in DMF or DMA, Garman RN, Hickey MJ, Kingston LP, McAuley B, Jones JR, Lockley WJS, Mather AN, Wilkinson DJ. J Label Compd Radiopharm, 48 (1) 75-84 (2005)
- One-step exchange-labelling of piperidines, piperazines and dialkylamines with deuterium oxide: catalysis by various ruthenium complexes. Alexakis E, Hickey MJ, Jones JR, Kingston LP, Lockley WJS, Mather AN, Smith T, Wilkinson DJ, Tetrahedron Letters, 46 , 4291-4293 (2005).
- A solid-phase iridium-based ortho -exchange catalyst for the one-step labelling of aromatic substrates with deuterium, Hickey MJ, Kingston LP, Jones JR, Lockley WJS, Mather AN, Wilkinson DJ, Tetrahedron Letters, 45 8621-8623 (2004).
- Iridium-catalysed labelling of anilines, benzylamines and nitrogen heterocycles using deuterium gas and cycloocta-1,5-dienyliridium(I) 1,1,1,5,5,5-hexafluoropentane-2,4-dionate. Hickey MJ, Kingston LP, McAuley B, Jones JR, Lockley WJS, Mather AN, Wilkinson DJ, Tetrahedron Letterss, 44 3959-3961 (2003).
- Convenient and efficient deuteration of functionalised aromatics with deuterium oxide: catalysis by cycloocta-1,5-dienyliridium(I) 1,3-dionates. Hickey MJ, Kingston LP, McAuley BM, Jones JR, Lockley WJS, Mather AN, Spink E, Thompson SP, Wilkinson DJ, J Label Compd Radiopharm, 46, 1191-1204 (2003).