Personal profile

Academic/Professional Qualification

B.Sc., Chemistry, Imperial College, London University; Ph.D., University of Loughborough


Alex Slawin was born in Taunton in 1961 where she went to Bishop Fox School.  She went to Imperial College to study for her BSc and PhD.  In 1994 she moved to Loughborough University to establish a chemical crystallography lab. In 1999 she moved to St Andrews where she was promoted to Professor in 2002 – the first female chemistry professor in St Andrews.   Her research is primarily concerned with the determination of the 3-D structures of molecules and materials and the relationship between these structures and properties.   As part of her research she has developed automation for crystallography.  Her laboratory has been one of the best equipped in the world for the past decade.  She was Co-I on a successful  >£1M bid to improve structural science facilities and has upgraded her facility to include state of the art X-Ray photon counting Pilatus detector technology.

 She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2011 she was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2013 she was recognized as a rare women with over 50 papers in Angewandte Chemie and in 2014 she published her 1000th paper. and in 2019 she surpassed 1300.  As of March 2019, With 3350 structures (and counting), Professor Alex Slawin is the most prolific female contributor to the Cambridge Crystallographic Database

Research overview

Alex Slawin's research is primarily concerned with structure determination and its application to chemistry. Highlights include significant papers on the structures of so-called 'supramolecular' systems such as catenanes and rotaxanes which illustrate the importance of 'secondary' interactions in determining conformation and macroscopic properties. I have also maintained a significant interest in inorganic structure determination including coordination polymers and main group rings and cages.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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