Rizzacasa Group




Total synthesis of bioactive natural products and the development of reaction methodology.

The asymmetric synthesis of bioactive natural products and analogues. The development of new synthetic methods in organic chemistry. The synthesis of oxygen containing heterocyclic compounds including tetrahydrofurans, tetrahydropyrans, spiroketals and cyclic acetals. The use of pericyclic reactions in the synthesis of natural products. The total synthesis of enamide containing natural products and marine metabolites. The asymmetric synthesis of acyclic systems. Total synthesis inspired by biosynthesis or 'biomimetic' synthesis. Follow the link for the Rizzacasa Group page in the School of Chemistry.


  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Mass spectrometry
  • X-ray crystallography
  • IR spectroscopy and 
  • HPLC

Group Members

Group Leader

Mark Rizzacasa

PhD Students

Brendan Fisher
Zongjia Chen
Liselle Atkin  
Mina Salimimarand 

Masters Students

Michael Ricca 
Young Ye
Angus Robertson 
Natalia Caren Radjah 
Alex Rafaniello 



Email: masr [at] unimelb.edu.au

Tel: (03) 8344 2397

Professor Mark Rizzacasa obtained his PhD in 1990 under the guidance of Professor Melvyn V. Sargent at the University of Western Australia. He then moved to the USA and spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow in the research group of Professor Robert E. Ireland at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. In early 1993, he returned to Australia to begin his appointment as a lecturer in the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne. He was promoted to senior lecturer in 1997, Associate Professor and Reader in 2003 and full Professor in 2008. Over the last 2 decades Mark has made significant contributions to the field of complex natural product total synthesis, which has been recognised through his publications in high impact journals and being the recipient of a number of awards, including the RACI Rennie Memorial Medal in 1997, the 2005 Organic Reactions Lectureship and the prestigious RACI A. J. Birch medal in 2010.

Awards and Recognition

1997-Awarded the RACI Rennie Medal for significant contribution to chemical research.
2002- Awarded the Tasmanian Alkaloids Lectureship
2003- International Editorial Advisory Board Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry.
2005 Awarded the Organic Reactions Lectureship.
2006 Awarded the David Syme Research Prize.
2008 Promoted to Professor of Chemistry
2010 Awarded the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Authur J. Birch Medal.
2012 Co-Chairman of the IUPAC 19th International Conference on Organic Synthesis Melbourne, Australia July.
2012 Awarded a Dyason Fellowship.
2012 Elected to the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry (ISHC) Advisory Committee.
2013 William Evans Visiting Fellowship, University of Otago, New Zealand.
2014-2016 Editorial Advisory Board ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters
2015- Assistant Dean, Faculty of Science, Environmental Heath and Safety.
2016-2017 Deputy Head, School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne
2018 Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.