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Dr Rosalyn Klein

BSc Hons (UCT), MSc (Rhodes), PhD (Miami)

Headshot Dr Klein

Senior Lecturer  in Organic Chemistry

Educating young people and seeing them become the best scientists (and people) they can be is my passion. I am a chemist by training and am now involved in research in drug development (mainly organic synthesis) and in lecturing at several levels within the University structure.


  • PGDHE (Rhodes University, 2007)
    • Elective: Supervisory practice
  • PhD (University of Miami, 2004)
  • MSc (Rhodes University, 2000)
  • BSc (HONS, University of Cape Town, 1994)

My group’s current research is focussed on the development and application of green synthetic methods for the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds with potential as therapeutic agents. The diseases we particularly focus on are HIV, trypanosomiasis, and malaria. This involves extensive collaboration within the Department of Chemistry, especially with Professor Perry Kaye and Dr Kevin Lobb.


Since 2005 I have been an active participant and leader in the Organic Synthesis Research Group at Rhodes University. The overall focus of my research is the development of green synthetic methods toward the synthesis of biologically active compounds. Within this area we are concentrating on catalysis and the Baylis Hillman reaction, particularly the development of supported catalysts.

2017 Publications:

  1. Adeyemi, C.M., Isaacs, M., Mnkandhla, D., Klein, R., Hoppe, H.C., Krause, R.W.M., Lobb, K.A. & Kaye, P.T. 2017. Synthesis and anti-parasitic activity of C-benzylated (N-arylcarbamoyl)alkylphosphonate esters. Tetrahedron, 73: 1661–1667. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tet.2017.01.045


1. Robert E. Gawley, Rosalyn Klein, Neil J. Ashweek, and Iain Coldham, Structural studies of {6Li} 2-lithiopyrrolidines using NMR spectroscopy. Tetrahedron, 61(13), 2005, 3271-3280

2. Neil J. Ashweek, Peter Brandt, Iain Coldham, Samuel Dufour, Robert E. Gawley, Fredrik Haeffner, Rosalyn Klein, Graciela Sanchez-Jimenez, Barrier to Enantiomerization of Unstabilized, Chelated, and Dipole-Stabilized 2-Lithiopyrrolidines. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 127(1), 2005, 449-457

3. Rosalyn Klein and Robert E. Gawley. Configurational and Conformational Effects on Tin-Lithium Exchange in α-Aminoorganostannanes by Rapid-Injection NMR. Journal of the American Chemical Society 129, 2007 4126-4127.

4. ** P.T. Kaye, A.C. Gelebe, R. Klein, J.D. Sewry, and A.G Soper Benzodiazepine Analogues.  Part 21.  13C NMR Analysis of Benzoxathiepine Derivatives. Magnetic Resonance Chemistry, 43(21), 2005, 952-955

5. Temitope O. Olomola, Rosalyn Klein and Perry T. Kaye, Convenient Synthesis of 3-Methylcoumarins and Coumarin-3-carbaldehydes, Synthetic Communications; 42(2), 2012, 251-257 

6. Thompo J. Rashamuse, Rosalyn Klein and Perry T. Kaye, Synthesis of Baylis–Hillman-Derived Phosphonated 3-(Benzylaminomethyl)coumarins, Synthetic Communications; 40(24), 2010, 3683-3690

7. Matshawandile Tukulula, Rosalyn Klein and Perry T. Kaye, Indolizine Studies, Part 5: Indolizine-2-carboxamides as Potential HIV-1 Protease Inhibitors, Synthetic Communications; 40(13), 2010, 2018-2028

8. Byron J. Truscott, Rosalyn Klein, and Perry T. Kaye, Expeditious synthesis of N-substituted N-mesitylimidazolium salts as NHC precursors, Tetrahedron Letters, 51, (38), 2010, 5041–5043

9. Temitope O. Olomola, Rosalyn Klein, Kevin A. Lobb, Yasien Sayed, and Perry T. Kaye, Towards the synthesis of coumarin derivatives as potential dual-action HIV-1 protease and reverse transcriptase inhibitors, Tetrahedron Letters, 51(48), 2010, 6325–6328

10.  Michael E. Brown, Ronald C. Cosser, Michael T. Davies-Coleman, Perry T. Kaye, Rosalyn Klein, Emmanuel Lamprecht, Kevin Lobb, Tebello Nyokong, Joyce D. Sewry, Zenixole R. Tshentu, Tino Van Der Zeyde, and Gareth M. Watkins, Introducing Chemistry Students to the "Real World" of Chemistry.    Journal of Chemical Education, 87(5), 2010, 500-503.

11.  Thompo J. Rashamuse, Musiliyu A. Musa, Rosalyn Klein, Perry T. Kaye, Regio-controlled Michaelis-Arbuzov reactions of 3-(halomethyl)coumarins.    Journal of Chemical Research, 2009,  (5),  302-305.

12.  Eloise Marais, Rosalyn Klein, Edith Antunes, and Tebello Nyokong. Photocatalysis of 4-nitrophenol using zinc phthalocyanine complexes. Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical 261, 2007, 36-42.

13. B. A. Scheepers, R. Klein, And M. T. Davies-Coleman. Synthesis of triprenylated toluquinone and toluhydroquinone metabolites from a marine-derived Penicillium fungus. Tetrahedron letters 47, 2006,  8243-8246.

14. Rosalyn Klein, Suthananda N. Sunassee, and Michael T. Davies-Coleman, Factors influencing prenylation of an aromatic organolithium.    Journal of Chemical Research,   2010, (8),  468-472.


Since 2005 I have had the pleasure of lecturing organic chemistry at Rhodes University. Initially I thought the challenge was to teach the right material to the students before me. As I progressed through the first three years and completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Higher Education, I began to think differently. I am still sure that teaching the right material is important, since it lays a foundation for the kind of thinking that marks a graduate. With this in mind I have made every effort to develop critical, thoughtful learning skills within my students in organic chemistry from first year through to honours. I have also brought principles of developing graduates to bear in my course coordination at third year level. This has been especially evident in the development of our research internship programme, where I have been given carte blanche in the development of guidelines and assessment materials for the whole department.

The scope of my lecturing has encompassed the following:

First year: 200 – 300 Students

  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Biological Building Blocks
  • (Extended Studies: Introduction to General Chemistry)
  • General and Organic Chemistry practicals

Second Year: 40 - 70 Students

  • Aromatic structure and synthesis
  • Natural and synthetic polymers
  • Organic Chemistry practicals

Third year: 20 - 40 Students

  • Carbonyl Chemistry
  • Retrosynthesis
  • Green Chemistry
  • Organometallics
  • Organic Chemistry practicals
  • Research Internships (development of outcomes and assessment process)


  • 7 - 13 Students
  • Advanced synthetic techniques
  • Catalysis in organic synthesis
  • Green chemistry

 MSc students supervised (completed)

  • Kethobole Sekgota (Supervisor)
  • Christopher Rafael (Sole Supervisor)
  • Che Makanjee (Supervisor)
  • Annalene Meyer (Sole Supervisor – 2012)
  • Byron Truscott (Co-supervisor – 2011)
  • Yi-Chen Lee (Co-supervisor – 2010)
  • Matshawandile Tukulula (Co-supervisor – 2009)
  • Dubekile Nyoni (Co-supervisor – 2009)
  • Nathan Rose (Co-supervisor – 2007)

PhD students supervised (completed)

  • Augustus Oluwafemi (Supervisor)
  • Omobolanle Jesumoroti (Supervisor - 2017)
  • Yusuf Hassan (Supervisor - 2015)
  • Gaelle Ngnie (Sole Supervisor - 2016)
  • Cristina Toma (part time, Supervisor)
  • Temitope Olomola (Co-supervisor – 2012)
  • Marius Mutorwa (Co-supervisor – 2012)


Community Engagement:

I have a passion for education and consider it both an obligation and a pleasure to be engaged in the community in which I live as a professional. I have made every effort to involve myself in the ongoing projects of the Chemistry Department with regards to educational outreach (Khanya Maths and Science Club). I was also delighted to be included in our first service learning project (Chemistry II Practical on Dye synthesis) where I have for three years been involved in running the practical component. I regularly volunteer to help with our schools outreach programme where we offer laboratory practical work to local learners (organised as part of their curriculum).

Contact Details:

Email: r.klein@ru.ac.za
Telephone: +27 46 603 8802
Fax: +27 46 622 5109
Secretary: +27 46 603 8254/5
Postal Address:
Department of Chemistry
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building
Corner of University and Artillery Roads
Courier Address:
Room S35
Department of Chemistry
Cnr of University and Artillery Roads
Rhodes University
South Africa 

Last Modified: Tue, 20 Mar 2018 11:17:07 SAST