Complex Molecule Synthesis

Despite centuries of innovation, chemistry is still frequently the limiting factor in the development of small molecule drug candidates, molecular probes, or novel chemical libraries. As a result, compromises are made in molecular design and synthetic execution, and optimal target compounds are missed. We aim to close the gap between molecular complexity and practical implementation. Candidate molecules are chosen based on potential impact in medicine and/or biology. While inspiration may come from nature, we do not usually choose to synthesize unmodified natural products, as they are rarely optimal for applications in medicine and biology.

For representative publications, see:

Modular, Scalable Synthesis of Group A Streptogramin Antibiotics (JACS, 2017)

Synthesis, Structural Reassignment, and Antibacterial Evaluation of 2,14-Seco-Lankacidinol B (ACIEE, 2018)

Expanding Chemical Frontiers

Advances in chemical synthesis over the past century have been transformative to the caliber of molecular complexity that chemists can access. Our group strives to continue this trend by developing new methods that are robust, practical, and if at all possible, bioorthogonal. The overarching goal of our program is to answer chemical challenges with innovation, such that the chemist’s imagination is the only remaining limitation.

De Novo Molecular Design

While synthesizing a complex molecular target can often be incredibly difficult, ground-up design of a molecular scaffold can add layers to the challenge. Our lab designs molecules with a specific purpose and then assembles them using practical, robust chemistry. These may include computationally designed ligands, novel molecular scaffolds for bioorthogonal tagging or microarray templating, or cleavable tethers for biomolecule-drug conjugates.