Research in our group is primarily focused on organic synthesis, broadly defined. Specific efforts have been inspired by complex, biologically relevant natural products and a desire to develop efficient synthetic routes for their construction. We are also interested in the design and construction of natural product analogs with improved biological properties. Along the way, group members will be involved in various aspects of methodology development, catalyst design, and mechanism study. A few specific research areas of current interest are:
New Methods and Strategies for Natural Product Synthesis
Examples of current natural product targets of interest are the hasubanan alkaloids, briarane diterpenoids, azaphilone lactones, and the structurally related compounds biselyngbyaside and biselyngbyolide A. Many of these targets build on our interest in studying cyclohexadienone reactivity.
Design of Asymmetric Hypervalent Iodine Catalysts and Study of Reactivity
Our group is actively pursuing the design of chiral aryl iodide catalysts for asymmetric oxidation reactions. In support of these efforts we are using experimental and computational methods to study various mechanistic details of iodine(III)-mediated oxidative dearomatization.
Design of Novel Electrophiles as Biological Probes & Medicinal Agents
Our group has already identified new small molecules that can serve as electrophilic inhibitors of the NF-kB signaling pathway. Building off this success we are working to identify other novel electrophiles for use as medicinal agents and probes for biological pathways.
Chemical Education: Spectroscopy
We have established an online database in an effort to provide instructors with better quality and more challenging NMR spectra for courses in “organic spectroscopy”. The feature that sets our site apart from similar resources is that we do not offer static views of NMR spectra. Instead, the database is populated by the raw data (i.e. FID files) generated by the NMR instrument. By doing this, the end users will have the freedom to use as much or as little of the spectrum as they require.