Events in organic chemistry.

Enzyme Discovery & Engineering to Create Biocatalysts Suitable for Applications in Organic Chemistry

This lecture will cover recent achievements in the discovery, protein engineering and application of enzymes in biocatalysis [1]. For the asymmetric synthesis of chiral amines, we created (S)-selective amine transaminases for the acceptance of bulky ketones [2]. Most recently, we have developed a sophisticated growth selection method and could create highly active and selective enzymes from three classes to make important chiral precursors for pharmaceutical building blocks [3]. We have also explored machine learning to guide enzyme engineering of transaminases [4].

Peptide-Based Catalysis[2.0]

Abstract: Asymmetric catalysis has advanced rapidly as a discipline as a result of powerful modalities.  Transition metal complexes, organocatalysts and enzymes have all played critical roles.  Probably critical from the start, and in all three of these approaches to the field, noncovalent interactions are now appreciated to play a decisive role as determinants of selectivity.  Peptide-based catalysts have proven to be a central platform for the systematic study of noncovalent interactions as determinants of selectivity in a wide variety of reactions.  Design of new catalyt

Development of half-reactions for organic chemistry

Abstract: This lecture will describe the idea of synthetic half-reactions and its applications towards understanding the interplay of chemical reactivity and conformational interconversions. Apart from electrochemistry, which offers half-reaction formalism to predict reactivity, there is no system that dissects chemical transformations into simple energetic components with the goal of matching uphill steps with cognate downhill processes.

Radical-Based Approach for Synthesis of Complex Natural Products

Abstract: Natural products with a high ratio of sp3-hybridized atoms and oxygen-substituted stereogenic centers represent privileged structures for the development of pharmaceuticals and chemical probes.  The multiple oxygen functionalities of these natural products endow their potent and selective biological activities, although they significantly heighten the challenge of their chemical assemblies.1  We focused on developing efficient strategies for the total syntheses of this biologically and chemically important class of molecules.  Specifically, we have designed and de

Selective synthesis using light and electricity

Abstract: This seminar will describe our investigations into how organic radical ions–typically thought of as fleeting intermediates–can be tamed and exploited as a new family of organocatalysts and small molecule reagents. We identified selective generation of such species as a key hurdle stymying development of these systems. To address this problem, we have leveraged electrochemistry to develop new synthetic transformations driven by organic radical ions.

Searching for Selective Catalytic Reactions in Complex Molecular Environments

Abstract: This lecture will describe recent developments in our efforts to develop catalysts for asymmetric reactions, in particular for the preparation of densely functionalized, stereochemically complex structures.  Over time, our foci have been on enantioselectivity, site-selectivity and chemoselectivity.  In much of our current work, we are studying issues of enantioselectivity as a prelude to the extrapolation of catalysis concepts to more complex molecular settings where multiple issues are presented in a singular substrate.  Complex natural product, for example, will


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