Events in organic chemistry.

Deciphering the chemical crosstalk of host-gut microbiome interactions

Abstract: The gut microbiome comprises trillions of microorganisms that inhabit the mammalian intestines. These microbes regulate myriad aspects of host physiology, including factors that modulate many inflammatory diseases. Despite the abundance and prevalence of the gut microbiota, little is known regarding the pathways and mechanisms by which these microbes affect host health. Emerging evidence suggests that many small-molecule metabolites that are produced by the gut microbiota have the ability to modulate host defense mechanisms in various inflammatory diseases.

Universal Alkene Functionalization as an Aspirational Driver

Abstract: Vicinal (1,2-disubstituted) functional group motifs are ubiquitous in structurally complex small molecules that are of academic and industrial importance, including many widely used pharmaceutical agents. Many such functional group combinations, however, remain exceptionally challenging to synthesize. The goal of research in the Engle lab is to develop a general catalytic platform for alkene and alkyne difunctionalization to introduce a diverse array of functional groups at each of the two carbon atoms in a programmable fashion.

Hierarchical Strategies Towards Biointerfacing with Soft Optoelectronic Materials

The applications of functional nanomaterials towards biological interfacing continue to emerge in various fields, such as in drug delivery and tissue engineering. While the rational control of surface chemistry and mechanical properties have been achieved for several of these biocompatible systems, these biomaterials are rarely synthesized with optical and electronic functionalities that could be beneficial for controlling the behavior of excitable cells (e.g., neurons and cardiac cells) or for biosensing applications.

Digital Transformation in Manufacturing

Until recently, 3D printing was largely relegated to prototyping and small-scale projects

due to fundamental limitations—slowness and an inability to generate objects with adequate

mechanical strength and thermal properties that would entail widespread, durable utility. A

limited range of materials also hindered the ability to make parts comparable to injection molded


Rethinking the basic physics and chemistry, we invented Digital Light SynthesisTM (DLS)

Expanding the Toolbox for Characterizing Epigenetic Protein-Protein Interactions Mediated by Post-translational Modification

Post-translational modification of histone proteins, including lysine methylation and acylation, regulate gene expression through recruitment of reader proteins to the nucleosome. Dysregulation of these events is prevalent in a wide range of diseases, such that there is much interest in characterizing these modifications and their binding partners.  We have used both supramolecular chemistry and protein engineering approaches to study the protein-protein interactions that are mediated by these post-translational modifications and to develop new tools to sense them.

Chemical Tools that IMPACT Lipid Signaling

The fidelity of intracellular signaling pathways requires that cells control the production of signaling agents in space and in time. Phosphatidic acid (PA) is both a central phospholipid biosynthetic intermediate and a multifunctional lipid second messenger produced at several discrete subcellular locations. The modes of action of PA can differ based on upstream stimulus, biosynthetic source, and site of production. How cells regulate the local production of PA to direct diverse signaling outcomes remains elusive.

Catalysis enabled enantioselective syntheses of Islatravir

Abstract Body: Non-adherence is a major hurdle for the effective treatment of HIV, a global epidemic even after 30 years of medical advancements. Long-acting therapeutics have the potential to improve adherence through simplified regimens. One such investigational medication is MK-8591, a nucleoside reverse transcriptase translocation inhibitor with subnanomolar antiviral activity and a long intracellular half-life. To support this program, a world-class manufacturing synthesis which is robust, green, and sustainable was targeted.


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