We are interested in both development of novel chemical transformations, especially those of transition-metal catalysis, and total synthesis of natural products with significant biological activities.
Au salts have been shown as exceptional catalysts to activate alkynes for nucleophilic reactions. However, Au-catalyzed activation of allenes has not been studied much. We are interested in general in Au-catalyzed reactions of allenes. Currently we are studying the reactivities of allenyl esters in the presence of Gold catalysts. Those allenyl esters can be generated in situ from readily available propargylic esters via the catalysis of the very same Au salts. A range of efficient Au-catalyzed tandem reactions of propargylic esters leading to novel structures and synthetically important intermediates have been developed. Examples are shown below.
Phosphoranyl Radical-Mediated Deoxygenative Reactions
Phosphoranyl radicals can induce deoxygenation through chemo- and regioselective fragmentation of more hindered C-O bonds. Our efforts will be focused on developing new methods for deoxygenation of carbonyl compounds mediated by phosphoranyl radicals under neutral and mild radical reaction conditions.
Natural Products Synthesis
We are also interested in the total synthesis of Pelorusida A and Variecolin. Peloruside A is microtubule-stabilizing agent and Variecolin is a potent immunosuppressant. Successful synthesis of these biologically important compounds will provide ready access to their structural analogs, facilitating their SAR studies.