This project will continue the ongoing efforts toward the development of new methods for the de novo synthesis of oligosaccharides. While there is a plethora of ways to prepare oligosaccharides from the common sugars, these methods are limited to the synthesis of oligosaccharides that are composed of common sugar subunits. In this project, new methods that use asymmetric catalysis for the synthesis of oligosaccharides from achiral starting materials will be pursued. This de novo asymmetric approach should allow for the preparation of rare sugar containing oligosaccharides (e.g., L-sugars).
With this award, the Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry Program is supporting the research of Professor George O'Doherty of the Department of Chemistry at West Virginia University. Professor O'Doherty's research involves the discovery of new methods for the synthesis of novel carbohydrates. It is believed that having access to these new complex carbohydrate motifs will in turn lead to the better understanding of the biological role complex carbohydrates play in nature. Eventually, these studies should lead to the discovery of new and more selective drugs that regulate these processes and can be used for the treatment of various diseases.