The development of novel routes to stereochemically and structurally complex targets of biological interest remains of paramount importance. New strategies, bond disconnections, and catalysts that exploit standard functional groups in innovative ways each contribute to the overall goal of increased scope and efficiency, and decreased time and cost. Catalysis, the use of substoichiometric amounts of reagent, without the need for covalent attachment or pretreatment, carries with it the promise of greener, more efficient, more selective methods for synthesis. This proposal seeks to develop novel methods to use traditional functional groups in non-traditional ways, accessing hitherto unavailable bond disconnection strategies in an effort to greatly expand our toolkit. In the context of this researc, we will apply these strategies to the formation of lactams, common structural features across many families of biologically active molecules. The specific goals of this research are as follows: 1) Develop asymmetric intermolecular Stetter reactions involving less activated Michael acceptors;2) Control stereochemistry at the beta position via the homoenolate reactivity pathway;3) Investigate oxidative pathways of enal activation;4) Control oxidatively initiated [3+2]-type annulation of enals leading to cyclopentanone products. The long-term impact of this science is to enable chemists to rapidly assemble complex structures with high efficiency.

Public Health Relevance

One of the most significant barriers to health-related research involving small molecules is the rapid assembly of therapeutic agents. This proposal seeks to develop new methods to synthesize complex frameworks using easily accessible precursors with high efficiency.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Synthetic and Biological Chemistry A Study Section (SBCA)
Program Officer
Lees, Robert G
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Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Fort Collins
United States
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Chen, Dian-Feng; Rovis, Tomislav (2017) N-Heterocyclic Carbene and Chiral Brønsted Acid Cooperative Catalysis for a Highly Enantioselective [4+2] Annulation. Synthesis (Stuttg) 49:293-298
Niu, Yijie; Wang, Ning; Muñoz, Alberto et al. (2017) Experimental and Computational Gas Phase Acidities of Conjugate Acids of Triazolylidene Carbenes: Rationalizing Subtle Electronic Effects. J Am Chem Soc 139:14917-14930
White, Nicholas A; Rovis, Tomislav (2015) Oxidatively Initiated NHC-Catalyzed Enantioselective Synthesis of 3,4-Disubstituted Cyclopentanones from Enals. J Am Chem Soc 137:10112-5
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Flanigan, Darrin M; Romanov-Michailidis, Fedor; White, Nicholas A et al. (2015) Organocatalytic Reactions Enabled by N-Heterocyclic Carbenes. Chem Rev 115:9307-87
Rubush, David M; Rovis, Tomislav (2014) Stereoselective Synthesis of Dioxolanes and Oxazolidines via a Desymmetrization Acetalization/Michael Cascade. Synlett 25:713-717
Ozboya, Kerem E; Rovis, Tomislav (2014) A Late Stage Strategy for the Functionalization of Triazolium-based NHC catalysts. Synlett 25:2665-2668
White, Nicholas A; Ozboya, Kerem E; Flanigan, Darrin M et al. (2014) Rapid Construction of (-)-Paroxetine and (-)-Femoxetine via N-Heterocyclic Carbene Catalyzed Homoenolate Addition to Nitroalkenes. Asian J Org Chem 3:442-444
White, Nicholas A; Rovis, Tomislav (2014) Enantioselective N-heterocyclic carbene-catalyzed ?-hydroxylation of enals using nitroarenes: an atom transfer reaction that proceeds via single electron transfer. J Am Chem Soc 136:14674-7
Hsieh, Sheng-Ying; Wanner, Benedikt; Wheeler, Philip et al. (2014) Stereoelectronic basis for the kinetic resolution of N-heterocycles with chiral acylating reagents. Chemistry 20:7228-31

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