The carbonyl group is a structural motif common in a diverse range of natural products and pharmaceutical agents used to treat human diseases. This project involves the systematic expansion of hydroacylation as an ideal and powerful strategy for making carbonyl-containing compounds, including both esters and ketones. This innovative approach will lead to step- and atom-economical, sustainable, and stereoselective methods that greatly bolster our ability to access molecules relevant to human health, including enantiopure heterocycles and polyketides. In addition, these studies will provide efficient ways to make building blocks that can be elaborated to bioactive structures. Besides the practical value, this project will provide fundamental insights into the use of various catalysts, including rhodium, ruthenium, cobalt, and nickel, for the activation and functionalization of carbon-hydrogen bonds-a long standing challenge in modern organic chemistry.

Public Health Relevance

Our ability to discover new medicines and subsequently prepare these medicines on large-scale relies on the availability of versatile and practical methods for building organic molecules. In this context, hydroacylation is an ideal, environmentally friendly, and powerful way to transform simple compounds (e.g., aldehydes) into a wide range of valuable building blocks and final targets. By both rationale design and experimental observation, this project will transform hydroacylation into a broadly useful tool for building molecular structures relevant to understanding biology and treating human disease.

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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University of California Irvine
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Chen, Zhiwei; Dong, Vy M (2017) Enantioselective semireduction of allenes. Nat Commun 8:784
Cruz, Faben A; Chen, Zhiwei; Kurtoic, Sarah I et al. (2016) Tandem Rh-catalysis: decarboxylative ?-keto acid and alkyne cross-coupling. Chem Commun (Camb) 52:5836-9
Park, Jung-Woo; Chen, Zhiwei; Dong, Vy M (2016) Rhodium-Catalyzed Enantioselective Cycloisomerization to Cyclohexenes Bearing Quaternary Carbon Centers. J Am Chem Soc 138:3310-3
Chen, Qing-An; Chen, Zhiwei; Dong, Vy M (2015) Rhodium-Catalyzed Enantioselective Hydroamination of Alkynes with Indolines. J Am Chem Soc 137:8392-5
Park, Jung-Woo; Kou, Kevin G M; Kim, Daniel K et al. (2015) Rh-Catalyzed Desymmetrization of ?-Quaternary Centers by Isomerization-Hydroacylation. Chem Sci 6:4479-4483
Whittaker, Aaron M; Dong, Vy M (2015) Nickel-catalyzed dehydrogenative cross-coupling: direct transformation of aldehydes into esters and amides. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 54:1312-5
Murphy, Stephen K; Park, Jung-Woo; Cruz, Faben A et al. (2015) Organic chemistry. Rh-catalyzed C-C bond cleavage by transfer hydroformylation. Science 347:56-60
Kou, K G M; Dong, V M (2015) Tandem rhodium catalysis: exploiting sulfoxides for asymmetric transition-metal catalysis. Org Biomol Chem 13:5844-7
Chen, Qing-An; Cruz, Faben A; Dong, Vy M (2015) Alkyne hydroacylation: switching regioselectivity by tandem ruthenium catalysis. J Am Chem Soc 137:3157-60
Murphy, Stephen K; Bruch, Achim; Dong, Vy M (2015) Mechanistic insights into hydroacylation with non-chelating aldehydes†Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Materials and methods, reaction procedures, characterization data. CCDC 1012849. For ESI and crystallographic data in CIF or other Chem Sci 6:174-180

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