Our research is focused on developing new methods for the formation of carbon-carbon bonds. This plays an important role in the synthesis of a wide-range of chemical structures, including many drugs that are used to treat numerous diseases. Towards this end, we employ carboxylic acids and their mimics to create novel reactive groups that improve on the current transition-metal based coupling partners. The employment of carboxylic acids has many advantages, including their wide availability, general stability and their low environmental impact since no metal based side-products are formed. While using sulfinate salts allow for a more facile extrusion of SO2 compared to CO2, rendering the coupling of aryl and heteroaromatic sulfinates with aryl bromides possible without the need of a co-catalyst.
Organic and Medicinal Chemistry
Additionally, we are interested in developing novel inhibitors of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), an infection that is a major cause of chronic liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Despite the advances in the therapies available to treat HCV, a major concern is the emergence of drug-resistant variants of the virus. Targeting novel stages of the replication process, such as NS2 protease, will increase our arsenal of weapons available to combat this disease.
The goal of this project is the synthesis of small molecule inhibitors of HCV that specifically target the NS2 protease and furthers our fundamental understanding of this important protein. The research in our group employs synthetic- and method-based organic chemistry to delve into these important research areas.