Organic Chemistry

  • Research - Combretastatin Dinitrogen-Substituted-Stilbene
  • Research - Regio- Stereopspecific Synthesis
  • Research - Synthesis and Application of C2-Chiral Phosohinines

Charles M. Garner
Research Group - Research in my group centers around the synthesis and analysis of chiral organic compounds. We are working to improve catalytic asymmetric processes by developing new chiral ligands for transition metal catalysts.

Robert Kane
Research Group - Dr. Kane is the director of the Center for Drug Discovery and the Institute for Biomedical Studies.

Caleb D. Martin
Research Group - Boron-Based Organic Materials and Catalysis

Research in the Martin group is focused on understanding new avenues in organoboron chemistry. Our research is focused on developing new bonding arrangements around the boron centre and subsequently exploring the chemistry of these novel compounds. The desired compounds will have unusual properties and be examined for their utility in optoelectronics, Lewis acid mediated catalysis and small molecule activation reactions. Our research interests span organic, organometallic and materials chemistry.

Kevin G. Pinney
Research Group - A primary focus of the research efforts of the Pinney Group lies in the total synthesis of structurally challenging and biologically relevant and interesting natural and non-natural products.

Daniel Romo
Research Group - For the past 20 years, interests in my independent research laboratory have spanned the development of novel strategies for the synthesis of complex, bioactive natural products with a focus on anticancer agents, mechanism of action studies of these natural products including development of methods for simultaneous arming/SAR studies, biosynthetic studies of natural products, and development of synthetic methodologies with particular emphasis on β-lactones. These studies are enabled and bolstered by highly productive collaborations with laboratories specializing in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, protein crystallography, natural product isolation and biosynthesis, and preclinical studies of anticancer agents. Our expanding collaborative studies led to establishment of the Natural Products LINCHPIN Laboratory in 2010 as an idea incubation center for scientists interested in the synthesis of natural product conjugates useful for identifying their putative cellular receptors and studying their full potential as drug candidates. In one project spanning ~12 years with my long-time collaborator Prof. Jun Liu, we have dissected the mechanism of action of pateamine A and DMDAPatA at the molecular and cellular level. Our collaborative efforts with the Liu lab span numerous natural products at the present time. In numerous other collaborations, we have continued to study the potential of DMDAPatA as a protein synthesis inhibitor and as a drug candidate. Most recently have secured a CPRIT grant in collaboration with Prof. Bill Plunkett (MD Anderson) to study DMDAPatA for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. I have mentored and supervised 20 Ph.D. students, 7 M.S. students, 24 post-doctoral fellows, and >70 undergraduates in my research lab. My group’s research has been described in >100 peer-reviewed publications, 7 issued patents, and 1 pending patent based on research involving natural products as drug leads for cancer and other human ailments.

John L Wood
Research Group - Starting with Wohler's total synthesis of urea almost two centuries ago, the chemical synthesis of naturally occurring molecules has inspired creativity and led chemists to make important advances in areas ranging from drug development to materials science. Unlike many fields where the target of research efforts is defined by the researcher - allowing convenient adjustment to match shortfalls in capability - the goal in natural products synthesis is predefined by nature and the challenge is to develop methods and strategies that allow for the solution of a precise problem; however, for most molecules there is an infinite number of conceivable syntheses. Thus, these intriguing products from nature represent a virtually limitless source of inspiration to chemists; no matter how many times they are targeted for synthesis or successfully prepared, they continue to fuel creativity and scientific achievement in our field and beyond.".