Today's medical practice has been mode possible by the major technological breakthroughs of the last hundred years. Thus, patients worldwide have come to appreciate the value of centuries of fundamental scientific research and growing insights. However, few fundamental scienfici disciplines have had the direct and revolutionizing impact as that of natural product (NP) chemistry. This classical research area is devoted to isolating, characterizing and classifying all chemical substances that can be found in living organisms. Whereas NP chemists initially used chemical reactions mainly as a tool to elucidate or verify molecular structure (e.g. in degradation studies), they have mastered organic transformations to the point where it became possible to produce complex NPs starting from basic chemicals. This accomplishment stands as one of the major intellectual milestones of the 20th century, and the possibility of purposefully synthesizing orgnaic substances with a specific and unique structure based on (but not necessarily equal to) that of a NP, has been the key technology on which the pharmaceutical industry has thrived an propelled medical science.
However, since the 1980's, drug discovery has evolved into a highly technology process that is less and less compatible with classical NP chemistry. This project will explore new synthetic strategies that could allow a reintegration of NP chemistry (and synthesis) into modern drug discovery, an area in need of innovation.