Editor’s Collection: Meet the authors – Dimakos & Taylor

In this month’s Editor’s Collection, Associate Editor Santanu Mukherjee highlighted ‘Recent advances in the direct O-arylation of carbohydrates’ by Dimakos & Taylor as one of his personal favourite recent Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry articles. Here, we catch up with Brett to find out a little bit more about his research.

Let’s meet our researchers:

Victoria Dimakos was born in Toronto. In 2015, she received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Art History at the University of Toronto. As an undergraduate, she was introduced to carbohydrate chemistry in the laboratories of Profs Mark Nitz and Mark S. Taylor. She began her graduate studies in 2015 at the University of Toronto in the Taylor group, where her research has focused on the development of site-selective functionalizations of carbohydrate derivatives using organoboron reagents. She has completed her PhD and is now conducting postdoctoral research with Prof. Stephen Newman at the University of Ottawa.

Mark S. Taylor was born in Oxford, England and grew up in Toronto. He received his B.Sc. in chemistry in 2000 from the University of Toronto. After graduate studies at Harvard University under the supervision of Prof. Eric Jacobsen, he took up a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, working in the research group of Prof. Tim Swager. In 2007, he returned to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto, where he is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Recognition and Catalysis.

What inspired you to write this Review article?

Our interest in O-arylation of carbohydrates arose by chance: Victoria observed a small amount of O-arylation during an unsuccessful attempt to conduct a organoboron-catalyzed oxidation of a carbohydrate. We recognized that this transformation might have value because methods for direct arylation of OH groups in carbohydrates are relatively rare. We wrote the review article to highlight recent discoveries from groups around the globe that have led to new methods for O-arylation of carbohydrates, and to bring attention to the issues and opportunities associated with this transformation.

What primary research are you carrying out in the area?

My group is broadly interested in developing site-selective transformations of carbohydrates, with a focus on catalytic processes. We have used organoboron catalysts and reagents for selective functionalizations of OH groups in sugars, and have recently expanded this program to include selective formation of carbon-centred radicals by hydrogen atom abstraction.

What are your thoughts on the future of this research field?

One dimension of the work described in this review article involves developing new approaches for the preparation of O-aryl glycosides, compounds with established applications in medicinal chemistry and biochemistry. These new approaches may offer complementary advantages to the more established methods. On the other hand, the products of O-arylation at non-anomeric OH groups have not been explored extensively. Considering that aryl groups are important pharmacophores, the ability to append them to carbohydrates in a direct and efficient way may create new opportunities in medicinal chemistry and other fields. Several of the discoveries highlighted in the Review have taken place at the nexus of the carbohydrate chemistry and transition metal catalysis fields, and it is likely that more exciting discoveries will be reported along this line in the future.

 

Read the full article: Recent advances in the direct O-arylation of carbohydrates

See the other articles showcased in this month’s Editor’s Collection

See all the full articles on our publishing platform

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Editor’s Collection: Meet the author – Brett N. Hemric

In this month’s Editor’s Collection, Associate Editor Santanu Mukherjee highlighted ‘Beyond osmium: progress in 1,2-aminooxygenation of alkenes, 1,3-dienes, alkynes,and allenes’ by Brett N. Hemric as one of his personal favourite recent Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry articles. Here, we catch up with Brett to find out a little bit more about his research.

Introducing Dr Brett N. Hemric:

I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, where my father was a science professor. Because of this, I was playing with model kits and exploring the lab at an early age. After attending Liberty University and achieving a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2013, I attended Duke University and worked with Dr. Qiu Wang, earning a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 2018. I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Prof. Scott Denmark at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and I aspire to move into an assistant professor position in the future.

What inspired you to write this Review article?

I have always enjoyed alkene reactions ever since learning about them in undergraduate organic chemistry. There is something fascinating about the inherent “built-in” reactivity of carbon-carbon pi bonds toward electrophiles. In writing this review, I wanted to provide a comprehensive resource for all of the current work on amino oxygenation of alkenes, alkynes, and allenes, since this area has seen a renaissance in recent years after the seminal Sharpless amino hydroxylation work that begun in the 1970s.

What primary research are you carrying out in the area?

My doctoral work focused on alkene amino oxygenation using electrophilic nitrogen species and copper catalysis. We were able to produce a number of methods, both intramolecular and intermolecular, for the amino oxygenation of alkenes and 1,3-dienes. I am currently working in the laboratory of Dr. Scott Denmark and am also working on alkene difunctionalization, so be on the lookout for that soon!

What are your thoughts on the future of this research field?

Although there are a large number of methods in the alkene amino oxygenation literature, future methods will need to accomplish high levels of enantioselectivity on a broad range of substrates, in addition to the diastereo- and regioselectivity already present in many methods. Within the arena of alkyne and allene amino oxygenation, there are significantly fewer intentional research programs toward their functionalization and much more unexplored space for ambitious scientists to devote their efforts towards.

 

Read the full article: Beyond osmium: progress in 1,2-aminooxygenation of alkenes, 1,3-dienes, alkynes,and allenes

See the other articles showcased in this month’s Editor’s Collection

See all the full articles on our publishing platform

 

 

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Editor’s Collection: Santanu Mukherjee

In this month’s Editor’s collection, Associate Editor Professor Santanu Mukherjee is excited to share some of his favorite recent Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry articles

The Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Editor’s collection is a showcase of some of the best articles published in the journal, hand selected by our Associate Editors and Editorial Board members. For this month’s selection, Associate Editor Professor Santanu Mukherjee has highlighted some of his favorite recent works. Take a look at what he thought of the articles below, and find out more about the research and the researchers behind the papers in our interviews with the authors.

Santanu’s Selection: 

Mannich-type allylic C–H functionalization of enol silyl ethers under photoredox–thiol hybrid catalysis

Tsubasa Nakashima, Kohsuke Ohmatsu and Takashi Ooi

Santanu’s comment: “Silyl enol ethers are nucleophilic at α-position and their reaction with electrophiles results in α‑functionalization of carbonyls. The work described in this communication bypasses this conventional reactivity of silyl enol ethers under photoredox-thiol hybrid catalysis to effect β-functionalization of ketones through allylic C–H functionalization of cyclic and acyclic silyl enol ethers.”

Find out more in our interview with the authors

 

Beyond osmium: progress in 1,2-aminooxygenation of alkenes, 1,3-dienes, alkynes,and allenes

Brett N. Hemric

Santanu’s comment: “1,2-Heterodifunctionalization of olefins is an important synthetic transformation, in which 1,2-amino oxygenation occupies a special place. While osmium-catalyzed aminohydroxylation of olefins is a rather well-established method, a number of other strategies are available for carrying out 1,2-amino oxygenation of olefins, even enantioselectively. This comprehensive review beautifully summarises osmium-free 1,2‑amino oxygenation reactions not only of alkenes, but also of 1,3-dienes, alkynes, and allenes.”

Find out more in our interview with the author

 

Recent advances in the direct O-arylation of carbohydrates

Victoria Dimakos and Mark S. Taylor

Santanu’s comment: “O-Aryl glycosides can be found in a variety of natural products having significant bioactivity. The direct C(sp2)–O bond formation between a (hetero)arene derivative and a hydroxy group of carbohydrates presents an attractive synthetic strategy. Recent developments in this direction are reviewed in this article.”

Find out more in our interview with the authors

 

Tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane Catalyzed C−C and C−heteroatom Bond Formation

Gautam Kumar, Sourav Roy and Indranil Chatterjee

Santanu’s comment: “The recent emergence of tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane (BCF) as Lewis acid catalyst has led to the development of a large number of metal-free transformations. This review highlights the most recent examples of BFC-catalyzed (or co-catalyzed) transformations.”

Find out more in our interview with the authors

 

Meet the Editor:

Santanu Mukherjee, OBC Associate Editor

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9651-6228

Santanu Mukherjee obtained his BSc (Chemistry Honors) from R. K. Mission Residential College, Narendrapur (2000) and MSc (Chemistry) from IIT, Kanpur (2002). After completing his doctoral studies with Professor Albrecht Berkessel at Universität zu Köln in 2006, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Benjamin List at Max-Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr (2006-2008) and subsequently with Professor E. J. Corey at Harvard University (2008-2010). In 2010, he returned to India to join the Department of Organic Chemistry at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015. He is a recipient of Thieme Chemistry Journals Award (2011), Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Medal for Young Scientists (2014) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2018).

His research interests primarily revolve around asymmetric catalysis with particular emphasis on the discovery of new enantioselective transformations. His research group mostly relies on hydrogen bonding, Lewis base and bifunctional catalysis. More recently, he is looking to expand his research activities in the realm of iridium-catalyzed asymmetric allylic substitution reactions.

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Editor’s Collection: Meet the authors – Nakashima, Ohmatsu and Ooi

In this month’s Editor’s Collection, Associate Editor Santanu Mukherjee highlighted ‘Mannich-type allylic C–H functionalization of enol silyl ethers under photoredox–thiol hybrid catalysis’ by Ooi et al. as one of his personal favourite recent Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry articles. Here, we catch up with some of the authors to find out a little bit more about their research.

From left to right: Tsubasa Nakashima, Kohsuke Ohmatsu and Takashi Ooi

Let’s meet the researchers!

Tsubasa Nakashima received his B.S. in 2016 and his M. S. degree in 2018 from Nagoya University under the guidance of Prof. Takashi Ooi. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Nagoya University and recipient of a JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists. He was awarded the Chemical Society of Japan Student Presentation Award (2019).

Kohsuke Ohmatsu received his B.S. in 2003 and his Ph.D. in 2008 from Kyoto University under the supervision of Prof. Keiji Maruoka. He started the research in the Ooi group at Nagoya University as an assistant professor in 2008, became a lecturer in 2013, and was then promoted to an associate professor in 2015. He was awarded the Akasaki Prize (2013), the ITbM research award (2013), the Chemical Society of Japan Award for Young Chemists (2016), the Commendation for Science and Technology by MEXT, the Young Scientists’ Prize (2017), Chemist Award BCA (2020), and Thieme Chemistry Journals Award (2021).

Takashi Ooi received his B.S. in 1989 and his Ph.D. in 1994 from Nagoya University under the guidance of Prof. Hisashi Yamamoto. After postdoctoral work with Prof. Julius Rebek, Jr. (MIT, Cambridge), he joined the group of Prof. Keiji Maruoka in Hokkaido University as an assistant professor in 1995, became a lecturer in 1998, and then moved to Kyoto University as an associate professor in 2001. In 2006, he moved to Nagoya University as a full professor. Since 2013, he has been a principal investigator at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (WPI-ITbM) in Nagoya University.

What inspired your research in this area?

The characteristic features of radical reactions that have potential for transforming the way of organic synthesis led us to pursue our approach to the design of catalysts for attaining new reactivity and selectivity. Specifically, our recent research on the efficient hydrogen-atom transfer catalysis (ACS Catal. 2020, 10, 2627) is a basis of the present study, and the leading contributions by Prof. MacMillan and coworkers to the development of the photoredox and organic-molecular hybrid catalysis (e.g. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 8404) greatly inspired us.

What do you personally feel is the most important outcome of your study?

The present study expands the synthetic utility of enol silyl ethers and their analogues, which are readily available, versatile reactants in organic synthesis. The Mannich-type allylic C−H functionalization and subsequent polar reactions of the aminoalkylated enol silyl ethers allows for the rapid access to structurally complex carbonyl compounds.

What directions are you planning to take with your research in future?

We are continuing the studies to expand the scope of the allylic C−H functionalization methodology by exploiting the intrinsic features of enol silyl ethers and/or their radical cations. We will also try to develop regio- or stereoselective variants of this type of transformations.

 

Read the full article: Mannich-type allylic C–H functionalization of enol silyl ethers under photoredox–thiol hybrid catalysis

See the other articles showcased in this month’s Editor’s Collection

See all the full articles on our publishing platform

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Editor’s Collection: Meet the authors – Kumar, Roy and Chatterjee

In this month’s Editor’s Collection, Associate Editor Santanu Mukherjee highlighted ‘Tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane Catalyzed C−C and C−heteroatom Bond Formation’ by Chatterjee et al. as one of his personal favourite recent Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry articles. Here, we catch up with some of the authors to find out a little bit more about their research.

From left to right: Indranil Chatterjee, Sourav Roy and Gautam Kumar

Mr. Gautam Kumar obtained his M. Tech (Chemical Science and Technology) degree from DIAT(DU)-DRDO-Pune in 2018. He joined the IC research group under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Indranil Chatterjee in July 2018 at Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, India as a Ph.D. student. He is working on the methodology developments for organic synthesis.

Mr. Sourav Roy completed his Masters at Bidhannagar Govt. College, Bidhannagar, West Bengal State University in 2017. He joined the IC research group under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Indranil Chatterjee in July 2018 at Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, India as a Ph.D. student. He is working on the methodology developments in organic synthesis.

Dr. Indranil Chatterjee was born in Kolkata, India in 1983. He obtained his B.Sc. from Calcutta University, India in 2006, before joining IIT Kharagpur for his M.Sc. study. In 2008 he moved to Germany for his Ph.D. study at Westfälische Wilhelms-University Muenster under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Armido Studer. After finishing his Ph.D. study in November 2011, he became a Postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Paolo Melchiorre in ICIQ, Tarragona, Spain. From 2014 to 2016, he was a Post-Doc with Prof. Martin Oestreich at the Technische Universität Berlin. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, India.

What inspired you to write this Review article?

The wondrous reactivity of BCF prompted us to work in this field. The versatile capability of BCF is not only restricted to FLP catalysis but extends as a potential Lewis acid to develop verities of transition-metal-free transformation. Therefore, we thought compiling all recent reports in a single frame would be beneficial to the synthetic chemistry community and to new readers looking to develop innovative synthetic methodologies and do more exploration in this blooming area of catalysis.

What primary research are you carrying out in the area?

We started our journey in the field of BCF catalysis in 2018. We were able to successfully develop“Boron Lewis Acid-Catalyzed Regioselective Hydrothiolation of Conjugated Dienes with Thiols” (ACS Catal. 2019, 9, 12, 11627–11633). This unique and high regioselectivity prompted us to explore various regioselective C−heteroatom bond forming reactions using BCF catalysis as an ongoing project.

What are your thoughts on the future of this research field?

This review collectively highlights the recent development and displays a strong prospective towards a new direction for further discovery and sustainable synthesis in this area. We hope this reactivity can be a potential alternative for transition-metal-based catalysts to discover numerous synthetic protocols in the near future with industrial applications. We expect that BCF chemistry will be explored in various C−H bond functionalization strategies and utilized as a co-catalyst in numerous asymmetric transformations.

 

Read the full article: Tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane Catalyzed C−C and C−heteroatom Bond Formation

See the other articles showcased in this month’s Editor’s Collection

See all the full articles on our publishing platform

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Introducing Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Editorial Board member Judy I-Chia Wu

 

We are delighted to welcome Professor Judy I-Chia Wu to the Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Editorial Board!

Judy earned a BS (2004) in Chemistry from Tunghai University, Taiwan, and a PhD (2011) working with Professor Paul Schleyer, at the University of Georgia. In 2015, she began her independent career at the University of Houston, Department of Chemistry. She has received an IUPAC Young Chemist Award, an NSF CAREER Award, and an NIH MIRA award. She was selected as a Sloan Research Fellow in 2020.

Her current research interests span topics in ground and excited-state aromaticity and antiaromaticity, photochemistry, supramolecular chemistry, and enzyme catalysis.

She enjoys long walks with her dog, and writing from a cozy corner.

 

 


See some of Judy’s recent research highlights in this Chemistry World article:

Or find out more by browsing a few of her recent publications:

On the reciprocal relationship between σ-hole bonding and (anti)aromaticity gain in ketocyclopolyenes
Hari Ram Paudel, Lucas José Karas and Judy I-Chia Wu
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2020,18, 5125-5129

Antiaromaticity gain increases the potential for n-type charge transport in hydrogen-bonded π-conjugated cores
Zhili Wen and Judy I-Chia Wu
Chem. Commun., 2020,56, 2008-2011

How does excited-state antiaromaticity affect the acidity strengths of photoacids?
Zhili Wen, Lucas José Karas, Chia-Hua Wu and Judy I-Chia Wu
Chem. Commun., 2020,56, 8380-8383

Why do A·T and G·C self-sort? Hückel aromaticity as a driving force for electronic complementarity in base pairing
Yu Zhang, Chia-Hua Wu and Judy I-Chia Wu
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2019,17, 1881-1885

Superalkali ligands as a building block for aromatic trinuclear Cu(I)–NHC complexes
Rakesh Parida, Subhra Das, Lucas José Karas, Judy I-Chia Wu, Gourisankar Roymahapatra and Santanab Giri
Inorg. Chem. Front., 2019,6, 3336-3344

Mixed-carbene cyclometalated iridium complexes with saturated blue luminescence
Hanah Na, Louise M. Cañada, Zhili Wen, Judy I-Chia Wu and Thomas S. Teets
Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 6254-6260

Azo-triazolide bis-cyclometalated Ir(III) complexes via cyclization of 3-cyanodiarylformazanate ligands
Ge Mu, Zhili Wen, Judy I-Chia Wu and Thomas S. Teets
Dalton Trans., 2020,49, 3775-3785

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Editor’s Collection: Lei Liu

In this month’s Editor’s collection, Associate Editor Professor Lei Liu is excited to share some of his favourite recent Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry articles

The Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Editor’s collection is a showcase of some of the best articles published in the journal, hand selected by our Associate Editors and Editorial Board members. For this month’s selection, Associate Editor Professor Lei Liu has highlighted some of his favourite recent works. Take a look at what he thought of the articles below, and find out more about the research and the researchers behind the papers in our interviews with the authors.

Lei’s Selection: 

Development of functionalized peptides for efficient inhibition of myostatin by selective photooxygenation



Lei’s comment: “Myostatin, a major negative regulator protein of skeletal muscle growth, has been shown to play a key role in homeostasis of skeletal muscle. To develop new approaches for myostatin-targeting therapy, a series of photooxygenation-functionalized molecules were developed through the conjugation of myostatin-binding peptide and on/off-switchable photooxygenation catalyst. One of these molecules can very efficiently inactivate myostatin through irreversible and catalytic photooxygenation. This study demonstrates a novel strategy for myostatin inhibition.”

Find out more in our interview with the authors

 

Cobalt-catalyzed carbonylation of the C–H bond

Lei’s comment: “The use of cobalt catalysts for C-H activation and functionalization reactions has received increasing attentions in recent years due to two reasons: first, cobalt is a cheap metal; second, cobalt catalysis may provide novel reactivity and selectivity. In the review article the authors surveyed the utility of high-valent cobalt catalysis in C–H carbonylation reactions, showing their applications to many pharmaceutically interesting molecules including benzamides, sulphonamides, benzylamines, aryl anilines, phenols and amino alcohols. The success of cobalt catalysis suggests the need to expand studies in the field, particularly carbonylation of the C(sp3 )–H bond.”

Find out more in our interview with the authors

 

DNAzymes for amine and peptide lysine acylation

Lei’s comment: “Site-selective Lys modification of peptides and proteins at various sequence sites is very important to many biotechnology-related fields. The authors report a very interesting work showing that DNAzymes can be used to catalyze amine acylation, including acylation of a Lys residue in a short DNA-anchored peptide. This study not only expands the scope of DNAzyme catalysis, but also suggests the future possible applicability of DNAzymes for sequence-selective Lys modification of pharmaceutically interesting peptides and proteins.”

Find out more in our interview with the authors

 

Integrating abiotic chemical catalysis and enzymatic catalysis in living cells

Lei’s comment: “Recent experiments have indicated that abiotic catalyst modalities can achieve co-operativity with the enzymatic machinery of living cells. Studies in the direction open doors to two very exciting opportunities: First, “catalysis medicine” where synthetic catalysis is used as a bona fide pharmaceutical modality; second, ‘semi-synthetic life’ that combines the desirable features of living organisms with the unique reactivity of abiotic catalysts. This important review article provides very interesting insights into what need to be done in the coming years, a truly exciting area that would combine the powers of modern chemistry and biology.”

Find out more in our interview with the authors

 

Meet the Editor:

ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6290-8602

Professor Lei Liu graduated from University of Science and Technology of China in 1999. He obtained his PhD from Columbia University (2004), and conducted post-doctoral research work at Scripps Research Institute until 2007 when he Liu joined Tsinghua University. Lei Liu works as a Professor in the Chemistry department. His research group is interested in chemical protein synthesis.

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Editor’s Collection: Meet the Authors – Taniguchi, Hayashi et al.

In this month’s Editor’s Collection, Associate Editor Lei Liu highlighted ‘Development of functionalized peptides for efficient inhibition of myostatin by selective photooxygenation’ by Taniguchi, Hayashi et al. as one of his personal favourite recent Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry articles. Here, we catch up with some of the authors to find out a little bit more about their research.

Group photo

From left to right (top row): H Okamoto, Dr A Taniguchi, Dr S Konno (bottom row): Dr A Taguchi, Prof Y Hayashi

Introducing the researchers:

Hideyuki Okamoto obtained his B.S. in pharmacy (2020) from Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences. At present, he is a Ph.D. candidate in the graduate school of the university. He is studying the inhibition of bioactive proteins by photooxygenation.

Dr. Atsuhiko Taniguchi obtained his Ph.D. degree at Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Japan in 2009 under the supervision of Professor Yoshiaki Kiso. He served as a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) research fellow at the same university until 2010. He then worked at Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devises Agency (PMDA) as a reviewer. In 2012, he joined Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science, The University of Tokyo and Japan Science Technology Agency (JST)-ERATO Kanai Life Science Catalysis Project (Professor Motomu Kanai) as a research fellow. He was appointed as a lecturer at Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences (Professor Yoshio Hayashi) in 2016, and promoted to an associate professor in 2020. His current research interests include medicinal chemistry and chemical biology in the peptide and protein sciences.

Dr. Sho Konno is an assistant professor of School of Pharmacy at Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences (TUPLS) in Japan. He received a B.S. in Pharmacy from TUPLS and a Ph.D. in Pharmacy from Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University under the supervision of Professor Hideaki Kakeya. After that, he joined the Professor Michael D. Burkart laboratory in Chemistry and Biochemistry at University of California, San Diego as a postdoctoral fellow. He currently develops the coronavirus protease inhibitors. His research also focuses on understanding and utilizing a peptide macrocyclase of natural product biosynthetic enzymes.

Dr. Akihiro Taguchi received his PhD in 2013 from Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences under the guidance of Professor Yoshio Hayashi. He worked at Department of Medicinal Chemistry (Professor Yoshio Hayashi Lab.), the Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences as an assistant professor in 2013, and promoted to a lecturer in 2020. His current research interests are focused on Peptide Chemistry (development of synthetic methodology for disulfide cyclic peptide) and Medicinal Chemistry.

Prof. Yoshio Hayashi was born in Nagano, Japan, in 1960. After receiving a B.S. at Tokyo University of Pharmacy and an M.S. at Kyoto University, he earned his Ph.D. in 1990 in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, Kyoto University, under the guidance of Emeritus Prof. Haruaki Yajima and Prof. Nobutaka Fujii. His thesis was entitled “Basic research on synthetic peptide vaccines and antiviral agents”. After spending two years at Calpis Food Industry Co., Ltd. and three years at Nippon Steel Corporation (NSC) as a researcher, he was promoted to senior researcher at the Life Science Research Center of the NSC, where he stayed for another eight years. In 1999, he joined Prof. Yoshiaki Kiso’s group in the Dept. of Medicinal Chemistry of Kyoto Pharmaceutical University as a lecturer, and in 2001, was appointed as an associate professor. In 2007, he moved to Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences as a full professor. His research interests are peptide chemistry and medicinal chemistry. He created several peptide-and peptidomimetic-based drug candidates such as Plinabulin (Phase III), negamycin derivative, myostatin inhibitory peptide and SARS-CoV 3CL protease inhibitor for the treatment of cancer, genetic disease, muscle disorder and viral infection, respectively. In recognition of his scientific contributions, in 2009, he received the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan Award for Divisional Scientific Promotions.

 

What inspired your research in this area?

There is no effective treatment for muscle atrophic disorders including muscular dystrophy. We would like to provide a new therapeutic strategy based on inactivation of myostatin by photooxygenation.

 

What do you personally feel is the most important outcome of your study?

Our developed functionalized peptides consisting of myostatin-binding peptide and on/off switchable photocatalyst, exert the photooxygenation activity only when binding with myostatin, leading to the target-selective photooxygenation. Due to the irreversible and catalytic photooxygenation, the functionalized peptides produced more than 1500-fold greater inhibitory effect than the original peptide.

 

What directions are you planning to take with your research in future?

We will conduct in vivo study of photooxygenation of myostatin using the functionalized peptides. In addition, the application of this selective photooxygenation can be expand to targets other than myostatin.

 

Read the full article: Development of functionalized peptides for efficient inhibition of myostatin by selective photooxygenation

See the other articles showcased in this month’s Editor’s Collection

See all the full articles on our publishing platform

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Editor’s Collection: Meet the Authors – Lukasevics and Grigorjeva

In this month’s Editor’s Collection, Associate Editor Lei Liu highlighted ‘Cobalt-catalyzed carbonylation of the C–H bond’ by Lukasevics and Grigorjeva as one of his personal favourite recent Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry articles. Here, we catch up with the authors to find out a little bit more about their research.

Introducing the researchers

Lukass Lukasevics completed his Master’s degree in 2019 at Riga Technical University, Latvia. Currently he is working on his Ph.D. thesis under supervision of Dr. Chem. Liene Grigorjeva at Latvian institute of Organic synthesis, Riga, Latvia. His research interests are focused on the development new methodologies for cobalt catalyzed C-H bond functionalization reactions.

 

 

 

Liene Grigorjeva has received her Ph.D. degree from Riga Technical University (Latvia) in 2013, under the supervision of Prof. Aigars Jirgensons. Then she joined Prof. Daugulis group at the University of Houston (USA) as a postdoctoral researcher (2013-2016). Currently she is principal researcher at Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis and Assistant Professor at Riga Technical University. Her research interests are focused on the development of novel methodology based on C-H bond functionalization under cobalt catalysis.

 

 

 

What motivates your scientific interest in carbonylation?

Direct carbonylation reactions with CO have been immensely exploited both in academic, as well as industrial chemistry. Research in this area has shown its high potential for the synthesis of compounds with a wide range of utility. We believe that cheap, easy to prepare transition metal catalysts could accelerate the development of new methodology for the synthesis of a high value compounds in medicinal and synthetic organic chemistry.

 

What primary research are you doing in this area?

Our research is focused on the development of novel methodology for C-H functionalization using cobalt catalysis. Interestingly,  cobalt catalysts when compared to noble metals display unique reactivity and selectivity which we are excited to explore and apply towards efficient synthetic methodology targeting structurally diverse compounds.

 

How do you hope this review will help and inspire future research in this area?

C-H functionalization using cobalt catalysis recently has emerged as an attractive alternative to noble metals for their low cost and environmentally friendly properties. With this review we want to highlight the achievements made so far and emphasize that this area is still underdeveloped, thereby promoting researchers to make new developments in this field, hopefully, with industrial applications someday.

 

Read the full article: Cobalt-catalyzed carbonylation of the C–H bond

See the other articles showcased in this month’s Editor’s Collection

See all the full articles on our publishing platform

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Editor’s Collection: Meet the Author – Christopher Adamson

In this month’s Editor’s Collection, Associate Editor Lei Liu highlighted ‘Integrating abiotic chemical catalysis and enzymatic catalysis in living cells’ by Adamson and Kanai as one of his personal favourite recent Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry articles. Here, we catch up with first author Christopher Adamson to find out a little bit more about their research.

Christopher Adamson

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your scientific journey so far?

I grew up on a cattle farm in Alberta. During my undergraduate studies, I developed an appetite for organic chemistry. Professors Todd Lowary and Jeffrey Stryker stand out in my memory. My master’s in organic synthesis was followed by two years in process development at Gilead Sciences. In 2018, I started my Ph.D. studies in Tokyo. I see life as an adventure where the journey matters more than the destination.

What motivates your scientific interest in integrating catalysis?

I am constantly blown away by the beauty and complexity of living systems. Somehow, life has little use for boron, fluorine, or noble metals, in spite of the rich abiotic chemistry of these elements. I am convinced that by incorporating abiotic chemistry within living systems, we can access previously unimaginable chemical transformations and develop new tools for understanding cell biology.

 

What primary research are you doing in this area?

I am working on developing organocatalysis for use within living cells. I hope my work leads to practical methods for installing post-translational modifications and activating prodrugs.

 

How do you hope this review will help and inspire future research in this area?

I aim to draw attention to recent work that sets the current tone. I also want to convince researchers in abiotic catalysis that there are many opportunities in cell biology.

 

Read the full article: Integrating abiotic chemical catalysis and enzymatic catalysis in living cells

See the other articles showcased in this month’s Editor’s Collection

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