Upcoming Events

Chemistry Seminar Peter Woodruff University of Southern Maine "Harnessing enzymes to synthesize probes against pathogenic mycobacteria"

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April 3, 2015 3:00 PM  – 4:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

Mycobacteria, including the pathogenic Mycobacterium tuberculosis, require the sugar trehalose for construction of their cell wall. Trehalose analogs are emerging as valuable tools for inhibiting Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but progress in this area is slow due to the difficulty in synthesizing these compounds using traditional organic synthesis. We invented a chemoenzymatic method for the synthesis of trehalose analogs that employs the heat-stable enzyme trehalose synthase (TreT) from the hyperthermophile Thermoproteus tenax. By using TreT, various trehalose analogues were prepared quickly (1h) in high yield in a single step from readily available glucose analogues. We have shown several of these analogs are incorporated into the mycobacterial cell wall and can be used to detect the bacteria. This research lays the groundwork for imaging tuberculosis infections in live patients

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Chemistry Seminar Michael J. Ardolino Harvard University "Catalyst Design, Methodology Development and Mechanistic Studies in Asymmetric Organo- Organometallic Catalysts."

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April 10, 2015 3:00 PM  – 4:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

Carbon- and heteroatom-bearing stereocenters are common in natural products and have become increasingly prevalent in many of today?s leading pharmaceutical compounds. As a result, enantioselective methods to build chiral molecules are of central importance to fields within organic chemistry ranging from total synthesis to the design and production of therapeutic drugs. In this context, my graduate and post-doctoral research has focused on the development of highly selective, efficient, and robust catalytic asymmetric methodologies that utilize both organic- and organometallic-based catalysts. Specifically, work in the Morken laboratory at Boston College focused on the development of palladium-catalyzed asymmetric allyl-allyl and allyl-propargyl cross-couplings. These methods allowed for the synthesis of synthetically useful branched 1,5-dienes and 1,5-enynes with previously unprecedented enantio- and regioselectivity. Ongoing work at Harvard University in the Jacobsen lab is focused on the development of silicon- and tin-based catalysts for anion-binding. These catalysts provide an attractive alternative to current urea- and thiourea-based anion-binding catalysts as they engage hard anions such as hydroxide and alkoxides through sigma-hole interactions rather than hydrogen-bonding. This talk will summarize each of these areas of research, with a focus on the laboratory and computational-based mechanistic studies that have been utilized to probe elements of reactivity and selectivity and guide further development.

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Joe Dinnocenzo Seminar

April 17, 2015 12:00 PM  – 1:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

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Chemistry Seminars

April 24, 2015 3:00 PM  – 4:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

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Chemistry Seminars

May 1, 2015 3:00 PM  – 4:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

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