Research in the Clift Group

Research in the Clift group focuses heavily on the development of new methods for organic synthesis and the application of this methodolgy towards the total synthesis of bioactive natural products.

Quinone-Promoted Amine Functionalization:  The Clift group is interested in the development of novel reaction manifolds that enable a variety of C−C bond forming events through inert bond functionalization. Specifically, we employ quinones as catalysts and reagents to facitate the alpha-functionalization of amine substrates through C-H and C-C bond cleavage reactions.  The successful development of such reactions has provided new synthetic methods that enable previously challenging chemical transformations.  In a broader context, this work will ultimately accelerate the construction of biologically relevant natural products and other medicinal agents by providing new transforms for the strategic disconnection of these valuable synthetic targets and the late-stage functionalization of amine-containing substrates. 

Natural Product Total Synthesis:  The Clift group is also interested in the application of the chemistry developed in the lab towards the synthesis of alkaloid natural products.  We have recently discovered several novel methods that enable the construction of C-N bonds, and we have become interested in expoiting these methods to develop concise and efficient strategies for complex molecule synthesis.  Specifically, we are interested in alkaloids featuring polyaromatic heterocycles with a range of biological activities, including antimalarial and antibiotic activity.  

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