Scott D. Rychnovsky
The research projects in my group encompass two complementary areas: synthetic methodology and bioorganic chemistry. Our synthesis program focuses on designing new methods and strategies for complex natural products synthesis, and our bioorganic program is directed towards understanding the interaction of small organic molecules with biological systems.
New methods and strategies are the life blood of synthetic chemistry. We are developing new methods to assemble molecules and introduce stereogenic centers. Alternating polyol chains are found in many classes of natural products, especially in the polyene macrolide antibiotics. We have developed new methods which allow us to assemble these chains in a convergent manner. We have recently completed the synthesis of the polyene macrolide antibiotic (-)-roxaticin using our new methods.
We are also interested in the structure and biological activity of natural products, and have developed methods to determine the configurations of polyol chains. We have recently determined the relative and absolute configuration of filipin III. We are interested in the mode of action of polyene macrolide antibiotics as antifungal agents, and continue to study their unusual ability to form ion channels in membranes.