The Glaser-Hay reaction involves the coupling of two terminal alkynes. While synthetically useful, chemoselectivity issues have precluded its widespread application. In order to address these issues we immobilize one alkyne on a solid support. We are currently applying these technologies towards the preparation of polyyne libraries and natural products with biological relevance.
The expansion of the genetic code to incorporate unnatural amino acids represents a novel mechanism to diversify the chemical potential of proteins. We are involved in the synthesis and site-specific incoproation of unnatural amino acids utilizing the Schultz methodology in E. coli. A variety of unnatural amino acids have been introduced to both alter protein function and afford bioothogonal chemical handles for applications such as protein immobilization.
The discovery of the vital role miRNAs play in disease progression has made them ideal targets for drug intervention. We are interested in developing both in vitro and in vivo assays to elucidate small molecule modifiers of miRNA activity.
While microwave irradiation has typically been employed in the chemical realm, due to the unique properties of biomacromolecules we are interested in investigating their utility in a biological settting. This includes the activation of enzymatic properties, microwave-mediated PCR reactions and microwave-assisted DNA transformations.