Research Interests of the Movassaghi Group

The research interest of the Movassaghi group is synthetic organic chemistry in broad terms, including complex natural product synthesis in concert with the discovery and the development of new reactions for organic synthesis. The group’s focus is the synthesis of structurally interesting and biologically relevant natural products that provide a platform for further methodological developments and detailed mechanistic studies. These synthetic efforts are complemented with programs aimed at the development of new transformations for organic synthesis including catalytic and asymmetric processes.

Synthesis of complex molecules inspires the development of highly selective reactions and provides a platform for the innovation of new strategies for synthesis. Of particular interest are structurally complex and chemically intricate natural products that require the highest level of selectivity and efficiency in their synthesis. Targets are selected on the basis of novel molecular architecture, important biological activity, and the potential for mechanistic studies to address fundamental questions in chemistry in addition to providing insight regarding their biological mode of action. Strategies based on predicted biogenetic pathways of natural products not only refine our perception of their biosynthesis, but also help emulate the efficiency by which nature creates molecular complexity.

The design, discovery, and development of highly selective reactions with broad utility for organic chemistry is central to the research interests of the Movassaghi group. An intimate part of these research activities include mechanistic studies aimed at better understanding the fundamental principles involved in reactivity and selectivity.