Organic chemists have the advantage of designing and creating de novo complex molecular architectures. Therefore, central to our research program is the discovery of new reactivities and guiding principles for organic synthesis and their application to solve problems that benefit chemistry and enable advances in the allied fields of chemical biology, material science, and medicine. We are especially attracted to the problems encountered at the frontline of organic synthesis, where established approaches and methods reach their limits and the development of new solutions and approaches is highly desirable and necessary.
Natural Products Chemistry and Synthesis
Natural products provide a powerful setting to examine and study methods as well as to bridge organic synthesis and human medicine. Particular emphasis is placed on identification and analysis of new chemotypes that display promising therapeutic potential and are characterized by novel or unknown activities to disease-related biomolecules. Research interests of the group are the synthesis of structurally complex, biologically active natural products where fresh approaches and methods culminate in innovative design and efficient outcomes.
The discovery and development of novel transformations that advance the field is a continuous endeavor and driving force for the discipline. The Sarlah group is intensely involved in the discovery and development of catalytic asymmetric transformations as well as stoichiometric processes. Specifically, the focus is on transformations that fundamentally expand the retrosynthetic arsenal and provide access to high value-added compounds.
Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry
Synthetic efforts related to secondary metabolites provide material for detailed biological mode-of-action studies and opportunities to assess the set of minimal structural elements that define the pharmacophore. We seek to explore biomolecular mechanisms of action and design simplified, nature-inspired, functional building blocks for discovery chemists in medicinal endeavors and material science.