The Peczuh Research Group investigates the inter-relationship between structure and function of small molecules in the context of biological activity. Organic synthesis is an integral tool in our research program. We develop new routes to molecules of intermediate complexity to address structure-activity relationships. The Group supports an inclusive research environment that encourages inquiry through rigorous experimentation, sound logic and unconventional thinking.
What We’re Reading
- Neighboring Group ParticipationFor Toni Planas, a sabbatical in rural Connecticut has accelerated a sweet collaboration with Mark Peczuh’s research group. The Glycosidase Team: (L to R) Sergi Pascual, Aditya Pote, Antoni Planas, Mark Peczuh Carbohydrate chemists are readily familiar with the concept of neighboring group participation (NPG), where the electrons of…
- Fischer Fool-Proof: Lessons from Stereochemistry’s Shining DebutAn explication of Fischer’s proof for the configuration of sugars is the capstone lecture in sophomore organic chemistry. This feat of experimentation and logic offers lessons that are of broad utility beyond organic chemistry.
- Hypocrellin A, With a TwistSome time ago my research group stumbled upon a family of macrocycles whose structure contained a somewhat uncommon stereogenic element, a plane of chirality. A plane of chirality arises when restricted rotation around a planar unit in a molecule leads to the formation of stereoisomers. The textbook example (seriously, look at Eliel) is E-cyclooctene. The […]
- Still Working Toward Convergence in Total SynthesisI was at the Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds Gordon Research Conference (GRC) last summer. During the usual free time one afternoon, there was a roundtable discussion about the challenges faced by women in science and strategies to overcome those challenges. The conversation was promoted by the GRC organization, which made sure there was an […]
- How to Organize your Orgo Lecture NotebookWith the hope of sharing best-practices for success in introductory orgo lecture, I asked an undergrad in my department (John Ovian) what he recommended. He gave me a sheet that explained how he organized his notebook and how his notebook became a valuable tool for studying. Those notes, plus some design inspiration from the […]
- A Chocolate Bloom Analogy for Crumbling Concrete in Home Foundations*Have you ever unwrapped a piece of chocolate only to find it has a whitish powder surrounding it? It almost stops you from eating the chocolate, right? Chocolate that gets the whitish powdery appearance is said to have undergone a bloom – called chocolate bloom. Fast temperature changes or exposure to moisture can hasten the […]
- Diazonamide dot-comI was at a conference this summer where Patrick Harran gave a lecture on his group’s approach toward the synthesis of callyspongiolide. It was special. Harran has charisma that, as best as I can gather, comes from a combination of a near photographic memory, tremendous creativity, deference to the contributions others in his field, and […]