Total Synthesis via Tandem Catalysis

September 8, 2017

Dr. Mingji Dai, Purdue University

This talk will highlight elements of our recent efforts in developing novel strategies and methodologies for divergent and efficient synthesis of medicinally important natural products. Particular emphasis will be placed on two research projects. One will focus on our discoveries of tandem catalytic carbonylation reactions for the total syntheses of macrolides and spirocyclic natural products. In these syntheses, cheap and abundant carbon monoxide was used as a one-carbon linchpin to stitch relatively simple starting materials into complex structures, which significantly improved synthetic efficiency. The other one will highlight our recent synthesis of polycyclic diterpene molecules via tandem gold catalysis. Preliminary biological evaluations of some of our target molecules will be discussed as well.

Speaker Bio:

Mingji Dai received his B.S. degree from Peking University in 2002. After two years’ research with Professors Zhen Yang and Jiahua Chen in the same university, he went to New York in 2004 and pursued graduate study under the guidance of Professor Samuel J. Danishefsky. After earning his Ph.D. degree in 2009, he took a postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Professor Stuart L. Schreiber at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. In the August of 2012, he began his independent career as an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department of Purdue University. His lab currently focuses on developing new strategies and methodologies for the synthesis of complex natural products and other medicinally and biologically important molecules.