Professor Maciej Walczak, University of Colorado at Boulder. "Next-generation tools for the synthesis of small molecules and biologics." Special Seminar.
Abstract: The Walczak group studies methods to prepare and manipulate complex natural products and biologics such as (oligo)saccharides, peptides, and proteins. Our current interests are focused on the synthesis and chemical biology of mammalian and bacterial glycans that are known to engage in biological recognition and signaling events and show a promising therapeutic and diagnostic potential. While chemical synthesis has enabled a better understanding of the role of saccharides in homeostatic and developmental processes, key obstacles such as suboptimal selectivities in chemical glycosylation reactions await broadly applicable solutions. In this presentation, I will describe the development of metal-catalyzed methods that capitalize on stereoretentive reactions of anomeric nucleophiles suitable for the formation of C(sp3)-C and C(sp3)-heteroatom bonds. This seminar will also feature selected applications of the glycosyl cross-coupling method, mechanistic and computational studies that guided new reaction discovery, and integration with modern automation.