Asymmetric Synthesis

Group of Asymmetric Synthesis

Margus Lopp (group leader), Tõnis Kanger, Anne Paju, Kadri Kriis, Riina Aav
PhD students: Kaja Ilmarinen, Allan Niidu, Artur Jõgi
MSc students: Kristin Raudla, Kärt Kulper, Marju Laars, Marit Laos

This group has developed several new efficient and selective methods of asymmetric synthesis, which are supposed to fulfill the expectations of chemical companies in obtaining of chiral compounds. A new direct method of asymmetric oxidation of ketones developed by this group enables to synthesize several oxygen-containing compounds like α-hydroxy ketones, lactones, lactone-acids, etc. Similar structure units are widely spread among natural bioactive compounds. Very lately the corresponding analogues of natural compounds (for example, alkyl- and carbon-analogues of sugars) have found to be essential because of their antiviral (HIV) and anticancer properties.

Ribose and 2-deoxyribose are used in the nature to save the information in the nucleotides. The same general idea is used while replacing natural sugars to their synthetic analogues. Their synthesis has become relatively easy and flexible due to a new method of asymmetric oxidation of ketones. Now it is possible to synthesize new specific analogues of sugars, which properties differ substantially from its natural prototypes. It is expected that some of them will be used in medicine.

In addition to the abovementioned possibilities these new chiral molecules can be used as starting materials or intermediates (chirons) in the synthesis of complicated structures. Also, obtained new chiral compounds could be applied as organocatalysts in wide variety of reactions.

It is highly probable that methods developed in the group of asymmetric synthesis will be found useful in the new technologies in preparation of pharmaceuticals as well as in research laboratories.

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