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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Towards Applications of the Si=C Bond in Organic Synthesis and Pharmaceutical Chemistry: Chemo- and Stereoselective Reactions with Silenes


Compounds with Si=C double bonds, so-called silenes, have traditionally not been considered interesting for organic synthesis. To change this fact, the groups of Dr. Ottosson at Uppsala University, Sweden, and Dr. Steel at Durham University, UK, have recently established a collaborative research program exploring selective reactions with Si=C bonded compounds and the further synthetic elaboration of the products formed. Simultaneously, it has been clarified that Si-containing compounds have no general inherent toxicity due to Si, and that exchange of a C atom to Si in bioactive compounds represents a novel direction in lead discovery in pharmaceutical research. Selective reactions with Si=C bonded compounds should be highly suitable for inclusion of Si in cyclic bioactive molecules. It is now proposed that Dr. Dominik Auer, an inorganic silicon chemist with a recent Ph.D. from Univ. of Wurzburg, Germany, starts on a project that bridge the areas of fundamental silene chemistry, organic synthesis, and pharmaceutical chemistry.

His principal supervisor will be Doc. Ottosson at Uppsala, and co-supervisors will be Dr. Steel at Durham on synthetic applications of silenes, and Dr. Bursne, associate director of Dept. of Medicinal Chemistry at AstraZeneca R&D Mulndal, Sweden. It is proposed that Dr. Auer spends the major time in Uppsala (12 months) and shorter secondments in Durham (3+3 months) and at AstraZeneca R&D Mulndal (3+3 months). The highly interdisciplinary nature of the project meets the needs of European science for well- trained multi-skilled workers and in addition connects academic and industrial research. This is optimal for Dr. Auer who has the ambition to embark on a research career in industry. The project provides him with the essential skills to act in an effective manner in interdisciplinary and international research environments, which are universal in the modern chemical industry.

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