The paradigm of organocatalysis, wherein small organic molecules serve as reaction catalysts, has emerged as a valuable source of innovation over the past 15 years, delivering over 200 new asymmetric transformations. The MacMillan group have consistently been at the forefront of organocatalysis research, and to date have pioneered over 30 catalytic transformations of immense practicality and synthetic utility.
Recently the group have popularised a powerful strategy for enantioselective catalysis based on the synergistic merger of organocatalysis and transition metal catalysis. The concept of synergistic catalysis, which draws inspiration from biosynthetic models, envisions the simultaneous activation of two reactants through the productive merger of two separate catalytic cycles. Working within the pioneering research group of Prof. David MacMillan, the Outgoing Phase project aims to further develop the concept of synergistic catalysis. In particular, a powerful new strategy for the enantioselective functionalisation of aldehydes using boronic acids as coupling partners will be developed based on the merger of organocatalysis and transition metal catalysis. The Return Phase project seeks to develop the high-profile area of transition metal catalysed C-H bond activation. The capacity to activate a specific 'inert' C-H bond and transform it into a more versatile functional group represents the ultimate synthetic transformation and offers significant benefits to organic chemists.
The concepts described are expected to be widely adopted by practitioners of chemical synthesis throughout the realm of biomedical research, thereby greatly benefiting European science. The importance of the research topics and high profile collaboration between two world-class research institutes will increase scientific excellence and provide opportunities to widely advertise participation in Marie Curie Actions.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/organic chemistry/aldehydes
Call for proposal
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