“In an age when chiral phase-transfer catalysts were all derived from Cinchona alkaloids, he introduced a design not reliant on [a chiral starting material], which has proven to be more malleable and, more importantly, far more effective,” Colorado State University chemistry professor Tomislav Rovis says. “Given that about 20% of the top 500, best-selling medicines utilize α-amino acids as starting materials and pharmaceutical intermediates, his technology is of great significance and will likely prove to be more and more important in pharmaceutical areas in the near future,” Rovis adds. Maruoka’s ongoing research interests are in the areas of bidentate Lewis acids in organic synthesis, molecular recognition with bowl-shaped molecules, and practical asymmetric synthesis with chiral organocatalysts.
by Ann M. Thayer |
February 28, 2011