Evans, a pioneer in aldol chemistry. As with photochemistry, the Crimmins team elaborated on those aldol foundations. They've found ways to combine a modified aldol reaction developed in their labs with olefin metathesis. That pairing works wonders for building rings, even tough-to-make medium-sized rings, and controlling the stereochemistry on them. "In a moment of insanity," Crimmins jokes, his team decided to use the aldol-metathesis approach to make their most daunting natural product target yet: brevetoxin A, a marine neurotoxin loaded with medium-sized rings. They succeeded and published their synthesis in 2008. At UNC, where he's been ever since he began his independent career in 1981, Crimmins, the senior associate dean for natural sciences, has also explored new ways of harnessing pyrone and cyclobutane rings for chemical synthesis.
by Carmen Drahl |
January 04, 2010