Designing Catalysts for Biomedical Research

One of the most significant impediments to the discovery of new medicinal agents is the inability to assemble complex molecules rapidly, efficiently, and with predictable outcomes.

Tristan H. Lambert, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, aims to address major technological gaps in organic synthesis through innovations in catalysis, which will accelerate the preparation of medicinal lead structures.

Chemical catalysis has long been a potent force for advancing biomedical research by enabling the construction of biologically important molecules with ever-increasing speed, efficiency, and versatility. One of the most potent driving forces for progress in the area of catalysis has been the discovery of new catalytic platforms and concepts.

Lambert’s team develops novel catalytic platforms that utilize stable but electrically charged species as a key part of their molecular anatomy. In particular, the researchers have employed aromatic ions such as cyclopropenium ion and cyclopentadienyl anion for the design of several highly effective catalyst platforms.

Moving forward, the major challenges are to develop catalysts that are capable of engaging an increasingly broad range of molecular substrates, while still maintaining control over the issues of selectivity. Solving these challenges will require new catalysts that are reactive, diversifiable, yet trivial to prepare. These investigations into the use of ionic structures for catalysis will continue to push advancements in chemical synthesis.

NIH Award Number: 1R35GM127135-01

Cornell Researchers

Funding Received

$2.3 Million spanning 5 years