» Research Interests
Total synthesis and functional analysis of biologically active natural products
1. Development of new synthetic methodologies for total synthesis
2. Total synthesis of highly oxygenated polycyclic natural products
3. Total synthesis and functional analysis of ion channel-forming molecules
4. Total synthesis and functional analysis of antimicrobial molecules
5. Synthesis of new artificial molecules by modification of natural products templates
Natural products have been tremendously important in biology and human medicine because of their power to modulate signal transductions of biological system. Three-dimensional structures of natural products are highly optimized for function through evolutionary processes; functional information is manifested by sophisticated assemblages of various ring systems and functional groups. Since the removal of sub-structures of the natural products often leads to significant losses of their activity, total chemical syntheses of their entire structures with a precision at an atomic level are necessary to provide sufficient amounts of material required for biological and medical applications. Architecturally complex natural products with molecular weight over 1000 are capable of highly specific interactions with their target proteins. Therefore, they are powerful agents for selectively controlling intricate biological systems.
The goal of our research program is efficient, practical and flexible syntheses of gigantic natural molecules, which include highly oxygenated polycyclic natural products as well as ion channel-forming peptides. At the core of this research program is the development of new strategies for assembling architecturally complex natural products in a concise fashion. These synthetic developments would enable unified synthesis of new artificial analogs by modification of natural products templates. The new synthetic methods for the natural products and the synthetic analogs will allow us to tailor and enhance their drug like properties, to gain control over diverse signal transductions thereby offering new research methods for the study of life science.
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