Description of the Organic Synthesis Core
Introduction and Purpose
The organic synthesis core is designed to provide access to novel compounds not readily available through commercial sources to COBRE faculty as well as others. The well-trained technical staff as well as the core director consult with investigators to understand their particular needs and then design and synthesize appropriate molecules. The staff has synthesized and characterized novel probes for enzymatic reactions, photoactive analogs of a drugs, fluorescent derivatives of small-molecule probes, modified natural products, unnatural peptides and compounds used for a enzyme purification. The core is equipped with appropriate equipment to prepare and characterize organic compounds with molecular weights of 2 kDa or less and has access to appropriate chromatographic and analytical techniques, including NMR and mass spectrometry, that are used to confirm structural assignments.
Specific Functions of Core
The core furnishes modified drugs and natural products tailored to include suitable functional groups for linkage to proteins, peptide-nucleic-acid (PNA) mimics, and polymers or with suitable markers for the detection and monitoring of a particular drug or natural product. Tailoring includes the incorporation of mass-spectrometry markers, fluorescent tags, photoactive groups, or radiolabels, as needed. The laboratory maintains equipment needed for organic synthesis and utilizes infrared, ultraviolet, mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance instrumentation to characterize adducts and establish purity. External laboratories are used to perform combustion analyses. Training opportunities are available for graduate students, technicians and postdoctoral fellows who wish to learn a particular technique and subsequently import it into their research group. The core provides access to equipment (e.g., melting point device, low-pressure distillation equipment, specialized glassware and chromatographic systems) not generally available in biochemical laboratories and provides access to this equipment to any investigators who need it.
Utilization in Individual Projects
The Core Director meets periodically with the COBRE investigators and other faculty to assess their needs and determine future directions where the core might be of assistance.
IThe core maintains an open-door policy for consultation and experimental work with groups across the University.
The core advertises its services and can expand staff and space in response to demand, add specialized pieces of equipment as needed (e.g., ozonolysis and photolysis equipment), offer opportunities for undergraduate and medical students to participate in laboratory work.