Our research activity revolves around the development of wide-ranging, efficient stereoselective processes based on the reactivity of metal enolates and their application to the synthesis of natural products.
In particular, the high nucleophilicity of titanium(IV) enolates from chiral ketones has been fundamental to the design of new, highly stereoselective Michael and aldol reactions. Additionally, the discovery of their biradical nature has enabled us to use these enolates in radical processes. Essentially, the nucleophilic and the radical nature of titanium(IV) enolates are two aspects of the same species which can be used, without distinction, for the stereoselective construction of carbon-carbon and carbon-oxygen bonds.
We are also interested in the use of structurally simple nickel(II) complexes for the development of new catalytic and asymmetric additions of nickel(II) enolates to cationic intermediates in SN1 processes.
The application of these methods to the synthesis of natural products, such as tedanolide C (pictured on the right), is clear proof of their potential where synthesis is concerned.
For us, the synthesis of natural products is a source of inspiration and a test bed for developing new, simple, effective asymmetric synthesis methods. .