Besides discovery of small molecule catalysis and natural product biomimetic synthesis, we are also interested in developing novel reagents for practical transformations to rapidly assemble unnatural complex molecules. The combination of chemical synthesis and biosynthesis of biologically valuable molecules is an important part of our pursuits for exciting discoveries of biomaterials, chemical biology as well as pharmaceutical agents to solve serious health problem in living system.
Overall, the inspiration from natural living system to develop small molecule catalyst, organocascade assembling of complex molecule will eventually result in discovery of novel bio-valuable molecules, which in turn serve as significant regulatory tools for a variety of biological pathways in living system. During this conceivably “functional cycle”, small molecule and living organism can be thought of as complementary forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which each could promote mutually by the other. We presumptively demonstrate this as “Functional Reincarnation of Organic Molecule”, thereupon we bear persistent enthusiasm for the pursuit of ideal discovery of novel molecules and interpretation their bioactive mechanism of act.
The use of small molecules to probe systematic and disease-associated biological phenomena is an important aspect of our research. Motivated by the urgent and valuable applications of small molecules in therapeutics and biomedical research, we are devoted to synthesizing new organic, inorganic, and organometallic molecules that applicable to a wide variety of biological areas conducted at NIBS. We are working on the molecule discovery and collection through synthetic method development with the aim of expanding chemical diversity in novel ways. Molecules synthesized in the our lab are inherently integrated for the purpose of examining their biological properties. The outcomes of this biological evaluation and the performance in biological screening are the main guidance for further synthesis design. After a range of chemicals is screened against a particular drug target or disease model, and the qualified “hits” chemicals are concentrated and analyzed. Commonalities among the different chemical groups are studied as they are often reflective of a particular chemical subunit. Additional chemical synthesis will be enforced to extend out the chemical library through “activity-oriented synthesis” in that particular subspace by generating more compounds with subtle and profound modifications. This new selection of compounds within this narrow range are further investigated and then taken on to more sophisticated models for further validation. Chemical compounds need to satisfy a variety of constraints before they become pharmaceutical candidate, including solubility, oral bioavailability, cell membrane permeability, liver enzyme activity, plasma protein binding, penetration of the blood-brain barrier, toxicity, and many others. We are focusing on the structure design to improve molecular properties that are not limited to known rules.