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Professor Matthew Gaunt

Portrait of mjg32

New Catalytic Strategies for Chemical Synthesis

Despite the changing face of chemistry, the importance of synthesis - the ability to generate molecules in a controlled fashion - has not diminished. However, the increasingly complex synthetic problems being posed by nature, medicine and materials demand new reactivity concepts and strategies in order to meet these challenges.

 

Our group is interested in the development of new catalytic strategies for chemical synthesis that engage novel reactivity concepts to enable the rapid generation of architecturally complex molecules and natural products. One of our key aims is to be able to construct natural products from simple building blocks in a single step, without the need for reactivity inducing functional groups and with the ability to control the stereochemistry.

In this way, we hope to be able to develop a chemo-catalytic equivalent to Nature's biosynthetic machinery that will enable us to build any molecule we want. Our approach to this is focussed on three main research programmes:

(A) metal catalyzed C-H bond functionalization,

(B) catalytic asymmetric synthesis using small molecule organic catalysts,

(C) cascade strategies for natural product synthesis.

In addition to this, many of the molecules that we are able to synthesise have interesting biological properties, and so we are also able to develop chemical biology applications from our synthetic chemistry projects.

Publications

A counteranion triggered arylation strategy using diaryliodonium fluorides
L Chan, A McNally, QY Toh, A Mendoza, MJ Gaunt – Chem. Sci. (2015) 6, 1277
A concise and scalable strategy for the total synthesis of dictyodendrin B based on sequential C-H functionalization
AK Pitts, F O'Hara, RH Snell, MJ Gaunt – Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (2015) 54, 5451
Gram-Scale Enantioselective Formal Synthesis of Morphine through an ortho-para Oxidative Phenolic Coupling Strategy
M Tissot, RJ Phipps, C Lucas, RM Leon, RD Pace, T Ngouansavanh, MJ Gaunt – Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (2014) 53, 13498
Copper-catalyzed difunctionalization of alkenes as a new strategy for the rapid synthesis of 1, 3, 5 ... n polyols
D Holt, MJ Gaunt – ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY (2014) 248
Pd(II)-catalyzed C(5p(3))-H carbonylation: Enabling access to beta-keto carboxylic acid
DKH Ho, MJ Gaunt – ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY (2014) 248
Synthesis of dictyodendrin B by sequential C-H functionalisation: A tool for complex molecule synthesis
AK Pitts, RH Snell, F O'Hara, MJ Gaunt – ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY (2014) 248
Cu-catalyzed cascades to carbocycles: union of diaryliodonium salts with alkenes or alkynes exploiting remote carbocations.
F Zhang, S Das, AJ Walkinshaw, A Casitas, M Taylor, MG Suero, MJ Gaunt – Journal of the American Chemical Society (2014) 136, 8851
Palladium-catalysed C-H activation of aliphatic amines to give strained nitrogen heterocycles.
A McNally, B Haffemayer, BS Collins, MJ Gaunt – Nature (2014) 510, 129
Palladium-catalysed C–H activation of aliphatic amines to give strained nitrogen heterocycles
A McNally, B Haffemayer, BSL Collins, MJ Gaunt – Nature (2014) 510, 129
Copper-catalyzed carboarylation of alkynes via vinyl cations
AJ Walkinshaw, W Xu, MG Suero, MJ Gaunt – Journal of the American Chemical Society (2013) 135, 12532
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Research Group

Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336364 (shared)
01223 336318

Email address

mjg32@cam.ac.uk