Welcome to the Lakshman research laboratories

The research conducted in our laboratories involves organic chemical synthesis and particularly those pertaining to questions of biological interest. The program has many facets but can be broadly divided into the following areas. The links shown to the left provide listings of publications on the specific topics.

Catalysis Chemistry. This area involves the development of metal-mediated methods, primarily for nucleoside modification and also other molecules of biological interest. Metals that have been studied so far are palladium, copper, and ruthenium. Also of interest is the development and study of new catalytic systems. Via collaborations, we have begun to use some computational methods in this area.

Nucleoside Modification Chemistry. This area overlaps with our interests in catalysis chemistry as well as the chemistry and biology of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Additionally, we are also developing uncatalyzed methods for nucleoside modification. In this context we have been exploring unusual reactions of peptide coupling agents for transformations that have not been previously studied.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Chemistry. In this area, there are numerous aspects we are involved with. For example, in one aspect we are developing diastereoselective syntheses of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon derivatives, which when conjugated with appropriate nucleosides, then lead to stereochemically-defined nucleoside adducts. Such adducts can then be appropriately functionalized and incorporated into short DNA fragment, which are probes of structure and biological output. Another avenue of investigation is the development of novel synthetic methodology for synthesis of functionalized non-planar hydrocarbons for probing questions on metabolism. We have also been using computational methodology in some aspects with collaborations.

Synthetic Methodology. An broadly encompassing theme of our research is the development, mechanistic understanding, and general utility of chemical methodologies developed. Some examples of new chemical methodology development are our studies on the use of diboron reagents for deoxygenation, studies in aryne cycloadditions, and investigations into the unusual reactions of peptide coupling agents.

Contact: mlakshman[ at ]ccny.cuny.edu
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