Organic synthesis is a pure and an applied science. The intellectual challenge of pure organic synthesis coupled with the potential to use organic synthesis to help solve real world problems continues to attract generation after generation of talented young scholars to the field. Students at Oregon have excellent opportunities to explore and learn both the depth and breadth of contemporary organic synthesis, and to prepare themselves for organic chemistry related careers in academia and industry.
Oregon has a core of traditional strength in synthetic organic chemistry. The pure aspects of organic synthesis include methodology, strategy & tactics and target-focused total synthesis. These aspects are well represented in a variety of research programs at Oregon including: exploration of new organometallic-based synthetic organic methods (Haley) ; development of new synthetic strategies & tactics for synthesis of drugs (Keana), synthesis and studies of heterocycles (Haley, Keana), novel tools for biochemical and biophysical studies (Keana) and new types of unsaturated hydrocarbon structures (Haley).
In addition, there are a broad range of research problems under study at Oregon which apply organic synthesis as a key component. Programs that illustrate the diversity of applied synthesis include: synthesis of new molecular recognition agents (D.W. Johnson); synthesis of hybrid conjugated polymer/polypeptide materials (Hutchison); synthesis of novel receptors, ligands and enzyme inhibitors for drug design discovery (Keana); preparation of novel ligands for use in organometallic mechanistic studies and in catalysis (Haley, Tyler,); synthesis of water-soluble ligands for applications in catalysis (Tyler); and metals-in-medicine (D.W. Johnson); synthesis of functional molecules for non-linear optical applications (Haley, Page); and preparation and evaluation of new types of metal ion sensors and chelators (Doxsee, Haley, Hutchison, D.W. Johnson).
*Professor Keana has retired from research and teaching activities but continues to serve as a medicinal chemistry/organic chemistry consultant for several small biopharmaceutical companies and several patent law firms.