The synthesis of molecules with beneficial biological properties requires precise control of their three-dimensional structure. Thus, the development of fundamental synthetic methods to control the stereochemistry of newly generated centers of chirality has been a long time goal of the Cook Research Group. Specifically, we have developed new asymmetric allylation methods for the selective generation of chiral amines and alcohols utilizing environmentally benign Indium and Bismuth catalysts as well as more traditional transition metal chemistry catalyzed by Palladium. (click here for more details . . . )


Many times compounds isolated from nature have the potential to benefit human health. The synthesis of these molecules is important for several reasons. First, the supply of a compound from its natural source may be limited. Second, the isolation of a compound from a natural source may be harmful to the environment. And in many cases better drugs arise from slight modifications of the natural structure to alleviate side effects and provide more potent health benefits. Our group is interested in utilizing the methodology we develop for total synthesis of target-driven molecules. (click here for more details . . . )


We have been interested in the synthesis of inhibitors for zinc metalloenzymes. One aim is to develop novel inhibitors for the family of chromatin remodeling enzymes, Histone Deacetylases (HDACs). This family of enzymes is responsible for epigenetic regulation of tumor suppressor genes and inhibitors of HDACs are known to be beneficial treatments for several cancers. Additionally, HDAC inhibition may be important in the treatment of other diseases such as Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Asthma and more. We have also recently discovered the  first small molecule activators for HDAC8. (click here for more details . . . )


We are excited to share our expertise and compounds with other researchers. Please contact us.