A long standing goal of the Cook research group is the development of methods to synthesize chiral amines and chiral alcohols. The purpose for their development is the application toward the synthesis of molecules that display novel and interesting biological properties. 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 natural supply of a natural compound 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.
Utilizing our indium- and bismuth-mediated allylation methodology, we have embarked upon the synthesis of important oxindol-containing natural products.