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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V006401/1
Title: Light-Driven Multicomponent C-C Couplings: New Avenues to Bioactive Molecules
Principal Investigator: Silvi, Dr M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 14 July 2021 Ends: 13 July 2024 Value (£): 403,633
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Chemical Synthetic Methodology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
22 Jul 2020 EPSRC Physical Sciences - July 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Synthetic chemistry lays at the heart of Science and Technology and has greatly enabled the development of important life-changing discoveries. For instance, the discovery of novel powerful medicines generally requires the study of a number of structural analogues of complex chemical structures. Traditionally, to construct these analogues, pairs of elementary molecular fragments are connected in a sequence of chemical steps to form new carbon-carbon (C-C) bonds. This enhances the complexity of the intermediates until the desired molecule is achieved. However, the variety of structures accessible is generally limited by the chemical space available and the time/resources required to achieve the desired compound, defining strict boundaries to chemists' imagination for the construction of the medicines of tomorrow.

In contrast to traditional pair assembly chemistry, this proposal introduces a novel visible-light driven process which allows the multicomponent assembly of complex molecular fragments in a single chemical step. Two new C-C bonds are formed in the process, one of which is a synthetically versatile double bond, useful moiety for further structure manipulation. The chemistry is triggered by an unprecedented redox generation of a phosphorus ylide from a phosphonium salt, which is used as a linchpin between the chemical fragments in this ambitious multicomponent C-C coupling.

The mild conditions required for this methodology will allow the rapid modification of complex bioactive molecules, generating myriad novel structural analogues for the creation of new medicines.

Complex molecules containing ubiquitous functional groups (i.e. carboxylic acids or alcohol/amine derivatives) and even simple sp3 C-H bonds would undergo the desired reactivity, defining a substantial scope for future applications.

The wide application of our methodology will be exemplified in the preparation of a suite of novel analogues of leelamine, a cheap and readily available molecule with anti-cancer activity, potentially providing novel powerful chemotherapeutics for the treatment of a challenging illness.
Key Findings
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk