Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Baran, Phil S.
Location Scripps Research
Primary Field Chemistry
 Election Citation
Baran has risen rapidly to a major position in the field of chemical synthesis of complicated organic molecules. He has developed remarkably short, efficient and practical synthetic pathways to many biologically active compounds. He has invented new strategies and methods of synthesis which have advanced both academic and industrial research.
 Research Interests
The Baran laboratory is committed to identifying areas of chemical synthesis that can have a dramatic impact on the rate of drug discovery and development. This is achieved both through the development of practical total syntheses of complex natural products and by inventing reactions which can dramatically simplify retrosynthesis. Within the former area, the lab has advocated for and demonstrated how systematically aiming for "ideal" synthesis pathways can dramatically simplify routes to a variety of molecules in alkaloid, terpene, and peptide classes. This has been accomplished through a systematic use of C-H functionalization logic, deliberate avoidance of protecting groups, and strategic consideration of molecular redox states. In the latter area, focus has been on the invention of new tools (reagents and methods) that can be widely adopted by the largest body of practicing biomedical scientists, namely those in pharmaceutical industry. Of particular interest are methods for the construction of medicinally relevant C-C, C-O, C-N, C-B, and C-X bonds directly from minimally functionalized starting materials such as olefins, carboxylic acids, or simply exposed and innately reactive C-H bonds.

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