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 April 27, 2016

NIH Renews Funding for Research on Reductive Coupling

Professor NeidigProfessor Daniel J. Weix and his group have been awarded renewed funding of $1.3 million over 4 years by the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS) to develop new reductive cross-electrophile coupling reactions and study their mechanisms. Cross-electrophile coupling reactions were pioneered in the Weix group and are now frequently used at pharmaceutical companies in drug discovery and development.

In March, Prof. Weix was interviewed by Peter Iglinski with the UR NewsCenter regarding “New Ways to Make Molecules”.   In this interview, he discusses progress made in the initial grant which uncovered two general ways to accomplish the selective coupling of two different electrophiles.  Near the end of the interview, Prof. Weix explains the significance of this work:

“Our reactions are already being applied in the pharmaceutical industry. The larger availability of carbon electrophile starting materials is appealing for “discovery” chemistry, where large numbers of derivatives are made. What we didn’t anticipate is that our chemistry usually provides some amount of product, even if not yet in a high yield. For discovery, this kind of reliability and generality is important. Although high yields are welcome, they aren’t essential. The flip side is “chemical development,” where increasingly large quantities of a single molecule must be made to support clinical trials. High yields and selectivity are required because it is expensive to purify mixtures of products on a large scale. Here, too, our chemistry has found a place because of readily available starting materials and because it is operationally easier than several alternative approaches.”

The complete audio and transcript of this interview is available online at: www.rochester.edu/newscenter/qa-new-ways-to-make-molecules.

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