SYNFORM is available as part of the online editions of SYNTHESIS, SYNLETT and SYNFACTS through Thieme eJournals. This supplementary feature is available free of charge. SYNFORM presents people, trends, and views in synthetic organic chemistry with direct links to all quoted original papers. To view or download issues of SYNFORM, please click here.
These days Chemistry is changing deeply. On one hand it is becoming progressively more important for a number of exciting new applications at the interface with biomedicine, imaging, materials science, energy and environmental sciences. On the other hand, it is becoming progressively less visible as a single discipline, as demonstrated by the paucity of funding available to support chemistry-focused projects and the fact that many academic chemists are nowadays embedded into non-chemistry departments, giving a key contribution to the development of new and multidisciplinary research areas. Curiously, the current tendency of pharmaceutical companies to outsource large and increasing portions of their research is favoring the opposite effect, namely the growth of Contract Research Organizations (CROs) with a very specific and focused chemistry know-how, for example on the synthesis of small molecules and peptides, bioconjugates and molecular tools for biomedical applications. My feeling is that, albeit in a fluctuating and quickly changing global arena, chemistry will continue to grow in importance and these changes represent a fantastic opportunity for creative chemists rather than a threat for chemistry as a discipline. The increasingly applied and interdisciplinary nature of modern organic chemistry is well demonstrated by the SYNSTORIES featured in this issue of SYNFORM: a very efficient enantioselective synthetic approach to 2,3-disubstituted indoles, which are privileged structures in medicinal and biological chemistry, developed by Professor J. M. Fox (USA), and an elegant synthesis of 2-amino-2-deoxysugars, which are naturally occurring molecules that have a great importance for biomedical and biochemical applications, developed by Professor N. Sewald (Germany). The issue is completed by an interview with Professor M. Taddei (Italy), Editorial Advisory Board member of SYNLETT and SYNTHESIS.
Substituted indoles are compounds of great importance in chemical biology and drug discovery. Indeed, a number of naturally occurring bioactive substances and hit molecules obtained from medicinal chemistry campaigns contain this privileged structural framework, which is therefore not surprisingly considered as a hugely attractive synthetic target. Recently, the group of Professor Joseph M. Fox from the University of Delaware (Newark, USA) has developed a novel and very efficient enantioselective synthetic approach to 2,3- disubstituted indoles. The team members who developed the reaction were graduate student Andrew DeAngelis, undergraduate student Valerie Shurtleff, and computational scientist Dr. Olga Dmitrenko.
2-Amino-2-deoxysugars are naturally occurring molecules which play a key role in a number of biological and physiological events, such as molecular and immuno-recognition, as well as cell adhesion and differentiation. However, the chemical synthesis of these amino sugars, and particularly of oligosaccharides incorporating them, is still very challenging. Recently, the group of Professor Norbert Sewald from Bielefeld University (Germany) has developed a novel synthetic methodology for the one-pot azidochlorination of glycals, which is expected to give a significant contribution to the advancement of the field.
Background and Purpose. SYNFORM will from time to time portrait SYNTHESIS / SYNLETT Advisory Board members who answer several questions regarding their research interests and revealing their impressions and views on the developments in organic chemistry as a general research field. In this issue, we present Professor Maurizio Taddei, University of Siena (Italy).