Kyriacos C. Nicolaou

Rice University


Election Year: 1996
Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Secondary Section: 21, Biochemistry
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

As an organic chemist, my research interests revolve around chemical synthesis, natural products, and biology and medicine. In our laboratories, the study of the chemistry and biology of natural products focuses on the following endeavors: total synthesis; molecular design of mimics or antagonists of the natural products; chemical synthesis of the designed molecules; molecular recognition experiments; biological investigations; and redesign and fine-tuning of molecular structure. The selection of the target molecules is of extreme importance and is based on criteria of novel architecture, important biological function, and interesting mechanism of action. Thus, with the proper selection, one optimizes the opportunities for the discovery and development of new synthetic technologies and strategies and for useful contributions to chemistry, biology, and medicine. With this concept in mind, we have initiated a number of programs that led to exciting developments within the area of natural products, synthetic organic chemistry, and chemical biology. Examples of natural substances that provided such opportunities include swinholide A, calicheamicin, rapamycin, taxol, zaragozic acid, brevetoxins A and B, vancomycin, everninomycin, epothilones A and B, eleutherobin, sarcodictyins A and B, and maitotoxin. We continue to be interested in such novel substances whether they come from nature or are designed by us.

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