School of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad 500046, India
Nature, the master craftsman of molecules, has created almost an inexhaustible array of molecular entities, replete with myriad combination of rings, functionalities and stereochemical diversity. These natural products, evolving through millions of years of evolutionary experience, exhibit wide ranging bioactivity profile and have served as lead platforms for exploring a range of interactions in biological systems and to build diversity around their structures. Indeed there have been very impressive advances in employing natural product based platforms in drug discovery endeavors. With the pharma pipelines showing signs of decline in recent years, reverting back to natural products for inspiration seems obvious and necessary but in a newer context. This emerging scenario will be captured in a few snap-shots.
Our group has been interested in the total synthesis of a variety of natural products that are endowed with novel structural features and unusual biological activity. The lecture would highlight the intrinsic synergy, inherent between natural products, total synthesis and drug discovery through recent examples from the literature and research endeavors from my research group. In particular, the focus will be on the development of ‘global’ strategies for total synthesis of natural products that provide access to a whole family of natural products rather than a single entity for further biological evaluation and development. In this lecture, we will briefly cover our synthetic approaches to several natural product types, particularly those exhibiting neurotrophic activity, which are conceptually simple and diversity oriented.