Professor Topczewski researching chiral amines with NIH MIRA grant
Professor Joseph Topczewski has received a National Institutes of Health of Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for New and Early Stage Investigators. The grant is $1.8 million over five years.
Topczewski is researching new ways to make chiral amines, which are important building blocks in organic chemistry. To accomplish this task, his research group is looking into ways to control the allylic azide rearrangement. Chiral amines are ubiquitous in medicinal agents and FDA-approved drugs. Chiral α,α-disubstituted amines are significant and this motif is present in several high profile molecules such as ketamine, carbidopa, stapled peptides, and BACE-1 inhibitors. Presently, the enantioselective synthesis of chiral α,α-disubstituted amines is non-trivial. Few robust and general catalytic methods exist. The objective of this program is to develop a unique synthetic approach based on dynamic kinetic resolution. Our approach is unique because it establishes chirality without directly forming a C-C or C-N bond. Executing this program will further enable the use of α,α-disubstituted amines for applications in medicinal chemistry and chemical biology.