Total Synthesis of Complex Molecules
Our research focuses on highly potent bioactive natural products that could be potential medicines. Even though many organic chemical reactions have been developed since 1828, the scalable synthesis of complex molecules remains problematic and is a global topic in the chemistry field. Some people compare total synthesis to climbing a mountain. No matter how many people reach the top of Everest, why does no one ever stop climbing Mount Everest? Total synthesis has made significant progress due to the dedicated efforts and research by outstanding chemists. However, developing environmentally friendly and highly efficient synthetic methods for the total synthesis of potent bioactive natural products is still an extremely challenging and essential area of chemistry. The total synthesis will never end, just like the challenge of climbing Mount Everest.
Electrochemical reactions have a very long history and tradition of nearly 200 years. Electrochemistry was vigorously studied by Kolbe et al. in the 19th century and has since been refined by many excellent researchers. To date, many organic chemical reactions have been developed, but some of them require high temperatures, rare metals, and a tremendous environmental impact which need to be improved in order to build a sustainable society. Our group aims to improve the many organic chemical reactions that have been reported to date into more efficient and environmentally friendly methods by electrochemistry that everyone can use in the future.
Our lives are dominated by organic compounds. Let's take a look at our daily lives. If we look around us, we can find food, medicine, clothes, laptops, smartphones, and most importantly, our bodies themselves are made from organic compounds such as proteins, sugars, and nucleobases. Hence, it is difficult for us to escape from the basic principles of organic chemistry. To date, more than 300 named chemical reactions are known, and our lives are controlled by these 300 or so organic chemical reactions. The development of many chemical reactions is essential for enriching our lives.