Research Assistant: Synthesis of Bioactive MoleculesSemester Course

Major Discipline(s)
Biology, Pre-Medicine / Health Science
Elective Course
Fall semester

Oscar Verho’s laboratory focuses on the development of novel strategies for synthesizing and screening diverse collections of small molecules for therapeutic purposes. The research of the Verho group is deeply rooted in organic chemistry, but also interfaces with the fields of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. As a research assistant in the Verho group, you would be offered with an opportunity to take part in different synthetic chemistry projects and be able carry out experimental work in an organic chemistry laboratory setting. This includes:

1.) Synthesis of bioactive peptides: In this project, modern C-H functionalization chemistry will be used to assemble unnatural amino acid derivatives that will serve as building blocks for de novo synthesized peptides. Research assistants would be involved in the design of peptide structures that could become future drugs for currently intractable diseases. Moreover, research assistants would be offered an opportunity to deepen themselves in topics such as transition metal catalysis, peptide chemistry and DNA-encoded libraries.

2.) Synthesis of a structurally diverse cyclobutane library. The goal of this project is to assemble a classical small molecule screening library consisting of different cyclobutane derivatives. As a part of this project, research assistants will be able to learn and perform a wide range of organic reactions, including for example different directed C-H functionalization reactions. Aside from providing the research assistants with a deep understanding of key concepts in organic chemistry, they would also greatly contribute to the creation of a new small molecule library that could provide promising starting points for drug discovery.

M. Oschmann, L. Johansson Holm, O. Verho.
Synthesis of Elaborate Benzofuran-2-Carboxamide Derivatives Through a Combination of 8-Aminoquinoline Directed C-H Arylations and Transamidations.
ChemRxiv 2019, DOI: 10.26434/chemrxiv.7925489.v1

A. J. Schmitz, A. Ricke, M. Oschmann, O. Verho.
Convenient access to chiral cyclobutanes with three contiguous stereocenters from verbenone enabled by directed C(sp3)–H arylation
Chem. Eur. J. 2019, 25, 5154-5157.

O. Verho, M. Pourghasemi Lati, M. Oschmann
A Two-step Procedure for the Overall Transamidation of 8-Aminoquinoline Amides Proceeding via the Intermediate N-Acyl-Boc-Carbamates
J. Org. Chem. 2018, 83, 4464-4476.

B. Melillo, J. Zoller, B. K. Hua, O. Verho, J. C. Borghs, S. D. Nelson Jr., M. Maetani, M. J. Wawer, P. A. Clemons, S. L. Schreiber
Synergistic Effects of Stereochemistry and Appendages on the Performance Diversity of a Collection of Synthetic Compounds
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 11784-11790.

O. Verho, M. Maetani, B. Melillo, J. Zoller, S. L. Schreiber
Stereospecific Palladium-Catalyzed C–H Arylation of Pyroglutamic Acid Derivatives at the C3 Position Enabled by 8-Aminoquinoline as a Directing Group
Org. Lett. 2017, 19, 4424-4427.

M. Maetani, J. Zoller, B. Melillo, O. Verho, N. Kato, J. Pu, E. Comer, S. L. Schreiber
Synthesis of a Bicyclic Azetidine with In Vivo Antimalarial Activity Enabled by Stereospecific, Directed C(sp3)−H Arylation
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 11300-11306.


Oscar Verho

DIS Stockholm Semester Faculty

Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (Stockholm University, 2014). Group Leader, Department of Organic Chemistry, Stockholm University. With DIS since 2019.