Bryan Wakefield's Research
Nature provides the inspiration for many of the pharmaceuticals used in modern medicine. For centuries, people used plants found in their environment to treat their ailments. Scientists have studied these plants to discover the specific compounds that produce the therapeutic effect. Bacteria and animals also produce compounds that can treat human diseases.
After these compounds are found, organic chemists work to find ways to improve and synthesize these molecules. This process is called medicinal chemistry because the chemists are attempting to make a compound that can be used as a medicine. The Wakefield group is interested in medicinal chemistry.
Dr, Wakefield's research is directed toward developing new reactions used to synthesize naturally occurring molecules so they can be used to treat diseases. His current focus is on the synthesis of analogs of the phidianidine family of natural products. The goal is to better understand the role the central heterocyclic ring (blue) and substitution on the indole ring (magenta) play in the biological activity.