Primary Areas of Research in the Trowbridge Group
The development of molecular editing platforms, the process by which single atoms can be inserted or deleted selectively in or around a molecule’s skeleton, would be potentially transformative to synthetic chemists across industry and academia due their operational efficiency, high atom economy, and reduced overall waste.
By exploiting underexplored reactive intermediates generated through single electron transfer, in combination with new reagent design, our laboratory is focused on developing novel transformations for the late-stage editing of complex molecules.
Over the last decade, photoredox catalysis has come to the forefront of modern organic synthesis, providing a powerful platform upon which to build molecular complexity via previously elusive bond disconnections.
However, many photochemical reactions rely on the use of rare-earth transition metals and high energy blue light, rendering them costly, poorly sustainable, and difficult to scale. Our laboratory is interested in the development of new photocatalytic platforms that exploit more sustainable elements in combination with red light.
Biocatalysis, using enzymes as catalysts in organic reactions, represents the epitome of sustainable chemistry as they are derived from renewable sources, biodegradable, and essentially non-hazardous. However, the breadth of transformations that can be achieved using enzymes is fundamentally limited by the reactivity manifolds found in nature; therefore, the ability to reprogram enzymes with new catalytic functions would be transformative to chemists across academia and industry.
Our laboratory is interested in the combination of photo- and enzyme catalysis to enable a range of new asymmetric radical transformations mediated by visible light.