Our group is interested in the synthesis of small molecules that can act as catalysts without the addition of metals - organocatalysts. Organocatalysis can be utilised for the construction of enantiopure complex organic molecules, thus providing an alternative or a complement to organometallic and enzymatic catalysts. In order to synthesise more efficient and easily recycable organocatalysts, we are introducing an ionic liquid moeity in the molecule as well as new chiral structures.
Another area of interest is carbohydrate chemistry. One of our aims is to construct a library of carbohydrate derived hypersolutes using solid supported synthesis, which will provide us with a wide range of new compounds that will be tested by the Cell Physiology and NMR group for their ability to prevent protein aggregation and for protein thermostabilisation.
Recently, we are also collaborating with the Bacterial Signaling group in the synthesis of 4,5-dihydroxy-2,3-pentanedione (AI-2), a quorum sensing autoinducer.
.: Prize :: Prémio Câmara Pestana 2007
.: Funded projects :: In search of ideal protein stabilisers: compound libraries inspired by solutes from hyperthermophiles (PTDC/BIO/70806/2006) - with Dr. Pedro Lamosa