Alanna Goldberg
Advisor: Bill Malachowski
Department: Chemistry

Enantioselective Synthesis of Polycyclic Structures via Intramolecular Heck Reactions 

Many vital drugs, including steroids such as prednisone, are made up of polycyclic ring structures. Modern synthetic chemistry lacks the efficiency and specificity that is needed to research and develop polycyclic structures. This research will investigate efficient methods of enantioselectively synthesizing polycyclic molecules. The reactions are carried out using Birch reduction-alkylation reactions, and intramolecular Heck reactions; Birch reduction-alklyation will create an alkene-containing ring bonded linearly to an aromatic ring, the main components to be used in an intramolecular Heck reaction. Using the intramolecular Heck reaction, we will use a palladium catalyst with chiral ligands to enantioselectively generate a C-C bond between the aromatic ring and alkene ring, thereby creating polycyclic structures. This research will determine efficient synthetic procedures as well as effective palladium ligands for enantioselectivity.