Synthetic organic photochemistry over the last twenty years has emerged from infrequent examples of light-activated transformations to a widely used methodology in organic synthesis. Photon energy transformation into chemical reaction energy allows access to reactive intermediates that are difficult or impossible to form by other means of chemical catalysis, in advance by using a clean energy source under mild conditions. In our laboratory, we develop novel types of light-initiated transformations based on already known and completely new photocatalysts with great interest in their further combination with compatible stereochemistry control strategies based on chiral N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC), optically pure complexes of transition metals, and organocatalysis.
Another research aims at addressing the development and synthesis of novel host-targeting antivirals (HTAs) based on iminosugars, analogues of sugars with a nitrogen atom replacing an oxygen atom inside the ring. These compounds are commonly investigated for their potent medicinal applications. The general issue that prevents iminosugar-based drugs from being used in medicinal applications is their high toxicity and side effects caused by low receptor selectivity. To overcome this problem, we focused our research on the synthesis of iminosugars exhibiting desirable bioactivity combined with low toxicity. Accordingly, according to the latest scientific reports, controlled stereochemistry change or selective fluorine implementation to target compounds may accomplish this challenge, since the insertion of a fluorine substituent or modification of stereochemistry can completely change the chemical and biological reactivity of the whole molecule. The main objective of this research is to develop novel synthetic routes to optically pure and fluorinated iminosugars based on a variety of available asymmetric reactions from readily available substrates.
Research in collaboration with dr Cyril Nicholas and prof. Izabelle Gillaizeau from ICOA at Université d'Orléan (France) - https://www.icoa.fr/fr/gillaizeau/equipe