Research Overview in Tang Lab


We are fortunate to live in this era and witness the great changes in this growing world at an ever-fast pace. Chemistry are inseparable to our daily life, serving as the central science to many important areas including energy, material, health, and communications, It is our hope that research in our lab will sooner and later help improve the quality of your life by building molecules more efficiently and providing better solutions to current existing issues related to medicines, materials, and energy.

We are interested in developing efficient catalytic reactions for building carbon-carbon, carbon-hydrogen, and carbon-heteroatom bonds with particular emphasis on selectivity (including chemoselectivity, regioselectivity, and enantioselectivity), cost, and environmental impact. The reactions should on one hand be relevant to the efficient synthesis of biological interesting natural products or drugs. Hence, their applications in total synthesis of complex natural products or drugs will be explored and demonstrated. On the other hand, a few of the reactions in our lab could be highly important for manufacture of medicines, agrochemicals, or new products in energy and material sciences. Their scale-up processes will also be developed and demonstrated for industrial realization.Development of efficient ligands and catalysts for new reactivity and selectivity is our ongoing passion in daily research.

Research directions:
 1. Design and development of efficient and practical catalytic reactions
a) P-chiral phosphorus ligands


A series of efficient and practical P-chiral bis- and mono-phosphorus ligands are developed. Their unique structural and physical properties include P-chirality, conformational unambigueousness, high tunability of electronic and steric properties, and operational simplicity as air-stable solids, making them exceptional ligands for a number of asymmetric catalytic reactions. (Acc. Chem. Res. DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.9b00029).

b) Cross-coupling


Development of efficient, sterically hindered carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond-forming methods with high yields, ees, and TONs is our ongoing research interest. (Synlett 2016, 27, 2183)

c) Asymmetric hydrogenation


Our P-chiral phosphorus ligands have enabled efficient syntheses of various chiral amines in excellent ees an TONs.

 2. Total synthesis of complex and biologically active natural products
Using asymmetric Suzuki-Miyaura cross-couplings, dearomative cyclizations, and sterically hindered α-arylations as key steps, we accomplished the asymmetric syntheses of a series of terpenes, steroids, alkaloids and polyketides in a concise and highly efficient manner.

 3. Development of efficient, economical, and green chemical processes for pharmaceutically important molecules

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