CHEM 342(F) Synthetic Organic Chemistry

The origins of organic chemistry are in the chemistry of living things and the emphasis of this course is on the chemistry of naturally-occurring compounds. This course presents the logic and practice of chemical total synthesis while stressing the structures, properties and preparations of terpenes, polyketides and alkaloids. Modern synthetic reactions are surveyed with an emphasis on the stereochemical and mechanistic themes that underlie them. To meet the requirements for the semester's final project, each student chooses an article from the recent synthetic literature and then analyzes the logic and strategy involved in the published work in a final paper. A summary of this paper is also presented to the class in a short seminar. Laboratory sessions introduce students to techniques for synthesis and purification of natural products and their synthetic precursors. Format: lecture, three hours per week; laboratory, four hours per week. Evaluation will be based on problem sets, midterm exams, laboratory work, a final project, and class participation. Prerequisites: Chemistry 251/255. May be taken concurrently with Chemistry 256 with permission of instructor. No enrollment limit (expected: 12).