Ronald Rahaim, Ph.D.
320Q Henry Bellmon Research Center
- B.S., 1998, Michigan State University
- Ph.D., 2006, Michigan State University
- Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 2006-2007
- The Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Florida, 2007-2011
Research conducted in the Rahaim group is in the area of organic synthesis but lies at the interface of inorganic chemistry and drug discovery. The primary goal of the group is the development of reagents, catalysts, and methodology that prepare biologically relevant scaffolds in an economical (atom, redox, step) manner and with diversity. Achievement of this goal is being accomplished by, but not limited to the development of: 1) iron catalyzed cross coupling reactions, 2) metal nanoparticles that utilize feed stock chemicals, or readily available small molecules (CO, CO2, N2, SO2) in the synthesis of complex molecules, and 3) the preparation of metal nucleophiles from alcohols for applications in cross couplings. When appropriate, mechanistic studies of our reagents, organometallic complexes, and catalyst systems will be investigated to lay the ground work in creating solutions to essential transformations that are limited in scope, or are currently not feasible.
The outlying goal of our research program is to apply our synthetic technology to the preparation of biologically active compounds, via diversity oriented synthesis libraries, and natural product libraries. The goal of which is the identification of potential new therapies for cancer, infectious, and neurological diseases. The tactical strategy that our group applies in creating the probe libraries is to identify a specific element of the diseased cell or target protein and incorporate that element into the libraries as a way of selectively delivering the probe. We also actively pursue natural product synthesis, targeted molecules that have demonstrated biological activity in initial assays, but sufficient material cannot be acquired from the source for in vivo studies. The focus is to then design a synthesis that allows gram quantities of material to be prepared. In addition, the synthetic route is designed to permit the rapid preparation of analogs for the fine-tuning of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties in pursuit of improved drug-like character.
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