Seidel, Daniel

The Seidel group is broadly interested in developing efficient catalytic enantioselective processes. Our research is driven by the idea that there is a “best” catalyst for any given transformation. We strive to identify the optimal catalyst for the reactions that we study, may it be an organocatalyst, a metal-based catalyst, or a combination of both. Reactions are selected based on their usefulness in providing valuable intermediates for the synthesis of biologically active compounds. We generally pursue two different approaches: the use of known or slightly modified catalysts and their application to new reactions (Example 1) or the development of entirely new catalysts that provide more efficient solution to known but underdeveloped catalytic processes (Example 2).

fig 1

A specific class of transformations that has recently piqued our interest are redox neutral reactions. These reactions have in common an initiating intra- or intermolecular hydride shift (redox) event that leads to the formation of an electrophile/nucleophile pair. Subsequent combination of electrophile and nucleophile results in the formation of a new C−C or C−X bond. Reaction cascades initiated by hydride shifts are inherently atom-economic and complexity enhancing. Catalytic approaches are at the center of our efforts to develop these reactions into useful methods of broad applicability (Example 3).

fig 2