Our Research

Medicinal Chemistry

We specialize in hit-to-lead medicinal chemistry which is a key part of the complex and interdisciplinary process of discovery and development of new medicines.  We synthesize small organic molecules with drug-like structural features including natural products and their derivatives.  Working closely with biologists who evaluate these new compounds, we refine their chemical structures to achieve optimal biological properties and pharmaceutical potential, ultimately aiming to advance promising "drug candidates" into clinical trials.

Synthetic Methods

We develop new reactions and synthetic strategies that enhance the capacity of chemists to produce valuable speciality compounds from simpler inexpensive building blocks.  We focus mainly on three areas: 1) using sulfoxides and vinyl sulfides as versatile synthetic intermediates, 2) using environmentally benign heterogeneous reagents to simplify reactions and 3) efficiently preparing nitrogen-rich heterocyclic scaffolds with drug-like structural properties.

Our Publications

 
Our work at McMaster University

Alkylation of indoles with α,β-unsaturated ketones using alumina in hexanes. 

Zhang, X., Jones-Mensah, E., Deobald J., Magolan J.

Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis 2019, in press

DOI 10.1002/adsc.201901037

A macrophage-based screen identifies antibacterial compounds selective for intracellular Salmonella Typhimurium. 

Ellis, M.J., Tsai, C.N., Johnson, J.W., French, S., Elhenawy, W., Porwollik, S., Andrews-Polymenis, H., McClelland, M., Magolan, J., Coombes, B.K., Brown, E.D

Nature Communications 2019, 10(1), 197
DOI 10.1038/s41467-018-08190-x

A collaborative investigation led by the labs of Prof. Eric Brown and Prof. Brian Coombes. 

 

Our work at the University of Idaho

One-pot carbonyl reduction and carbonate formation using sodium borohydride in dialkyl carbonate solvents 

Osumah, A., Magolan J., Waynant, K.

Tetrahedron Letters. 2019, 60(44), 151203

DOI 10.1016/j.tetlet.2019.151203

Biaryl Ketones via Suzuki-Miyaura Cross-Coupling of Organotrifluoroborates and Acid Chlorides. 

Frobes, A. M.; Meier, G. P.; Jones-Mensah, E.; Magolan J.  

Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2016, 17, 2983-2987.

DOI: 10.1002/ejoc.201600199

Dimethylsulfoxide as a Synthon in Organic Chemistry.  

Jones-Mensah, E.; Karki, M.; Magolan, J.

Synthesis 2016, 48(10), 1421-1436.

DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1560429

Cerium-Free Luche Reduction Directed by Rehydrated Alumina. 

Jones-Mensah, E.; Nickerson, L. A.; Deobald, J. L.; Ertel, A. B.; Knox, H. L.; Magolan. J.

Tetrahedron 2016, 72(26) 3748-3753.
DOI:10.1016/j.tet.2016.03.017

Evaluation of Synthetic Coumarins for Antiausterity Cytotoxicity against Pancreatic Cancers.  

Farley, C. M.; Dibwe, D.F.; Ueda, J.; Hall, E.A.; Awale, S. Magolan, J.

Bioorg. Chem. Med. Lett. 2016, 26(5), 1471-1474.
DOI:10.1016/j.bmcl.2016.01.054

Bromination of Olefins with HBr and DMSO. 

Karki, M.; Magolan, J.

J. Org. Chem. 2015, 80(7) 3701-3707.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.5b00211

Aryl methyl sulfides via SNAr using DMSO as the source of the thiomethyl moiety. 

Jones-Mensah, E.; Magolan, J.  

Tetrahedron Lett. 2014, 55(38), 5323-5326.
DOI: 10.1016/j.tetlet.2014.07.058

Dehydroaromatization with V2O5. 

Karki, M.; Araujo, H. C.; Magolan, J.

Synlett 2013, 24(13), 1675-1678.
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-133927

Combined Pd/C and Montmorillonite Catalysis for Efficient One-Pot Synthesis of Benzimidazoles. 

Weires, N.A.; Boster, J.; Magolan, J. 

Eur. J. Org. Chem. 201233, 6508-6512
DOI: 10.1002/ejoc.201201101

highlighted: Snieckus V.; Singh S.P. SYNFACTS 2013, 9(3), 254

Publications from Dr. Magolan's graduate and postdoctoral research

Tilly, D.; Magolan, J.; Mortier, J.

Directed Remote Aromatic Metalations: Mechanisms and Driving Forces.  

Chemistry a European Journal 2012, 18(13), 3804-3820. (link)

Magolan, J.; Adams, N.B.P.; Onozuka, H.; Esumi, H.; Hugerford, N.L.; Coster, M.J.  

Synthesis and biological evaluation of analogues of the natural product angelmarin for anti-pancreatic cancer activity. 

ChemMedChem 2012, 7(5), 766-770. (link)

Magolan, J.; Coster, M.J.

Targeting the resistance of pancreatic cancer cells to nutrient deprivation: anti-austerity compounds. 

Current Drug Delivery 2010, 7(5), 355-369. (link)

Magolan, J.; Coster M.J.

Total Synthesis of (+)-Angelmarin. 

Journal of Organic Chemistry 2009, 74(14), 5083–5086. (link)

Magolan, J.; Carson, C.; Kerr, M.A.

Total Synthesis of (±)-Mersicarpine. 

Organic Letters 2008, 10(7), 1437-1440. (link)

Li, L.; Jones, C.D.; Magolan, J.;  Lemieux, R.P.

Siloxane-terminated phenylpyrimidine liquid hosts.

Journal of Materials Chemistry 2007, 17, 2313-2319. (link)

Magolan, J.; Kerr, M.A.  

Expanding the Scope of Mn(OAc)3-Mediated Cyclizations: Synthesis of the Tetracyclic Core of Tronocarpine. 

Organic Letters 2006, 8(17), 3777-3779. (Link)

England, D.B.; Magolan, J.; Kerr, M.A.

Synthesis of the Western Half of the Lolicines and the Lolitrems. 

Organic Letters 2006, 8(11), 2209-2212. (link)