The central theme of our research program is to develop new and efficient synthetic strategies for chemical synthesis of bioactive natural products, investigate their biological activities including cytotoxicity and antibacterial activities, and elucidate their mode of action and cellular targets, which lay the groundwork for advancing the translation of natural products into medicines.

Natural products are the most rewarding source of new chemotherapeutics. It is estimated that nearly half of small organic molecules approved by FDA for treatment of cancers are natural products or their analogues/derivatives. In the field of infectious diseases, discovery of structurally novel antibacterial natural products is decisive to the development of new antimicrobial agents. However, natural products are isolated from natural sources in small quantities. This becomes the main obstacle that prevents many bioactive natural products from being developed into clinically used medicines.

Chemical synthesis is highly desirable to supply sufficient material for various bioassays, and more importantly allows access to a collection of structural analogs that may reveal the key pharmacophore. Chemical synthesis of natural products may provide many additional benefits, such as confirmation of molecular structures and inspiration of new synthetic methodologies.

Major Research Project
Total Synthesis of Potent Antibiotic Anthracimycins
Rongbiao TONG Chemistry

Our short and reliable synthetic route provides a supply of anthracimycins for further in-depth studies and allows medicinal chemists to prepare a library of analogues for establishing structure-activity relationship.

Other Major Research Areas