Our program in natural products/bio-organic chemistry is concerned with the synthesis and biological evaluation analogs of plant derived phenolic compounds known to be inhibitors of tumor formation. Ellagic acid, present in various fruits and vegetables, particularly strawberries, is a planar biaryl polyphenol. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a flavanoid polyphenol found in high concentration in brewed green tea. Analogs, chosen on the basis of computerized molecular modeling studies, are being synthesized.
A long- term program in the chemistry of strained bicyclic ring compounds is proceeding in the areas of synthesis, mechanism and spectroscopy. We are particularly interested in partially fluorinated bicyclo[2.1.0] pentanes. Flash vacuum pyrolysis techniques have allowed us to synthesize several novel non-natural molecules.