Ang Li received his B.Sc. in 2004 from Peking University, where he worked with Prof. Zhen Yang. In 2009, he earned his Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute under the supervision of Prof. K.C. Nicolaou. After a brief stay as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences in Singapore, he joined the faculty of Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC), Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2010. His research interests include the chemical synthesis of natural products and the elucidation of their mechanism of action.
Generalized biomimetic synthesis of natural products
Biomimetic synthesis is a fundamental approach to the chemical synthesis of natural products, which, due to the intrinsic correlation between the biogenesis and the structure of natural products, offers many advantages. Conventional biomimetic strategies have been strongly influenced by a principle featuring “(essentially) the same substrates, similar reactions, and similar pathways”, which defines the pattern of biomimetic synthesis from the structural, mechanistic, and sequential perspectives. In practice, the highly imitative approach has proved to be feasible and efficient to some extent. However, the flexibility of this type of approach is limited in some cases. To enhance the power of biomimetic synthesis, we envision generalized biomimetic strategies centered on the key bond formation/cleavage sites implied by the postulated biogenesis of natural products, which are expected to take full advantage of the suitable substrates, reactions, and pathways altered from their biogenetic counterparts while retaining the inherent advantages of biomimetic synthesis. In this lecture, we showcased the use of generalized biomimetic strategies in the synthesis of a series of natural products, in particular Daphniphyllum alkaloids.