Discovery and development of new natural or synthetic organic compounds of biomedical utility is a critical component of medicinal chemical research. Organic synthesis thus occupies a central role in any pharmaceutical development endeavor. In this context, the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas is among the pioneering departments to have focused on organic synthesis as a core area of its research activity. Since the days of its inception in the 1960s, the department has been blessed with faculty members whose often-trailblazing ideas and research activities, both organic synthetic and medicinal chemical, have helped shape contemporary medicinal chemistry to its present state.
Combining the considerable organic synthesis expertise with other complementary and synergistic aspects of modern medicinal chemical research, our department continues to be a leader among its peers worldwide. Building on the rich tradition, organic synthesis intensive and medicinal chemical target-related research activities of the present day faculty include, total synthesis of natural products, asymmetric synthesis, development of new methodologies, studying reaction mechanism, structure-activity relationship (SAR) investigations, creation of new structural scaffolds and synthesis of biomimetic non-natural compounds. Regular publications in top-flight journals, reporting the results of these efforts at national and international conferences and their frequent citation by peers across the scientific community are an apt testament to the timeliness and impact of the above research.
In recognition of the core faculty expertise and the available state of the art research facilities, in recent times, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a number of intensely competitive and highly sought after research and Center grants to faculty members from our department. As part of the NIH "roadmap" initiative, research conducted under these collaborative programs not only benefit the faculty groups directly involved in these projects, but also allow other biomedical researchers nationwide to take advantage of the results and the associated research facilities.