Research with the Yet Group
It is my mission at the general undergraduate to the specialized graduate level chemistry courses to not only teach the basic ideas of chemistry, but to show students the valuable applications of the fundamental science in the applied research. I believe in promoting the understanding of basic concepts rather than presenting material and memorizing. It is important that in the undergraduate teaching environment these students acquire the basic chemistry knowledge that will build a solid foundation for them to enter a career as a chemist or as a prerequisite to other disciplines. At the graduate level, students must learn the critical thinking of the advanced and specialized chemistry level courses so they can have a successful career in the academic, pharmaceutical, petroleum, specialty chemical, or polymer fields. The illustration of real world case studies will be most useful at the graduate level courses. Students will see that learning chemistry is not just a field of study but a creative venue to working as a team, encourages lifelong learning, self-exploration, ethics, and applications to real world issues affecting mankind.
Our group is interested in the synthesis and structure-activity relationships (SAR) of biologically active heterocyclic natural products in the anticancer area. Our research involves the state of the art development of transition metal-catalyzed reactions which significantly shortens a chemical synthetic route compared to classical organic chemistry schemes. We are interested in the development of ligands for metal-catalyzed cross-coupling and C-H activation reactions as a proof of principle methodology and then we apply these new reactions to selected heterocyclic biological targets. We use the techniques of organic chemistry to prepare biologically active compounds which we submit for assays, and then we use our skills as a medicinal chemist to synthesize more potent analogs of the compounds based on the available data obtained from the assays. Our group is exposed to how we can do “real world” research in an academic environment.