There are three major projects that we are currently working on.

Truce-Smiles Rearrangement: In this synthetic methodology project we are exploring the scope of the sp2-sp3 carbon bond-forming reaction known as the Truce-Smiles Rearrangement. Lab work involves diverse synthetic chemistry techniques for preparing and characterizing small molecular substrates that range in structural complexity. These substrates are then subjected to the conditions of the rearrangement, which is an intramolecular nucleophilic aromatic substitution reaction, and the products are isolated, characterized, and the results analyzed to gain further insight.

Isoform-Selective Enzyme Inhibitors: In this multi-disciplinary project we are synthesizing and screening structurally-diverse small organic molecules in the search on those that are capable of potently inhibiting enzymes in an isoform-selective manner. Two particular enzyme isoforms that we have targeted are human histone deacetylase 6 and human N-myristoyl transferase 1. Our hypothesis is that selective inhibition of these enzymes will find therapeutic and otherwise beneficial applications.

Protease Activity Assays: In this collaborative project with Dr. Douglas Craig (also in the UofW Dept. of Chemistry) we are creating methods for assaying the activity of protease enzymes using the extremely sensitive analytical technique of capillary electrophoresis laser-induced fluorescence (CE-LIF). Lab work involves designing and preparing fluorescent small molecule substrates for various proteases. These substrates are then tested for their utility in the CE-LIF technique. 

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Our latest publications:

Joel R. Kosowan; Zemane W’Giorgis; Ravneet Grewal; Tabitha E. Wood* “Truce-Smiles rearrangement of substituted phenyl ethers” Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 2015, 13(24), 6754-65.

DOI: 10.1039/C5OB00812C

Anna R.P. Henderson; Joel R. Kosowan; Tabitha E. Wood* “The Truce-Smiles Rearrangement and Related Reactions: A ReviewCanadian Journal of Chemistry 2017, 95(5), 483-504.

DOI: 10.1139/cjc-2016-0594

Douglas B. Craig*; Stephanie D. King; Gundars Reinfelds; Anna R. Henderson; Tabitha E. Wood “Electrophoretic mobility, catalytic rate, and activation energy of catalysis of single molecules of the enzyme β-glucuronidase from Escherichia coliInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules 2017, 96, 669-74.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.12.034

David Fuss; Yu Qi Wu; Michael R. Grossi; Joshua W. Hollett; Tabitha E. Wood* “Effect of the tether length upon Truce-Smiles rearrangement reactionsJournal of Physical Organic Chemistry 2017.

DOI: 10.1002/poc.3742