Method Development. Our group is interested in the design of efficient methodologies to accomplish the formation of carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds with the intent to apply the methodology toward the synthesis of complex natural and unnatural targets.
Natural Product Synthesis. Approaches to natural products not only inspire the development of new synthetic strategies, but often unveil unexpected and often interesting reactivity. Targets are chosen for their interesting biological activity along with their sheer complexity. We are interested in exploring both modular and convergent approaches to complex targets that enable facile derivatization for the development of combinatorial libraries.
Medicinal Chemistry. Medicinal or pharmaceutical chemistry lies at the intersection of chemistry and pharmacy. Our group is interested in the design, synthesis and development of pharmaceutical drugs, or other chemical entities suitable for therapeutic use. We are further interested in the study of their biological properties and their quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR). Given that medicinal chemistry is a highly interdisciplinary science, we aim to establish several collaborations with biologists, biochemists, and computational chemists to facilitate the design and development process. In particular, we aim to develop therapeutics toward the treatment of various forms of cancer, HIV, diabetes, and neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Professor May is interested in rational, molecularly based approaches to problems in neurochemistry, in the development of novel enzyme effectors such as suicide substrates and transition state analogs, and in basic mechanistic studies on enzymes involved in the biosynthesis, metabolism, interconversion and regulation of neurotransmitters, neuroregulators and biologically active neuropeptides and peptide hormones. Both chemical and physical techniques are being used to investigate the structure and reactivity of these enzymes, and detailed stereochemical and structural studies on substrates, products, and inhibitors are being pursued. In addition, pharmacological techniques are being utilized in order to evaluate the action of novel enzyme effectors on cardiovascular and neurological functions. Dr. May's group has established a special cell culture laboratory which is used extensively in their neurochemical work.