Bioorganic Chemistry

Course Aim

To discuss design and synthesis of functional molecules used for understanding and controlling biological systems.

Students successfully completing this course will gain an understanding on chemistry of functions of organic molecules and chemical transformations of organic molecules.

Course Description

Design and synthesize small organic functional molecules for understanding and controlling biological systems. Build a strong foundation of modern synthetic organic chemistry strategies, including stereoselective, enantioselective, and asymmetric methods.  Through lectures and literature studies, explore a range of mechanisms of catalytic reactions controlling reaction pathways and molecular interactions essential in organic reactions and in the design and synthesis of catalysts, functional small organic molecules, and protein conjugates.

Course Contents

1. Methods of chemical transformations to access designer molecules
2. Strategies for the development of new reaction methods including stereoselective reaction methods
3. Asymmetric reactions and asymmetric catalysis
4. Catalytic enantioselective reactions: Carbon-carbon bond forming reactions
5. Catalytic enantioselective reactions: hydrolysis, reduction, dynamic kinetic resolutions, etc.
6. Design and synthesis of functional molecules
7. Chemical mechanisms of bioactive molecules including chemistry of enzyme inhibitors
8. Molecular recognition and non-covalent bond interactions
9. Enzyme catalysis and catalytic mechanisms
10. Catalysis and catalytic mechanisms by organic molecules
11. Enzyme kinetics and kinetics of non-enzymatic reactions
12. Strategies for the development of new designer catalysts
13. Methods in identification and characterization of organic molecules
14. Strategies for the development of designer functional proteins and peptides
15. Chemical reactions for protein labeling; chemical reactions in the presence of biomolecules


Exercises 50%, reports 50%

Prerequisites or Prior Knowledge

Students are expected to have studied organic chemistry and/or biochemistry or related chemistry at the undergraduate level.


Strategic Applications of Named Reactions in Organic Synthesis, Kurti and Czako (2005)
Advanced Organic Chemistry, Part B: Reactions and Synthesis, Carey and Sundberg (2007)

Reference Books

Advanced Organic Chemistry, Part A Structures and Mechanisms, Carey and Sundberg (2007)
Organic Chemistry, McMurry

Research Specialties