A Catalytic Enantioselective Stereodivergent Aldol Reaction

Alan Healy reports on an enantioselective stereodivergent aldol reaction catalyzed by salens.

The aldol reaction – which is the C–C bond-forming reaction at the α-carbon of a carbonyl-derived enolate with an aldehyde or ketone functionality of another molecule, under basic or acidic conditions, to afford a β-hydroxy-carbonyl derivative – is an essential transformation in organic chemistry, particularly in polyketide synthesis. Since its discovery, the aldol reaction has become the subject of countless studies and developments, especially concerning its stereoselective aspects and applications to the synthesis of bioactive and natural compounds. The lab of Professor Alan Healy at New York University Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) is interested in developing an efficient and general approach for polyketide synthesis, with the ultimate goal of automating this approach.

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