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Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry
Head: Somsak Ruchirawat, Ph.D.

Location: 4th & 6th Floors, Chemistry Research Building

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     A number of natural products, regardless of their origin, are crucial for drug discovery and development as they can be employed directly as drugs or serve as leads for further modifications. The current status of research and development on synthetic drugs needs more implementation of modern research in medicinal chemistry, since such research and development has been virtually non-existent in Thailand. Our goal is to develop synthetic methodologies appropriate for total syntheses of bioactive natural products, drugs and other biologically active heterocycles for potential applications in mass production. In addition, we plan to employ approaches in modifying structures of the existing complex bioactive compounds to refine the structures to only those vital and required for the desired biological and pharmacological properties, while minimizing adverse side effects or toxicity.

     Alkaloids have found many applications in medicine throughout human history. Our ongoing interests in alkaloids are partly due to the wide array of biological activities of this type of compound. In addition, we have also been involved with bioactive heterocycles, some of which have been found in nature. Our programme emphasizes the design and development of novel synthetic methodologies for various types of bioactive alkaloids and heterocycles. In addition, our objectives extend to include designing novel analogs of the existing parent compounds to achieve more desirable biological, pharmacological and toxicological profiles. Such a process requires efficient collaboration with various laboratories whose biological evaluations are pivotal to the development of new analogs as they serve as a tool to refine chemical structures.

     Development of novel synthetic methodologies represents not only an academic but also a practical challenge. We wish to develop more efficient syntheses which are short, simple, high-yielding, economical, and environmentally friendly. Such considerations have prompted us to seek other alternatives both in synthetic methods and reagents and in devising new synthetic routes.

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