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CHM3941 - Synthesis 1: chemistry of bioactive compounds

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Lisa Martin


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit is approached first by an introduction to the discovery, isolation and identification of naturally occurring bioactive molecules. This is followed by a discussion of the theoretical basis of the design of synthetic pathways for target bioactive molecules. Selected practical examples are then treated using the principles learned. This then leads on to a description of the application of modern organometallic reagents in synthesis. Finally the synthesis, structure and reactivity of bioinorganic compounds, many of which have been designed to mimic Nature's armoury of molecules and catalysts, are examined.


On completion of this unit, students will have developed an understanding of the origin and importance of bioactive molecules, developed the ability to design synthetic pathways based on the principles of retrosynthetic analysis, studied several classics of retrosynthetic analysis, gained a broad overview of a range of modern organic synthetic methods, gained an understanding of the application of main group organometallic reagents to synthesis as well as their selectivity in reactions with different classes of functional groups and developed an appreciation of the coordination chemistry of bioinorganic complexes, especially those which mimic the action of naturally occurring biomolecules, including metallo-enzymes.


One 2-hour examination: 50%
Assignments: 20%
Laboratory work and short laboratory reports and proforma reports: 30%
Students must achieve a pass mark in their laboratory work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures/tutorials and the equivalent of 3 hours of laboratory activity per week


12 points of level-one chemistry and normally CHM2911 or CHM2941. Students without these should consult the coordinator.