Uriel Tayvah ’17



Project Title

Fluorous Organocatalysis in Green Medicinal Chemistry

Presentation Link

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Many medically important small molecules can be synthesized in the lab, but often these syntheses involve the use of environmentally harmful catalysts and solvents. Over the summer I worked with a group that works to synthesize structures common in biologically active small molecules using organocatalysts (catalysts containing mostly carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and other non-metal elements) instead of metal-containing catalysts. This project focused on the synthesis of spirocyclic oxindoles, a class of molecules that includes a number of molecules with important biological activity. My main tasks were running reactions and characterizing and purifying the resulting products. I also copy edited manuscripts before they were sent for review. Over the course of the internship, I learned techniques often used in organic chemistry labs, such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (a method used to identify the compounds present in a reaction mixture) and high performance liquid chromatography (a method used to separate the components in a reaction mixture). I hope familiarity with these techniques and with the research process overall will be helpful in any future research I may undertake.

Internship Year


Project Category

Alternative Energy


Zhang Lab at University of Massachussetts, Boston, MA


Wei Zhang, University of Massachusetts Boston