Tehshik Yoon

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Practical photochemical synthesis: Enabling exploration of unchartered chemical space

Dr. Tehshik P. Yoon, Professor in the Department of Chemistry at University of Wisconsin, Madison, is the winner of the 2018 Organic Letters Outstanding Publication of the Year Award Lectureship. This award honors the author of an outstanding letter published in the previous calendar year that demonstrates creativity and impact in the field of organic chemistry. Read all of Dr. Yoon’s articles from ACS Publications.

The Yoon laboratory is interested in synthetic organic photochemistry and the opportunities photochemical synthesis offers for the construction of unique, structurally complex small molecules. A central theme of our research is the design of photocatalytic systems that utilize long-wavelength, low-energy visible light. These methods provide better functional group compatability, greater operational convenience, and superior stereocontrol compared to direct UV photochemistry.

The goal of the research funded by the Teva grant is to apply the photocatalytic methodology developed in our laboratory to the synthesis of stereochemically well defined and densely functionalized cyclobutane building blocks that are directly applicable to the synthesis of novel bioactive small molecules. We will demonstrate the flexibility of this strategy by applying it to the synthesis of a large family of cyclobutane-containing natural products. This generous award will enable us to begin translating our mechanistically inspired, fundamental research in photocatalytic synthesis to applications with real-world consequences.