• Question: have you ever discovered any small molecules of your using synthetic chemistry

    Asked by acutus to , Sylvia, Sumit, Martin, Kate, Bryony, Aryanne on 8 Mar 2019. This question was also asked by kim.
    • Photo: Kate McGonagle

      Kate McGonagle answered on 8 Mar 2019:


      Hey, this is a good question! Most drugs are in the small molecule space, typically around or less than 500 molecular weight.

    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 8 Mar 2019:


      I’m the wrong person to ask this as I stopped doing synthetic chemistry at the end of my degree. As a chemical physicist, I make measurements and study the properties of atoms, molecules, radicals and ions.

    • Photo: Sumit Konar

      Sumit Konar answered on 9 Mar 2019:


      I discovered couple of new compounds. One was Tin Azide Sn(N3)2 that can be made from SnF2.
      It was made by a PhD student at Sheffield univeristy; and they asked me to solve the structure. I got a X-ray diffraction pattern of Tin Azide and I solved the structure from the pattern. You can find more details of the discovery on the journal Inorg. Chem., 2018, 57 (1), pp 400–411.

      Eli Lilly and Company, a pharmaceutical company asked me to make a new form of their anti-cancer drug galunisertib. I made a new form of galunisertib C22H19N5O using high pressure (0.3 GPa =3000 atm) inside diamond anvil cell (a high pressure apparatus). This is a very interesting result and now many pharmaceuticas company might take this high pressure route to make new drug compounds.

      I helped to make lots of other NEW compounds using high pressure; example: LiBSi2 (from LiB + Si), K2SiH6 (KSi + hydrogen). You will find more about this if you search the compound with my name.

    • Photo: Sylvia Soldatou

      Sylvia Soldatou answered on 12 Mar 2019:


      I am looking for new drugs and as Kate mentioned, we are focusing on small molecules. I have discovered quite a few of new compounds with promising biological activities from a seaweed, a coral and microorganisms. Most of the times we get small amount of the new molecules (maybe miligrams) from large quantities of marine organisms so we do synthetic chemistry to synthesise this new molecules wihtout collecting kilograms of a marine oragnism and disturbing the marine ecosystem

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