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Professor Willem A.L. van Otterlo

Office: 2005 De Beers Building
Phone: +27 (0)21 808-3344
Fax: +27 (0)21 808-3360

Educational Background:
PhD, University of the Witwatersrand, 1999
Postdoctoral fellow, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1999-2001

Research Emphasis:
Organic synthesis, organometallic reagents, ring-closing metathesis, medicinal chemistry

analitical chemistry
Analytical Chemistry

chemical chemistry Chemical Biology

inorganic chemistry Inorganic Chemistry

organic chemistry Organic Chemistry

physical chemistry Physical Chemistry

polymer science Polymer Science

supramolecular chemistry & materialsSupra- molecular Chemistry
& Materials

Research Descri ption:

Professor van Otterlo's research thrusts are mainly focused on the utilization of modern synthetic methodologies for the synthesis of functional organic molecules. The main research areas are briefly described below:

(a) The development of novel synthetic methodology This thrust involves the utilization of organometallic based methodology for the synthesis of small molecules. During the last few years the research group has utilized ruthenium-mediated catalysis to facilitate ring closing metathesis and allyl isomerizations to produce highly functionalized and diverse molecular scaffolds.

(b) Medicinal chemistry: the synthesis of bioactive molecules and utilization of chemical biology This area of research is aimed at using synthetic chemistry for the synthesis of biologically active natural products and their analogues. The biological targets of interest include HIV, hepatitis, malaria and various cancers. Recently the application of bio-probes to understand the interaction of these bioactive molecules with their targets has also been investigated. Crucial to this research area are strong, interactive collaborations with local and International research groups.

(c) Synthesis of novel functional materials based on carbon This research interest involves the synthesis of novel polymeric materials containing functionalized fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and carbon nanosperes using ring-opening metathesis polymerization and other methodologies.

Selected Publications:

  • The synthesis of substituted piperazine-cholesterol conjugates for use as components of nucleic acid transfection lipoplexes, South African Journal of Chemistry, 2010, R. ul Islam, M.M. Johnson, R. Mohammed, J. Hean, P. Arbuthnot, C.B. de Koning* and W.A.L. van Otterlo.*
  • Synthesis and biological evaluation of 4-anilinoquinolines as potent inhibitors of EGFR, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 53, 2010, 2892-2901, V. Pawar, M. Sos, H.B. Rode, M. Rabiller, S. Heynck, W.A.L. van Otterlo, R. Thomas and D. Rauh.*
  • Synthesis of unsaturated 1,4-heteroatom-containing benzo-fused heterocycles using a sequential isomerization-ring-closing metathesis strategy, Tetrahedron, 65, 2009, 10650-10659, G.L. Morgans, E.L. Ngidi, L.G. Madeley, S.D. Khanye, J.P. Michael, C.B. de Koning and W.A.L. van Otterlo.*
  • Synthetic pathway to structurally simplified analogues of pancratistatin: truncation of the cyclitol ring, Journal of Organic Chemistry, 74, 2009, 7122-7131, M. Manpadi, A.S. Kireev, I.V. Magedov,* J. Altig, P. Tongwa, M.Y. Antipin, A. Evidente, W.A.L. van Otterlo and A. Kornienko.*
  • Metathesis in the synthesis of aromatic compounds, Chemical Reviews (Invited review: Thematic Issue on “Carbenes in Chemistry”), 109, 2009, 3743-3782, W.A.L. van Otterlo* and C.B. de Koning.*
  • Ring-opening metathesis co-polymerization of a C60-cyclopentadiene cycloadduct and norbornene with the Grubbs second generation catalyst, Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures, 15, 2007, 341-352, M.A. Mamo, N.J. Coville* and W.A.L. van Otterlo.*
  • Simultaneous mapping of and navigation in chemical and biological space by means of hierarchical scaffold trees, Nature Chemical Biology, 5, 2009, 585-592, S. Renner, W.A.L. van Otterlo, M. Dominguez Seoane, S. Möcklinghoff, B. Hofmann, S. Wetzel, A. Schuffenhauer, P. Ertl, T.I. Oprea, D. Steinhilber, L. Brunsveld, D. Rauh, H. Waldmann.*
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