John Porco investigates chemical syntheses of complex molecules and synthesis of complex chemical libraries of novel structural types. John joined the Department of Chemistry at Boston University in 1999 after a successful career in industry and was rapidly promoted to Professor of Chemistry in September 2004.
Research in the Porco Group is focused in two major areas: the development of new synthetic methodologies for efficient chemical synthesis of complex molecules and synthesis of complex chemical libraries, the latter conducted at the Boston University Center for Molecular Discovery. Synthetic methodologies developed in the Porco Laboratory include copper (I)-mediated formation of enamides, oxa-electrocyclization/dimerization of dienals enroute to complex epoxyquinoids; enantioselective oxidative dearomatization using chiral copper complexes and molecular oxygen; photocycloaddition using oxidopyryliums enroute to the rocaglamides and related natural products, and catalytic ester-amide exchange using group (IV) metal alkoxide-activator complexes.
-Dearomatization Strategies in Complex Synthesis aim to utilize aromatic scaffolds as starting materials as precursors to complex natural products.
-Faculty Profile Scientific Image Porco 1Biomimetic Synthesis Approaches involve development of methodologies to test plausible biosyntheses of complex natural products and derivatives.
-New Reaction Discovery is done in conjunction with the BU-CMD and aims to discover transformations leading to novel chemotypes.
Techniques & Resources:
-Organic Synthesis techniques are used and include modern methods for synthesis, purification, and analysis of organic molecules
-Boston University Center for Molecular Discovery (BU-CMD) is an NIH-funded Center at Boston University which focuses on development of new methodologies for the synthesis of complex chemical libraries.
- Professor, Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
- Member, BU-BMC Cancer Center, Boston University
- Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
- Harvard University, PhD
- College of the Holy Cross, DEng
- Yale University, MS
- College of the Holy Cross, BA
- Published on 9/6/2022
Lehman SL, Wechsler T, Schwartz K, Brown LE, Porco JA, Devine WG, Pelletier J, Shankavaram UT, Camphausen K, Tofilon PJ. Inhibition of the Translation Initiation Factor eIF4A Enhances Tumor Cell Radiosensitivity. Mol Cancer Ther. 2022 Sep 06; 21(9):1406-1414. PMID: 35732578.
- Published on 7/6/2022
Yang F, Porco JA. Unified, Asymmetric Total Synthesis of the Asnovolins and Related Spiromeroterpenoids: A Fragment Coupling Approach. J Am Chem Soc. 2022 Jul 20; 144(28):12970-12978. PMID: 35792599.
- Published on 6/18/2022
Praditya DF, Klöhn M, Brüggemann Y, Brown LE, Porco JA, Zhang W, Kinast V, Kirschning A, Vondran FWR, Todt D, Steinmann E. Identification of structurally re-engineered rocaglates as inhibitors against hepatitis E virus replication. Antiviral Res. 2022 Aug; 204:105359. PMID: 35728703.
- Published on 11/3/2021
Xu W, Brown LE, Porco JA. Divergent, C-C Bond Forming Macrocyclizations Using Modular Sulfonylhydrazone and Derived Substrates. J Org Chem. 2021 12 03; 86(23):16485-16510. PMID: 34730970.
- Published on 9/16/2021
Shen L, Pugsley L, Cencic R, Wang H, Robert F, Naineni SK, Sahni A, Morin G, Zhang W, Nijnik A, Porco JA, Langlais D, Huang S, Pelletier J. A forward genetic screen identifies modifiers of rocaglate responsiveness. Sci Rep. 2021 09 16; 11(1):18516. PMID: 34531456.
- Published on 7/10/2021
Chatterjee S, Yabaji SM, Rukhlenko OS, Bhattacharya B, Waligurski E, Vallavoju N, Ray S, Kholodenko BN, Brown LE, Beeler AB, Ivanov AR, Kobzik L, Porco JA, Kramnik I. Channeling macrophage polarization by rocaglates increases macrophage resistance to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. iScience. 2021 Aug 20; 24(8):102845. PMID: 34381970.
- Published on 6/14/2021
Nishida Y, Zhao R, Heese LE, Akiyama H, Patel S, Jaeger AM, Jacamo RO, Kojima K, Ma MCJ, Ruvolo VR, Chachad D, Devine W, Lindquist S, Davis RE, Porco JA, Whitesell L, Andreeff M, Ishizawa J. Inhibition of translation initiation factor eIF4a inactivates heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) and exerts anti-leukemia activity in AML. Leukemia. 2021 09; 35(9):2469-2481. PMID: 34127794.
- Published on 5/1/2021
Jin C, Rajabi H, Rodrigo CM, Porco JA, Kufe D. Correction: Targeting the eIF4A RNA helicase blocks translation of the MUC1-C oncoprotein. Oncogene. 2021 May; 40(18):3347. PMID: 33850266.
- Published on 2/2/2021
Skofler C, Kleinegger F, Krassnig S, Birkl-Toeglhofer AM, Singer G, Till H, Benesch M, Cencic R, Porco JA, Pelletier J, Castellani C, Raicht A, Izycka-Swieszewska E, Czapiewski P, Haybaeck J. Eukaryotic Translation Initiation Factor 4AI: A Potential Novel Target in Neuroblastoma. Cells. 2021 02 02; 10(2). PMID: 33540613.
- Published on 12/25/2020
Liu H, He XZ, Feng MY, Yuan Zeng, Rauwolf TJ, Shao LD, Ni W, Yan H, Porco JA, Hao XJ, Qin XJ, Liu HY. Corrigendum to "Acylphloroglucinols with acetylcholinesterase inhibitory effects from the fruits of Eucalyptus robusta". [Bioorg. Chem. 103 (2020) 104127]. Bioorg Chem. 2021 Mar; 108:104579. PMID: 33493929.
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