John A. Porco, PhD

Professor, Chemistry

John Porco
617.353.2493
590 Commonwealth Ave

Biography

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.

Other Positions

  • Professor, Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Member, BU-BMC Cancer Center, Boston University
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University

Education

  • Harvard University, PhD
  • College of the Holy Cross, DEng
  • Yale University, MS
  • College of the Holy Cross, BA

Publications

  • 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.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/23/2022

    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 Jun 23. PMID: 35732578.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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.

    Read at: PubMed

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