Research

Research Description

Students in the Vosburg lab seek to make medicinally useful molecules in new ways. We especially try to make them in biomimetic ways, using chemistry that imitates how such molecules are believed to be formed naturally in plants. In ideal cases, it almost seems like the molecules are making themselves! We also seek to use environmentally friendly methods that minimize waste, toxicity and hazards. Some of our target molecules can be used to fight inflammation, bacteria, fungi, or tuberculosis. Often we make molecules that no one else has ever made before!

Research Interests

  • natural product synthesis
  • natural product biosynthesis
  • biomimetic cyclizations
  • cascade reactions
  • green chemistry
  • molecular self-assembly
  • reaction development
  • asymmetric catalysis
  • structure, strain, and reactivity of organic molecules

Summer 2013 Research Students

  • Nick Chiappini (Drew ’14)
  • Brian Fielder ’14
  • Jonathan Keim (Baylor ’14)
  • Eun Bin Go ’15
  • Grace Kim (Williams ’15)
  • Stephanie Cheng (Mt. SAC ’14, UCLA ’16)
  • Shannon Wetzler ’16

Former Research Students

  • Paul Dossa ’06
  • Kaitlyn Gray ’06
  • Martha Cavanaugh-O’Keefe ’07
  • Frances Hocutt ’07
  • Kathryn (Poindexter) Scherpelz (Pomona ’07)
  • Karen (Brown) Morrison ’08
  • Julian Evans ’08 (joint research with Prof. Cave)
  • Sam “Bunny” Sobelman ’08
  • Alison Lee ’09
  • Jonathan Litz ’09
  • Ken Loh ’09
  • Rachel Nishimura ’09
  • Ryan Pakula ’09
  • Seanna Vine ’09 (joint research with Prof. Cave)
  • Terence Wong ’09
  • Andrew Chung ’10
  • Helen Fitzmaurice ’10
  • Chiara Giammanco ’10
  • Eric Nacsa ’10
  • Camille Sultana ’10
  • Athena Anderson ’11
  • Anna Cunningham ’11
  • Laura Poindexter ’11
  • Brigid Poling ’11
  • Zara Seibel ’11
  • Kanny Wan ’11
  • Tom Aldrich ’12 (joint research with Prof. Maloney)
  • Alix Chan ’12
  • Haley Ham ’12
  • Kim Quach ’12
  • Jeep Srisuknimit ’12
  • Mary Van Vleet ’12
  • Erin Chen (Mt. SAC ’11, UCLA ’13)
  • Cory Evans-Klock ’13
  • Katie Hilleke ’13
  • Alex Kreisman (Pitzer ’13)
  • Mika Nakashige (Williams ’13)
  • Bethany Okada ’13
  • Bryan Visser ’13
  • Eva Gao ’14
  • Julia Lee ’14
  • Katherine Muller ’14
  • Anastasia Patterson ’14
  • Christian Stevens ’14
  • Emily Yu (Mt. SAC ’12, UCLA ’14)
  • Coline Devin ’15
  • Mary May ’15

Summer 2013 Lab Photo

Top edges of cage: Brian, Prof. Vosburg, Jonathan. Bottom edges of cage: Shannon, Nick, Eun Bin. Trapped in cage: Stephanie.
Top edges of cage: Brian, Prof. Vosburg, Jonathan.
Bottom edges of cage: Shannon, Nick, Eun Bin.
Trapped in cage: Stephanie.

Summer 2012 Lab Photo

Top row: Katie, Cory, Prof. Vosburg, Brian, Bethany. Bottom row: Eva, Julia, Mika, Emily.
Top row: Katie, Cory, Prof. Vosburg, Brian, Bethany.
Bottom row: Eva, Julia, Mika, Emily.

Summer 2011 Lab Photo

Top row: Anastasia, Prof. Vosburg, Cory. Bottom row: Katie, Mary, Erin.
Top row: Anastasia, Prof. Vosburg, Cory.
Bottom row: Katie, Mary, Erin.

Summer 2010 Microwave Lab Photo

Top: Laura, Prof. Vosburg, Zara. Bottom: Kanny, Jeep.
Top: Laura, Prof. Vosburg, Zara.
Bottom: Kanny, Jeep.

Summer 2009 Tie-Dye Lab Photo

Pictured left to right: Andrew, Anna, Kanny, Prof. Vosburg, Eric, Rachel.
Pictured left to right: Andrew, Anna, Kanny, Prof. Vosburg, Eric, Rachel.

Summer 2008 “HMC” Lab Photo

Pictured left to right: Prof. Vosburg, Jonathan, Andrew, Rachel.
Pictured left to right: Prof. Vosburg, Jonathan, Andrew, Rachel.

Summer 2007 Lab Photo

Top row: Kathryn, Terence. Bottom row: Karen, Prof. Vosburg, Ken.
Top row: Kathryn, Terence.
Bottom row: Karen, Prof. Vosburg, Ken.

Summer 2006 “V” Lab Photo

Pictured left to right: Sam, Kathryn, Helen, Prof. Vosburg.
Pictured left to right: Sam, Kathryn, Helen, Prof. Vosburg.