Despite the power of modern organic chemistry, efficient synthesis of complex molecular scaffolds remains an unmet challenge.  Their intricate ring systems and stereochemical arrays require too many synthetic operations to rapidly produce libraries of analogs.  New technological approaches are needed to forge their varied bonds to provide scalable access to libraries of these molecular architectures.  Our group develops computational strategies and synthetic methodologies to achieve these goals.

Modern computational tools offer powerful new ways to analyze a wide variety of chemical reactions. Numerous subfields have taken advantage of these tools to rationalize chemical outcomes and understand the fundamental forces that drive reactivity. Researchers performing multistep synthesis of small molecules have commonly used computational chemistry retrospectively to understand previously observed outcomes, which subsequently inform decision making. Instead, our group integrates quantum chemical calculations into the design stages of research in order to prioritize experimentation and minimize time-consuming and expensive empirical evaluation. We are applying numerous computational techniques to assist in the synthesis of structurally demanding small molecules that may have future applications to neuroscience.

The development of rigorous computational strategies and general construction reactions will have broad utility in a range of fields that rely on the synthesis of small molecules and functional materials.  One particular area that the Newhouse group focuses on is the total chemical synthesis of carbocyclic frameworks that are known to elicit powerful neurological effects.  Through strategic collaborations these substances are used as chemical probes to study fundamental aspects of neurological function and address neurological dysfunction.

Undergraduates interested in summer research should email a copy of their unofficial transcript by January. Graduate students should apply through the Yale Graduate Program. Prospective postdoctoral scholars should send a single PDF with cover letter, CV, research summary, and copies of all publications.  Please include “POSTDOC APP” in the email title.