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Robert Carlson

Dr. Robert Carlson, Professor

Contact Information

Office: Chem 325
Phone: (218) 726-7231
Fax: (218) 726-7394
E-mail: rcarlson@d.umn.edu

The Carlson Research Group

The research effort in Our Laboratory focuses on new methods for the synthesis of compounds of pharmaceutical importance using novel carbon/oxygen, and/or sulfur, mono- and dianions.  Recent examples of such "synthetic synthon equivalents" include:

Currently, Our Laboratory has been elaborating the use of previously developed O,S-allenic carbanions# for the synthesis of ß-hydroxybutyrolactones, a class of biologically-active compounds that represent key synthetic intermediates in the formation of a variety of substituted gamma-butyrolactones. The use of titanium(IV) and the development of a selective hydrolytic cyclization of the acetylenic sulfide have lead to a new, highly efficient and diasteroselective synthetic protocol.




Most recently, the emphasis has been on the use of new chiral acetal auxiliaries developed in Our Laboratory (see examples below) to guide the enantioselectivity of the “titanium guided” carbonyl addition process.

A different avenue of research is to apply Our Laboratory’s discovery of a new technique for the formation of unsymmetrical dithioacetals from imino dithiocarbamates to make chiral dithioacetals derived from amino acids. These unsymmetrical 30 amino dithioacetals are designed to allow the generation of stabilized dithiomethyl carbanions as synthetically useful reagents for the preparation of chiral α-hydroxy aldehydes (see below).

Example:  The Use of a Proline-based Chiral Unsymmetrical Dithioacetal Anions for The Generation of Chiral α-Hydroxyaldehydes

Members of the Carlson Research Group

Dr. Sangeeta Mereddy, Ph.D.
Cody Anderson, Graduate Student
Nathan Karp Nathan Karp, Undergraduate
Dillon Lundstrom Dillon Lundstrom, Undergraduate Research Student
Logan Pirkl Jared Gailey, Undergraduate Research Student


UMD Laboratory for Drug Discovery and Development, Dr. Alan Oyler, Director

Tunda Composites (Development of metal composites suitable as lead substitutes)

RECEPTORS (Development of combinatorial organic surface chemistry for the isolation, detection and analysis of compounds of biological interest)