Progress and Setbacks in the Lab

My research towards the synthesis of loline alkaloids has had some interesting results this summer. After several unsuccessful attempts, I was able to make the methyl ester carbamate in 72% overall yield. This is an improvement over the 65% yield reported in our 2011 synthesis, so it’s a promising result. Next, I will  need to characterize the substrate, which entails writing a detailed procedure for the reaction, as well as reporting necessary NMR, MS, and IR data. All of this information is useful in affirming the structural identity of the compound, which allows for other researchers and myself to reproduce results and further knowledge of the overall synthesis.  Once you’ve successfully reproduced a reaction, you can scale it up to save time in the future. To that end, I’ve also been reproducing some of the earlier reactions in the synthesis to move more material forward so we can make substantial progress toward the final natural product.