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Journal of the Mexican Chemical Society

Print version ISSN 1870-249X


LITTLE, R. Daniel. People, Travel, Seminars, Reading, the Classroom, and Curiosity-Sources of Research Inspiration. J. Mex. Chem. Soc [online]. 2010, vol.54, n.2, pp.122-131. ISSN 1870-249X.

This manuscript is the outgrowth of a plenary lecture delivered by the author at the 44th Congreso Mexicano de Química that was held in Puebla, Mexico from 26-30 September of 2009. In formulating the presentation, consideration was given to thinking about the origins of the ideas that were integral to the formulation of the research to be described. The intent was to address the younger members of the audience - advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and those beginning the process of searching for a job. At a similar stage in my scientific career, I realized the need to formulate research plans in order to complete job applications where they were required. Where do these ideas come from? What factors stimulate one's curiosity? What stimulates one to pursue a particular line of research? Topics discussed within the context of attempting to address these questions include electrohydrocyclization and electroreductive cyclization, and their application to the total synthesis of natural products, the use of nickel salen and triarylamines as mediators and redox catalysts, the regiospecific rearrangement of cation radicals derived from strained hydrocarbons and the application of the chemistry to the synthesis of a sesquiterpene, and finally, a discussion of the role redox chemistry may play in the expression of the bioactivity of the pseudopterosin class of marine natural products.

Keywords : Electrohydrocyclization; redox; chemical synthesis; rearrangements; pseudopterosin.

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