We are a very dynamic group interested in all aspects of STEREOSELECTIVE SYNTHESIS. Major efforts are dedicated to the development of novel synthetic methodologies and their application to the synthesis of chiral products of pharmaceutical interest and, in general, of biologically active compounds. The design, discovery and study of chiral catalysts is a central topic of our group; a special attention is devoted to the development of easily available, practical and widely applicable organocatalysts. In some projects we take advantage of molecular recognition events to control (stereo)selectivity and we use computational tools to investigate the transition structure geometries and to clarify the reaction mechanisms.
Stereochemistry plays a key role in other projects as well, like the study of stereoselective reactions in water and other alternative reaction medium, the synthesis of chiral supramolecular assemblies and the development of recyclable chiral organic catalysts and their use in flow chemistry processes.
In continuation of our earlier work on immobilized catalysts the group is extending its activities into technological and engineering aspects. Therefore we focused on developing novel packed-bed and monolithic catalytic reactors, exploiting the unique features of such devices in stereoselective transformations in flow processes. We are studying organocatalyzed reactions in mini- and microreactors under continuous-flow conditions, but we have also started to use 3D-printing technologies to build ad hoc designed microreactors, exploring different materials to realize new devices for continuous-flow transformations.
We are also involved in a project aimed to the development of biodegradable polymers with controlled macromolecular architecture as new polyfunctional agents for 19F MR imaging. The research is highly multidisciplinary at the interface of several fields including organic, polymer, biological, and materials chemistry.