Organic Chemistry Portal

Chemistry Books


Categories: Organic Chemistry >> Synthesis >> Natural Products

Total Synthesis of Natural Products: At the Frontiers of Organic Chemistry

Jie Jack Li, E. J. Corey

Hardcover, 279 Pages
1st Edition, 2012
ISBN: 978-3-642-34065-9


'Total Synthesis of Natural Products' is written and edited by some of today's leaders in organic chemistry. Eleven chapters cover a range of natural products, from steroids to alkaloids. Each chapter contains an introduction to the natural product in question, descriptions of its biological and pharmacological properties and outlines of total synthesis procedures already carried out. Particular emphasis is placed on novel methodologies developed by the respective authors and their research groups. This text is ideal for graduate and advanced undergraduate students, as well as organic chemists in academia and industry.

Editorial Review

The editors Jie Jack Li and E. J. Corey have produced the book "Total Synthesis of Natural Products" from contributions penned by 11 prominent scientists, most of whom describe the challenges faced during the synthesis of certain natural substances in a very readable, personal style. The number of natural products is rather limited. However, most of the authors including Michael J. Krische and Tomas Hudlicky do not limit their stories to the final version of the synthetic route developed in their laboratories, but also discuss earlier attempts to prepare the target molecule. Other authors focus on the challenges posed by specific synthesis steps, or explain how related natural products are synthesized. Thus, each chapter contains a comparable amount of material even while the topics are approached from somewhat different perspectives. Additional information on the natural products is also provided, including biological activity, related natural compounds, and explanations of the biosynthesis at a level of detail consistent with the current state of knowledge. The selection of the natural products covered and the arrangement of the chapters is certainly influenced by the fact that Jie Jack Li worked for many years in a senior position at Pfizer in medicinal chemical research and development.

The book presents many and quite varied synthetic strategies directed toward 11 interesting natural products, and the detailed and personalized explanations and reflections by the authors will provide advanced students with a wealth of additional knowledge. Overall, this is a very readable book, and anyone with a serious interest in natural products will find its cost money well spent.


1. Nominine
2. Nakiterpiosin
3. The Kinamycins
4. A Short Synthesis of Strychnine from Pyridine
5. Bryostatin 7
6. Serratezomine A
7. Hypocrellin/Cercosporin
8. Phomactin A
9. (+)-11,11'-Dideoxyverticillin A
10. Retigeranic acid
11. Total Synthesis of the Lycopodium Alkaloid Complanadine A