Adapted from a Royal Society of Chemistry press release.
Foundry staff members Yi Liu and Liana Klivansky, along with nobelist and Foundry user K. Barry Sharpless, are part of a multidisciplinary team that has been awarded the 2021 Organic Division Horizon Prize for Synthetic Organic Chemistry, presented by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The team was awarded for the development of multidimensional click chemistry, a next-generation click-technology that extends bond creation into the three-dimensional world, opening doors to new frontiers in biomedicine, materials science, and beyond.
Click chemistry is a method of synthesizing larger molecules by combining smaller “modular” chemicals together – similar to how Lego bricks might ‘click’ together. The click reaction utilizes only the most perfect reactions, meaning they occur quickly and irreversibly with minimal by-products created. Until recently, these connections were predominately flat (2-dimensional) and limited to uniting two modules.
The potential applications of multidimensional click chemistry are numerous because the technology serves as an ‘enabling tool’ to access a much larger chemical world. One important application includes drug discovery – using SOF4, a panel of 460 derivatives were made overnight from a weak antibiotic. From these derivatives, a stronger antibiotic rapidly emerged which inhibits a bacterial enzyme with 480-fold higher potency.
Read the full press release.