Prof. Paul Williard receives 2022 Salomon Award

Environmentally Safe (green) Chemical Reactions to Prepare Antiviral & Ion Channel Blocker Analogs
The need to develop and carry out organic chemical reactions under environmentally friendly conditions is a key national goal.  I propose to develop organic reactions that will be done without using organic solvents.  Preliminary results obtained during the summer 2021 suggest that it is possible to prepare new, patentable analogs of antiviral compounds to treat a variety of viral infections including new and existing COVID variants and also analogs of a potent ion channel blocker, tetrodotoxin (TTX), of current interest to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  I seek funds to develop a small-scale reactor for conducting no solvent reactions with reactive organometallic reagents to synthesize new physiologically active compounds. The most impact of this research program is environmental.  Success of this project will lead to a very significant decrease in the quantity of bulk solvents utilized to prepare, transport, store and use organic chemicals. Hence the unifying theme of this proposal is that development and control of organic reactions carried out without the use of solvents and storage/transport of chemical and pharmaceutical compounds is safer, cheaper and more efficient when the reagents are prepared and handled without utilizing toxic organic solvents such as volatile hydrocarbons, halogen containing compounds and/or ether pollutants. These solvents are utilized at the multimillion-ton scale annually. Elimination of these portend a very favorable environmental impact.  I will focus on the synthesis of analogs of antiviral and other physiologically active compounds starting from readily available, non-toxic sugars and monosaccharides to develop green chemical methodology.