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Anthony W.G. Burgett

Anthony W.G. Burgett

Assistant Professor

Research Area: Bioorganic, Organic

B.S., 1999, University of Oklahoma
Ph.D., 2006, UT-Southwestern Medical Center
Postdoc, 2007-2009, Harvard University
Research Fellow, 2010-2012, Harvard University

Email: anthony.burgett@ou.edu
Phone: (405) 325-3551

Natural Product Molecular Pharmacology and Total Synthesis

Figure 1

Our cross-disciplinary research is focused on the molecular pharmacology and total synthesis of natural products, which are structurally complex, biologically-active molecules isolated from nature. Natural product total synthesis has long been a preeminent pursuit in organic chemistry, providing a driving force for the development of chemical reactivity and understanding. Our lab continues in this tradition, seeking to develop new approaches and new methods to achieve the synthesis of these complex structures. However, for us, the total synthesis of a natural product is a gateway and a vehicle to understanding the molecular mechanisms of action through which a compound affects biological systems. Synthesis applied to molecular pharmacology research is a uniquely powerful tool that enables full creativity and freedom to produce the natural product and derived analogs—probe analogs, analogs designed to determine the structure-activity-relations of the compound, and simplified, more-drug-like analogs. We employ, coupled to our total synthesis capabilities, a full suite of research techniques in molecular biology, protein biochemistry and cellular biology, and we seamlessly use this diverse array of methods to fully characterize the biological activity of a compound, identify its cellular target and unlock and advance any therapeutic applications.

We are actively recruiting group members interested in working at the confluence of organic chemistry and cellular biology/biochemistry, and we seek to train cross-disciplinary researchers capable of making future contributions in all aspects of small molecule science. 

OSW-1-Treated HCT-116 Human Colon Cancer Cells
Figure 2: OSW-1-Treated HCT-116 Human Colon Cancer Cells: Cell were treated for 8 hours with 0.2 nM of the natural product OSW-1 and then subjected to immunofluorescent confocal microscopy.

Research keywords: natural products; molecular pharmacology; total synthesis; chemical biology