Chemistry is the molecular science. In order to study a molecule directly it must be available to us, but many molecules that may be interesting are in short supply or do not exist. The study of such molecules requires their synthesis. Organic synthesis is the artificial construction of more complex organic molecules from simpler ones using chemical reactions.
The reasons for doing organic synthesis are varied. New molecules are often synthesized so that their chemical properties can be studied or that have intentionally designed molecular behavior including as pharmaceuticals or as new materials. New methods of organic synthesis are in constant need and some syntheses are designed search for or explore new reactions. Some known naturally occurring organic compounds are useful in quantities that exceed their availability from natural sources making their artificial synthesis highly desirable. All of these reasons are reinforced by the fact that organic synthesis is often done for the pure joy and the challenge.
For each of these reasons, at Franklin and Marshall College several research groups are involved in organic synthesis research.
At a time when federal grants are becoming increasingly scarce, four Franklin & Marshall science professors each have been awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for...Read More