Wednesday, June 18, 2014

TUSCRI – The Insider’s Perspective

By now, everyone has heard that The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is in talks to be acquired by the University of Southern California (USC). There has been rampant speculation on the Internet that this is all about TSRI’s funding problems and USC’s goal of improving its own US News rankings. Some have even speculated that TSRI is incorporated in England, and USC will receive incredible tax breaks following the merger. I’m here to tell you this is all false.

Monday, May 19, 2014

What Elements Has the Baran Lab Used, as Elements?

Last week, the internet (or at least a couple of people) were abuzz asking which elements have been used as elements. I decided to poll the lab for funsies - here's what everyone had to say.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chlorination War Club

Ever wonder what kind of name is palau’amine?
Well yes… this alkaloid was isolated from a sea sponge native to the island nation of Palau.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Electrochemical Synthesis of Dixiamycins

Phil Baran upon learning about electrochemistry

UPDATE: Our paper was highlighted on Deadspin!
UPDATE 2: Support from the San Diego Chargers!

Our paper on the total synthesis of dixiamycin B is now live in the JACS ASAP section, which means it's my turn to write a blog post. When we initiated this project, we had no idea we'd turn to electrochemistry; we just thought making the N–N bond would be interesting. In fact, I remember it like it was yesterday...

[Professor enters from stage left]
Professor: How would you make this?!
Student: Probably from hydrazine.
Professor: That's not interesting!
[Professor exits stage left]

Monday, March 31, 2014

Playing with radicals

Aromatic C–H amination has received a lot of attention over the last few years, and our efforts began late 2012. The goal was simple: create a nitrogen-centered radical and trap it with a heterocycle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Oxidative Explorations of Taxanes

Our paper is now out. This ongoing project, although some might label as simple, requires many different types of oxidations, and all of which require many experiments to discover. You can read the paper and ask me questions or send me comments to your heart’s content, but in this post I will talk about the discovery process and tell some of the stories.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Open Flask Blog Turns 1

On a fateful day last February, Y. Brando, Dane, Will, and Hans were busy sitting around rumor-mongering upon the latest internet gossip (likely started by Hans in the first place). Dane was dwelling over his lack of Reddit karma when they were all interrupted by Mr. Phil Barden. Surprising all parties involved, as usual, P.S.B. suggested "if you can't beat them, join them." And thus, we invented Openflask. Our first post was on 2/26/2013. And in true fashion of a graduate student, we forgot its birthday.