DrNa Wu (other name Anna Wu), as a singaporean Cantonese, was growingup in North Sea of China, and has embarked on an internationaljourney to pursue her research career. She received her universitytraining in organic synthesis first at the Shann’xi NormalUniversity (02-06, BS in Chemistry) with Prof. Baolin Li and then athighly-ranked Peking University (PKU) (06-10, MS & PhD inSynthesis & Catalysis, emph. the use of Pauson-Khand reaction(PKR) in the total synthesis of (±)-Pentalenolactone-a Methyl Ester,(formally graduating in June 12) with Prof. Zhen Yang. NW has alsoheld a visiting research stay at Durham University (10-11, Host:Prof. Todd Marder, co-supervised by Prof. Andy Whiting) where shestudied palladium-thiourea catalysed enyne domino reactions. This wasfollowed by a PDRA with Prof. Simon Woodward at Nottingham Universityin 2013, where she studied the trichloromethide additionmechanism. She also had a short research stay in the Prof.Zhixiang Yu group (PKU) studying DFT in Aug 2015. Shewas appointed as a teaching fellow by Guangxi Normal University(GXNU) in 2014 and holds a lecturership since 2015, supervisingpostgraduates in the research project and self-managing the lab. Thisallows her to start an independent research career. She wassuccesively promoted to associate professor in 2016. A year after,she took up Newton International fellowship in Oxford Universityand Durham University (Principal Investigator), awarded by HerMajesity's Royal Society in United Kingdom. She is also Early-CareerFellow in Durham Energy Institute.
Annais the recipient of numerous awards and research grants, includingChinese Education Ministry Scholarship (06-11), Chinese ScholarshipCouncil’s UK-China Joint Doctoral Scholarship (10-11); Researchgrants are awarded by the following organisations: State Key Lab(14-17), GXNU (14-17), Provincial Science Foundation to YoungInvestigator (15-16), PKU Shenzhen Graduate School (16-17) andNational Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (15-18), NewtonInternational Fellowship (Royal Society) (2018-2020), MarieSklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence (2018), Durham EnergyInstitute Interdisciplinary Grant Scheme (2018-2019).
Outof the lab, Anna is an active player on the accordion, piano andelectric board. Music is a crucial element to inspire her to becreative.
ForAnna's Royal Society'swebpage https://royalsociety.org/people/na-wu-13736/
ForAnna's academic staff webpage in DurhamUniversity https://www.dur.ac.uk/chemistry/staff/profile/?id=17174
ForAnna's Fellow webpage in Durham EnergyInstitute https://www.dur.ac.uk/dei/aboutus/dei.fellows/
Areasof Research Interests
Polycyclicalkaloids have proven importance in human medicine; two examples arethe frontline anticancer drugs vinblastine and vincristine. However,it can be very challenging to develop new drugs directly fromnatural products, particularly if the natural supply is limited.One solution is chemical synthesis which, due to economic andenvironmental demands, requires efficient and flexiblechemicalstrategies; a consequent benefit is access to non-naturalanalogues that expand skeletal diversity. In this context,'domino' reactions, which form multiple bonds in a single step,are a powerful tactic for the rapid assembly of a wide varietyof complex ring systems from simple starting materials.
Palladiumcatalysts offer exceptional control in building C–C bonds withhigh precision under mild conditions, with wide tolerance offunctional groups. Our research aims to extend the state-of-the-artin Pd-catalysed domino multicomponent cyclisations to assemblepolycyclic alkaloid-like frameworks, using enynamides as reactionsubstrates. Such transformations are highly challenging, due to theneed to precisely control the sequence of bond formations in thevarious reaction steps. We exploit nucleopalladation reactionsof ynamides as the key domino initiator, combining bothestablished and new reactivity principles, aiming to extend theseprinciples to sequenced multicomponent reactions, which form multiplebonds and rings in one transformation.
Weare aiming to build up international research link and providenetwork for postgraduates to deepen their research capacity.
Mycurrent research is focused on transition metal-catalysed dominoreactions of alkenes and alkynes, and related mechanisticstudies. These reactions involve the formation of multiple covalentbonds in a single step to construct elaborate polycyclic structuressimilar to those found in biologically active molecules. I amcurrently working on several aspects of transition metal catalysis,including:
? Pd-catalysedenantioselective enyne cyclisations to form quaternarystereocenters via asymmetriccounterion directed catalysis;
? Pauson-Khandreactions (PKR) to form substituted cyclopentenones as found incomplex natural products (e.g. (±)-pentalenolactone A methyl ester);
? Mechanisticstudies in Pd-catalysed PKRs initiated by alkynoate chloropalladationrather than the conventional cyclometallation pathway;
? Controlof PKR regioselectivity using lithium halide salts;
? Enynecycloisomerisation / Diels-Alder reaction / lactonisation sequencesas atom economic routes to fused carbocyclic lactones;
? Heckcyclisations of haloenamides to indoles;
? Wagner-Meerwein-typerearrangements to access polycyclic pyrones;
? Azide-basedrearrangements in cascade cycloadditions;
? Developingnew chiral dienes from extracts of Chinese plants for use in rhodiumcatalysis.
Formy publications, see my website:
Applicationof dehydroabietic acid in palladium-catalyzed enynecycloisomerization (Adv.Synth. Catal. 2017, 359,2442.)
A nordehydroabietyl amide-containingchiral dienefor rhodium-catalyzed asymmetric conjugateaddition to nitroolefins(Org.Biomol. Chem. 2016, 14,11080.)
One-pot synthesisof βenaminoketoesters through “masked”1,3-aza-dipoles (Org.Lett. 2014, 16,4048.)
1,4-Additionof TMSCCl3 tonitroalkenes (Chem.Eur. J. 2014, 20,7718.)
Wagner–Meerwein-likerearrangements in Palladium-catalyzed enyne cyclization (Chem.Commun. 2012, 48,9986; ActaCryst.2012, C68,o413.)
Palladium-catalyzedregioselective Pauson-Khand reactions (PKRs) (Chem.Asian. J. 2013, 8,65.)
Pd/ Co controlled diastereoselectivity in the synthesisof (±)-pentalenolactoneA methyl ester (Angew.Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51,12072.)
AnnaWu is the recipient of numerous awards and research grants:
· Postgraduatenational scholarship, Ministry of Education, 2006-2007.
· Ph.D.national scholarship, Ministry of Education, 2008-2011
· UK-Chinajoint training doctoral students scholarship awarded by CSC (ChineseScholarship Council), 2010-2011.
· “Thesynthetic study of natural bioactive product Cortistatin A”obtained research honorable mention, funded by Dean grant, awarded byShenzhen graduate school, Peking University, China, May, 2010.
· “Palladium(II)-CatalyzedTandem Cyclisation of Electron-Deficient Aromatic Enynes” got thethird prize in new energy and low-carbon economy PhD forum, LondonUniversity, awarded by Chinese embassy, June, 2011.
· “Functionalizationof bioactive coumarin derivatives", awarded by GuangxiProvince Key Laboratory for the Chemistry and Molecular Engineeringof Medicinal Resource, Sep. 2014 - Sep. 2017.
· “Palladiumcatalysed aromatic 1,m-enyne cyclisations, awarded by NSFC (NationalNature Science Foundation of China), for Jan. 2015 -Dec. 2018.
· Doctorateresearch grant, awarded by Guangxi Normal University, Sep. 2014 -Sep. 2017.
· “Dienylpalladium species as reactive intermediates in the construction ofcyclised molecules”, funded by Young investigator researchgrant, Guangxi Provincial Nature Science Foundation, Apri. 2015 -Aug. 2016.
· Associatemember of the royal society of chemistry, 2015.
· "Functionalizationof dehydroabietic acid", 1-year-Grant of for trainingundergraduate’s lab technique in GXNU, Jan. - Dec.2015.
· "Functionalizationof dehydroabietic acid (DAA) and application of DAA intransition-metal catalysed enyne asymmetric cyclisation", visitingresearch grant to Peking University Shenzhen graduate school, China,Jan. - Dec. 2016.
· Memberof the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017.
· NewtonInternational Research Fellowship, awarded by Her Majesty's RoyalSociety, United Kingdom, 2018 - 2020.
· MarieSklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence, awarded by EuropeanCommission, 2018.
· DurhamEnergy Institute Interdisciplinary Grant Scheme (2018-2019).