New project: synthesis in charged droplets

At the end of last year, our group got very happy news from Estonian Research Council, we received the personal research funding team grant to investigate synthesis in charged droplets (project abbreviation SNT). This new and exciting project allowed us to widen our team. In addition to masters student Mari Ojakivi, already working on the topic, Andi Kipper, Siim Kukk, and Karl Kaupmees joined our team together with a new bachelor student Sander Kotkas at the beginning of this year.

About the SNT project

Synthesis of new compounds is essential for a majority of technologies from material science to medicine. Despite the great benefits provided by the development of novel catalysis, several reactions still remain problematic in organic synthesis. Our new project is focussed on overcoming such limitations by carrying out organic reactions in charged droplets. Charged droplets have several properties that are complementary to conventional synthesis media; namely, they possess super acidic or super basic properties, violate electroneutrality, and allow protonation of functional groups not accessible in the liquid phase. 

New group members

Andi Kipper has a background in synthetic organic chemistry. He is currently in the process of defending his doctoral thesis “Towards the Total Synthesis of Meridamycin” in Leibniz Universität Hannover (Germany), scheduled to happen on 14th of February. During, his PhD Andi acquired knowledge in total synthesis, synthesis of natural products, polyketides, and aldol reactions. Andi has also acquired experiences in the pharmaceutical industry from TBD Biodiscovery, where he has been working as a project manager. Andi has also helped to organize Estonian National Chemistry Olympiad. The main task of Andi during the SNT project will be designing and conducting synthesis in charged droplets.

Karl Kaupmees has a PhD from the University of Tartu (Estonia) and he conducted his post-doc in the University of Paderborn (Germany). In his PhD studies, Karl focused on studying acid-base chemistry, while in post-doc he focused more on synthesis. Both of these research fields of Karl have been supported by his strong background in computational chemistry. Karl is currently also actively acquiring additional experiences in data science to further support his research activities in the SNT project with adequate modelling strategies to support the experimental findings with theory.

Siim Kukk received recently his PhD from the University of Tartu, where he focussed on designing and synthesising N-substituted nortropane derivatives and characterising their interaction with dopamine receptors. He has also ample experiences from working in PharmaSynth since the beginning of his studies; therefore, providing him with ample knowledge and experiences about pharmaceutical synthesis. In SNT project Siim will focus on designing, planning, and conducting the synthesis as well as instructing students on their thesis.

Sander Kotkas is a second-year bachelor student who has just started working on his bachelor’s thesis and will be conducting both synthesis and MS analysis.

We welcome all the new group members and are very excited about this project and will be happy to communicate our finding here on some upcoming posts.