Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Bill J. Baker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Abdul Malik, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roman Manetsch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Edward Turos, Ph.D.


polyketide, polyol, alkaloid, indole, pyrimidine


Drug discovery is reliant on new developments in natural product chemistry as well as advances in chemical synthesis. The interconnectivity and interdependence of natural and synthetic investigation in drug discovery is evident. The chemical exploration reported herein elaborates the relationship between natural product chemistry and chemical synthesis. Of particular interest are chemicals from organisms residing in less accessible environments, particularly Antarctica and endophytic microbial communities. Degradation via reductive ozonolysis of palmerolide A, a macrocyclic polyketide isolated from the Antarctic tunicate

Synoicum adareanum, and subsequent synthetic preparation of the resulting polyols (1,2,6-hexanetriol and 1,2,3,6-hexanetetraol) led to a revision in the absolute configuration of the bioactive natural product (7R, 10R, 11R to 7S, 10S, 11S). A partial synthesis of palmerolide A (C3-14) was completed using Grubb’s 2nd generation catalyst to couple fragments formed using the previously developed methodology from the degradation study. Isolation of indole-pyrimidine containing alkaloids meridianins A, B, C, and E from the Antarctic tunicate Synoicum sp. prompted a synthetic investigation of psammopemmin A, a related alkaloid from the Antarctic sponge Psammopemma sp. resulting in reassignment of the structure of psammopemmin A to that of meridianin A. Both meridianin A and psammopemmin A were synthesized through a Suzuki coupling of the same 4-indolol nucleophile to the apposite pyrimidine electrophile. Several synthetic 3-pyrimidylindole analogs were also prepared and investigated for central nervous system, antimalarial, and cytotoxic activity. Chemical investigation of extracts from mangrove fungal endophytes that displayed antimalarial properties in vitro resulted in the isolation of several potent but cytotoxic and cytostatic compounds: cytochalasin D, roridin E, and 12,13-deoxyroridin E.