Research Divisions

Creating Biologically Relevant Small Molecules


Research in the Cook group focuses on the creation of biologically relevant small molecules through the synthesis of natural and unnatural molecules with the potential to illuminate living systems. Paramount to our goal is the development of new strategies and catalysts for the efficient synthesis of small molecules, with an emphasis on the application of these methods to the total synthesis of complex natural products. Natural products have played a critical role in scientific discovery over the last several decades. Advancements in the areas of reaction development, mechanistic theory and spectroscopy are only matched by the contributions of natural product research to medicine, biology and pharmacology. It is because of these major contributions that total synthesis has been referred to as a “mature” discipline. Although the field may be more advanced than other fledgling areas of chemistry, countless exciting discoveries still remain, and researchers in the Cook group labor to bring them to light.


Silas Cook

Associate Professor

Organic, Physical