Total synthesis of natural
and supernatural products

Bastien Nay / Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France 

November 30, 2022, 3 - 4 pm CET

Online live talk


Natural products are the usual targets of total synthesis, often associated with strategic challenges to achieve a biologically functional molecular complexity. Not only does total synthesis provide access to poorly available compounds for in-depth biological studies –sometimes with the advantage of preserving a rare or endangered species –, but it also stimulates the development of new synthetic methods to construct singular chemical patterns. In short, total synthesis makes it possible to prepare valuable compounds with a high application potential [1].

Our goal is to prepare compounds by synthetic means not only associated with methodological developments, but also with the perspective of targeted biological applications [2]. Methodologies of interest include the rapid generation of molecular complexity and of chemical diversity, by bio-inspired strategies, late functionalization in a medicinal context, pericyclic or cascading reaction. Applications are found in medicinal chemistry, chemobiology, or agronomy.

This presentation could be an opportunity to show some of our achievements in the total synthesis of biologically interesting natural products like cytochalasins [2a-2e] or bio-inspired heterocyclic compounds [2e,2f] and the applications we make of them in biology.



[1] Chemical Synthesis: Gnosis to Prognosis, Chatgilialoglu and Snieckus (eds.), 1996, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 223-243 [retranscription of Ravello workshop, Italy, 1994, by Heathcock: As we head into the 21st century, is there still value in total synthesis of natural products as a research endeavour?]
[2] Recent exemples of the lab: (a) Zaghouani et al., Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 16686-16691; (b) Zaghouani et al., Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 15257–15260; (c) Zhang et al., Chem. Eur. J. 2019, 25, 8643-8648; (d) Li et al., Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 2013, 9, 1551-1558; (e) Ronzon et al., Chem. Eur. J. 2021, 27, 7764-7772.


Bastien Nay

Bastien Nay obtained his Master of Organic Chemistry at the University of Toulouse, France, in 1997. In 1998, he completed his Thesis of Pharmacy at the University of Bordeaux, France, before he obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Toulouse (with J. Vercauteren) in 2000. After his postdoctoral studies at the University of Nottingham, UK (with J. S. Clark) and the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, Gif-sur-Yvette, France (with C. Poupat), he became CNRS researcher as Chargé de recherche at the National Museum of Natural History, Paris, in 2004. In 2014, he was appointed Directeur de recherche (a full professor equivalent at CNRS). Since 2017, he is CNRS researcher (Directeur de recherche) at the École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France.