“Total Synthesis of Clavatadine A” receives the Jack L. Beal Award

The American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP) bestowed the Jack L. Beal Award to Dr. Stephen Chamberland as corresponding author of the paper “Total Synthesis of Clavatadine A.”  This paper was published in the Journal of Natural Products in 2015.  Jointly overseen by the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Pharmacognosy, the Journal of Natural Products “invites and publishes papers that make substantial and scholarly contributions to the area of natural products research. Contributions may relate to the chemistry and/or biochemistry of naturally occurring compounds or the biology of living systems from which they are obtained (http://pubs.acs.org/page/jnprdf/about.html).”

“In 2001, the Foundation Board of the American Society of Pharmacognosy began a new initiative as a result of the Arthur E. Schwarting and Jack L. Beal Awards for best papers in the Journal of Natural Products. In this manner, two former distinguished editors of the journal are fondly remembered. The Schwarting Award is open to all papers published in the journal within a given year (either in print or electronically). In turn, the Beal Award is awarded to younger investigators [i.e., persons within 12 years of receiving their Ph.D. degree or within 10 years of gaining their first professional appointment (e.g., Assistant Professor or equivalent position in industry or government)]. A two-tier process was used to determine the winners for papers published in J. Nat. Prod. every year. The journal editors nominate eight papers for the Schwarting Award and four paper for the Beal Award, and the ASP President appointed an ad hoc committee to make the final selections (http://www.pharmacognosy.us/grants-and-awards/grants-and-awards-archive/schwarting-beal-awards/).”

I am profoundly humbled, honored, and thrilled that our manuscript was chosen from among many deserving submissions to receive the prestigious Jack L. Beal Award.  I thank the Journal of Natural Products Editorial Staff and the ASP ad hoc committee members for their distinguished service and for recognizing our work.  Without substantial contributions from undergraduate student co-authors Stephanie J. Conn, Shannon M. Huffman (Vreeland), and Alexandra N. Wexler, the first total synthesis of the Factor XIa inhibitor clavatadine A would not have been possible.  Our efforts engendered a synthesis that is simple, robust, and, most importantly, repeatable.  Such recognition of our work is encouragement that my students and I may have something worthwhile to contribute to science and to human health.

We are working to extend this approach to prepare a reversible Factor XIa inhibitor, and are especially intrigued by the potential that clavatadine A derivatives might have to treat coagulation disorders.  This proposed work will build upon our successful route to clavatadine A and aminoguanidine-containing natural products, and will be the subject of a forthcoming CAREER proposal to the National Science Foundation.  I especially want to thank our Australian collaborators, most notably Distinguished Professor Dr. Ron Quinn and Dr. Rebecca H. Pouwer, for providing the biological assay data that helped to confirm the structure of our synthetic clavatadine A and to authenticate its inhibitory activity.