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.
Steve Chamberland recently received an invitation to speak at the Small Splash, Big Waves symposium at the Fall 2015 national meeting of the American Chemical Society. This symposium, offered by the American Chemical Society Division of Organic Chemistry, is designed to highlight the research successes that can be achieved at primarily undergraduate institutions. This is the first invited seminar at the national level for Dr. Chamberland. He will speak at the fall ACS meeting in Boston, MA about the group’s research over the last few years and what’s coming on the horizon. Congratulations to the current and former group members whose achievements made this opportunity possible, and to Central Washington University for providing a platform for launching our successful research program.
Chris Malmberg’s abstract entitled “Total synthesis of clavatadine A analogues to produce a viable reversible inhibitor of factor XIa” was accepted by the American Chemical Society Division of Medicinal Chemistry. Chris will present his poster at the Spring 2015 national meeting of the ACS in Denver this March. Congratulations Chris! If you go to the meeting, please visit his poster on Sunday evening, March 22, 2015.
Since 2010, our group has been working hard to complete the first total synthesis of clavatadine A, a chemical that is a natural blood coagulation inhibitor. Our group completed the total synthesis in November 2013, and then quickly wrote and submitted the paper for publication in December of that year. Reviewers universally recommended acceptance of the manuscript once key enzyme inhibition data was gathered on our synthesized compound. Without the ability to do this work at CWU, I reached out to Dr. Ronald J. Quinn of the Eskitis Institute of Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Dr. Quinn first isolated clavatadine A from the ocean sponge Suberea clavata in 2008. We collaborated with Dr. Quinn and a postdoctoral researcher in his group, Dr. Rebecca N. Pouwer. In October 2014, the enzyme inhibition data from Dr. Quinn and Dr. Pouwer revealed that the synthetic compound bound to the target coagulation factor with almost exactly the same affinity as the natural compound, which paved the way for the paper to be published, finally. After almost a year of waiting since we submitted the paper, it appeared online today on the Journal of Natural Products website (see our Publications section). For a small research group at a regional teaching college, this is a big accomplishment. I thank my former research students and co-authors Stephanie Conn, Shannon Huffman (nee Vreeland), and Alexandra Wexler, without whom this work would not have been possible. Working with dedicated and talented students and scientists like Stephanie, Shannon, and Alex makes my job worthwhile. I also thank Dr. Quinn and Dr. Pouwer. We’ve never met, but I hope to make your acquaintance on my next trip to Australia. Cheers! -SC
This website will always be a work in progress, but its mission is to publicize the great work and achievements of our talented group members.
Our research is guided by our Mission Statement
The Chamberland Group seeks to develop quality scientists. We race to be the first to synthesize new, biologically active molecules. Procedures we develop and modify will be robust, repeatable, and well documented. Victory is achieved by initiative, creativity, attention to detail, and most of all, hard work. It pays to be a winner.