Research in the Smith group is highly interdisciplinary, and combines the synthesis of novel organic compounds with biochemical and biophysical methods to evaluate their utility. Often we employ supramolecular elements in our compound design. This rapidly growing field is less reliant on strong covalent bonds, but rather engages dozens or even hundreds of weak coordinate bonds to rapidly and firmly hold a target (much as Gulliver bound by the hundreds of ropes of his diminutive Lilliputian captors). Another common design element in our compounds is photophysical properties (i.e. fluorescence, photoluminescence, photothermal). These not only give us useful tools to “see” the effect of our molecules in vitro, but also enable potential therapeutic or diagnostic applications in medicine.


Representative, recent review publications

Smart Molecules for Imaging, Sensing and Health (SMITH), Smith, B. D. Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 2015, 11, 2540-2548. pdf

Synthetic Mimics of Biotin/(strept)avidin. Liu, W.; Samanta, S. K.; Smith, B. D.; Isaacs, L. Chem Soc. Rev. 2017, 46, 2391-2403. pdf

Imaging and Therapeutic Applications of Zinc(II)-dipicolylamine Molecular Probes for Anionic Biomembranes. Rice, D. R.; Clear, K. J.; Smith, B. D. Chem. Common. 2016, 52, 8787-8801. pdf