Organic chemistry research team invited to publish in Nature Reviews


Nature Reviews – Chemistry is a top review journal for chemistry, from the Nature group of journals. Associate Professor Xu Jing from the Department of Chemistry of Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) was recently invited to publish an article called “Innovation in protecting-group-free natural product synthesis.” This reflects SUSTech’s continuous advances in complex natural product synthesis. It is the first and only article from a Chinese organic chemistry research team to be published in Nature Reviews Chemistry since its publication in January 2017.

Associate Professor Xu Jing was the corresponding author for the article, while SUSTech was the communication unit. Research assistant Chunngai Hui was the first author, while senior students Chen Fang and Pu Fan were both second authors.

The ultimate goal for the synthesis of drugs and complex natural products is to find out the most efficient, economic and selective approach to access the target molecule using simple and cheap starting materials. Associate Professor Xu Jing and his research group have done significant work into the efficient synthesis of complex natural products, along with several other research groups within the Department of Chemistry at SUSTech. So far, the group has effectively and efficiently synthesized complex structures such as phaseic acid, strychnofoline, astellatol, atropurpuran and himalensine A. Their efforts were rewarded by being invited to write a review on the strategy of high-efficiency synthesis of natural products for Nature Reviews Chemistry, by their editorial board.

The article summarized the critical progress made by various research groups around the world, focusing on the efficient and protecting-group-free synthesis of natural products, along with the innovative work being done in synthetic strategies and methods. They pointed out that the efforts of their predecessors set the direction and strategies for the research groups of today, who have now found that an efficient synthesis should rapidly construct the molecular skeleton in the early-stage while introducing reactive functional groups using chemoselective methods in the late-stage. This strategy provides an important incentive for the future development of the synthesis of complex natural products.

Associate Professor Xu Jing’s team was also published in Natural Product Reports (IF = 11.406) for their paper called “Total synthesis of sesterterpenoids.”, upon invitation from the journal editorial board. In that paper, they reviewed the recent synthesis of sesterterpenoids, a type of highly complex natural products that has long been considered as formidable synthetic challenges. Ph.D. student Chen Yuye was the first author, and Associate Professor Xu Jing was the corresponding author. The article was selected as the front cover of the journal, as it was highly regarded by the editorial board.

Associate Professor Xu Jing’s research group specifically thanks SUSTech, the Shenzhen Grubbs Research Institute, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Thousand Talents Program Youth Project, the Shenzhen Municipal Development and Reform Commission and the Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Commission for their strong support and project funding for their research work.


Nature Reviews Chemistry paper link:

Natural Product Reports paper link: