Discover Organic Chemistry and its role in Medicine & Science

Chemistry ought not to be for chemists alone

— Miguel de Unamuno

What is total synthesis?

Total synthesis is the science of making complex molecules like natural products in the laboratory. Initial synthetic endeavours in the 19th century elucidated simple molecules, like Wöhler’s synthesis of urea (component of urine).
This post explains basics concepts with a simple example.

As chemists gained unprecedented power through new chemical reactions, and deeper understanding of functional groups and chemical concepts, more complex targets came into the realm of possibility. Notable classics in total synthesis include penicillin (β-lactam antibiotic), strychnine (toxic alkaloid pesticide), prostaglandins (hormone-like fatty acids), vitamin B12 and taxol (anti-cancer terpenoid).

Spearheaded by breakthroughs of leaders like Robert Burns Woodward, Elias James Corey and Kyriacos Costa Nicolaou, the field has transformed our understanding of chemistry. In recent decades, it also unlocked significant value in biology and medicine.

this Organic Chemistry blog Page

Born out of passion for total synthesis, this page is part of the effort of Total Synthesis to explain simple and advanced chemistry concepts to students, professionals and other interested individuals. Although organic synthesis is objectively the best field (/s), it is needed to understand natural sciences more broadly.
Scientists of various disciplines can exhibit strong egos, elitism or arrogance (I’m sure you agree organic chemists in particular). This naivety is not helpful or fun, so we place an emphasis on interdisciplinary knowledge and welcome everyone.

This page consolidates case studies (based on educational videos) and will include stand-alone blog posts. Given the advanced nature of some of the content, much will not be beginner friendly. So, if you are at the level of googling “how to learn organic chemistry”, you will find other resources more enjoyable.