Sadra Hamedzadeh

 
Mentor: Dr. Alan Katritzky
Liberal Arts and Sciences
 
"I became interested in chemistry at high school by participating in the National Chemistry Olympiad. I knew that chemistry would be at the core of my future career when I started studying organic chemistry. The idea of organic synthesis, and specially designing new biologically relevant molecules was extremely appealing to me. After starting school at the University of Florida as a Chemistry major, I decided to join the Katritzky group at Center for Heterocyclic Compounds to gain valuable research experience in organic synthesis. My research projects have been focused on developing novel methodologies for synthesis of cyclic peptides. Cyclic peptides are as essential class of organic heterocyclic compounds that have numerous applications in drug discovery, but have limited availability due to their synthetic difficulties. So far, we have developed successful cyclization strategies for synthesis of cyclic tetrapeptides. This experience under the guidance of Dr. Katritzky has helped me become more familiar with the virtually unlimited applications of organic synthesis in different fields like drug discovery and medicinal chemistry. My research has led to publication of the results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, as well as several oral and poster presentations in national scientific conferences. I hope to apply the research skills that I learn here to problems in drug discovery and medicinal chemistry in graduate school."

Major

Chemistry

Minor

Physics

Research Interests

  • Organic Synthesis
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Proteins and Peptides

Academic Awards

  • UF-HHMI Science For Life Intramural Undergraduate Research Award
  • The Scripps Research Institute Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
  • Gordon M. and Joyce L. Smith Award
  • Best Undergraduate Research Poster Award at: UF i3 2013, 12th Raymond N. Castle Conference, and Emory Stem Career and Research Symposium

Organizations

  • Association of Future Physician-Scientists
  • Alpha Chi Sigma
  • Iranian Student Association

Volunteer

  • Broward Health Coral Springs
  • Florida Regional Science Bowl
  • Florida Regional Middle School Science Fair

Hobbies and Interests

  • Swimming
  • Soccer
  • Video Games

Research Description

Synthesis of cyclic peptides by intra-molecular lactamization and cyclo-oligomerization of dipeptidyl benzotriazolides
Cyclooligomerization, a powerful method to give fast access to different peptide macrocycles, can generate combinatorial peptide macrocycle libraries containing dimer, trimer and tetramer products with many potential applications in drug discovery, materials sciences and catalysis. Dipeptide segments of natural amino acids undergo intramolecular cyclization to form diketopiperazines under N-deprotection and carboxyl group activation; however intramolecular cyclization is difficult for peptide segments containing β-turn inducing constraint elements like: oxazolines, oxazoles, thiazolines, thiazoles and imidazoles. Because of the rigid trans orientation of the immediate linkage fused into the five membered rings, these building blocks are therefore ideally suited for cyclooligomerization strategies and macrocycle formation. We plan to develop one-pot deprotection/cyclization of open chain N-Cbz-dipeptidoyl benzotriazole sequences containing proline as β-turn inducer to produce series of constrained macrocycles. Their size, high symmetry, and conformational restraints, may facilitate development of extended symmetric scaffolds for new macromolecular devices, protein surface mimics, multiple metal-ion carriers, or antibiotics.