Mentors: Troy Ryba and Bhau Pandya
Triazoles are molecules formed when an alkyne containing a carbon-carbon triple bond combines with an azide containing three nitrogen atoms. Triazoles have many used in medicine, such as HIV protease inhibitors and fungicides. Triazole-based molecules are widely used in the Diversity Oriented Synthesis (DOS) libraries at the Broad Institute. Triazoles and other DOS library molecules will eventually be used in chemical screens to evaluate their effects on biological processes.
Jeff and his mentors examined the effects of microwave irradiation on the production of triazoles, to determine if microwave-assisted synthesis can be used to increase efficiency and decrease reaction times. Jeff optimized many conditions of microwave-assisted triazole synthesis, including choice of solvent and catalyst, substrate molarity, catalyst mole percent, and reaction time. He discovered that microwaves decreased reaction time by 200%. Future research will aim to optimize microwave-assisted reaction conditions using very small amounts of catalyst.
Jeff, a Brookline High School senior, optimized the synthesis of triazoles using reactions conducted in the presence of microwave irradiation.