Greener drugs

Synthetic chemist László Kürti and postdoctoral researchers Zhiwei Ma and Zhe Zhou of Rice University have developed a new synthesis of unprotected aziridine molecules, key intermediates in making bioactive small molecules. The two-carbon, one-nitrogen three-membered aziridine ring is readily opened and so provides a useful tool to add a nitrogen atom to a growing molecular structure. Kürti and his team have focused on making unprotected aziridines which can then be further functionalized as intermediates towards more complicated compounds.