Organic Synthesis Core

The Organic Synthesis Core provides biological investigators with access to “small” organic compounds that allow investigators at the University of Kentucky and other institutions to probe important biological questions relevant to the molecular basis of human medicine. 

 The core maintains an open-door policy for consultation.  In a collaborative process, the Core designs specific small molecules and tailors these small molecules to include suitable functional groups for linkage to proteins, peptide-nucleic-acid (PNA) mimics or to suitable markers for the detection and monitoring of a particular drug or natural product.  Tailoring includes the incorporation of fluorescent tags, photoactive groups, non-radiogenic labels (e.g., deuterium) or radiolabels, as needed.  The laboratory maintains equipment needed for organic synthesis and utilizes infrared, ultraviolet, mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance instrumentation to characterize adducts and to establish their purity.  The Core also assists investigators with the characterization and purification of compounds acquired from other sources.  The Core does not synthesize compounds available from commercial sources. 

Training opportunities are available for graduate students, technicians and postdoctoral fellows from other research groups who wish to learn a particular technique and subsequently import it into their research group.  The core provides access to equipment:  melting point devices, low-pressure distillation equipment, photochemical apparatus, specialized glassware and chromatographic systems not generally available in biochemical laboratories and provides access to this equipment to any investigators who need it.  

Current charges for the services provided by the Cores are summarized below.  UK faculty and staff are supplemented to the extent of 75% by an NIGMS P30 grant.  Users outside UK will pay the listed fee.  For faculty with limited resources, the NIGMS P30 grant provides competitive vouchers that can be applied for to cover the cost of core usage.  To apply for a voucher click here.

To use the services or for any inquiries about the Organic Synthesis Core contact David Watt at