Organic synthesis is the study of how we build molecules ranging from complex, biologically active natural products to new materials. Because synthesis allows a chemist to construct entirely new structures, it empowers chemists to probe the world around them in new, creative ways. Can we build new molecules that specifically deliver drugs to targeted cancer cells? Can we synthesize molecular libraries that allow us to map the three-dimensional requirements of a receptor? Can we develop new, more efficient routes for constructing the complex molecular architectures found in natural products? Can we build new catalysts for inducing asymmetry into a chemical reaction? Can we synthesize new nanostructures capable of delivering biological agents to certain cells within the body? These are some of the questions currently being explored by synthetic chemists within the Department.