Developing the Next Generation of Anticancer Agents


Chemistry & Biochemistry

Anita Mattson, associate professor of chemistry & biochemistry, was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) entitled “Chiral silanediols in anion-binding catalysis.”

“The funding,” she says, “will help us develop the basic science so that we may next apply it to real world problems. The team is developing a new family of molecules to enable the synthesis of anticancer agents.”

“The molecules we are designing are called silanediols because they contain a silicon bonded to two OH groups,” she explains. “This is a critical feature for their unique activity.”

With this funding, Mattson will design and implement studies related to chiral silanediols in anion-binding catalysis. She will oversee two graduate students in the syntheses of chiral silanediols and the development of innovative enantioselective methodologies reliant on silanediol anion-binding catalysis. Mattson will also oversee mechanistic studies probing the noncovalent interactions of silanediol-catalyzed anion-binding processes.

“Our current investigations are focused on designing, synthesizing, and studying silanediols. The development of new anticancer agents with silanediol technology is one of our long term goals.”