John A. Porco, PhD
Boston University College of Arts and Sciences
Dept of Chemistry

PhD, Harvard University
DEng, College of the Holy Cross
MS, Yale University

John Porco investigates chemical syntheses of complex molecules and synthesis of complex chemical libraries of novel structural types. John joined the Department of Chemistry at Boston University in 1999 after a successful career in industry and was rapidly promoted to Professor of Chemistry in September 2004.

Research in the Porco Group is focused in two major areas: the development of new synthetic methodologies for efficient chemical synthesis of complex molecules and synthesis of complex chemical libraries, the latter conducted at the Boston University Center for Molecular Discovery. Synthetic methodologies developed in the Porco Laboratory include copper (I)-mediated formation of enamides, oxa-electrocyclization/dimerization of dienals enroute to complex epoxyquinoids; enantioselective oxidative dearomatization using chiral copper complexes and molecular oxygen; photocycloaddition using oxidopyryliums enroute to the rocaglamides and related natural products, and catalytic ester-amide exchange using group (IV) metal alkoxide-activator complexes.

-Dearomatization Strategies in Complex Synthesis aim to utilize aromatic scaffolds as starting materials as precursors to complex natural products.

-Faculty Profile Scientific Image Porco 1Biomimetic Synthesis Approaches involve development of methodologies to test plausible biosyntheses of complex natural products and derivatives.

-New Reaction Discovery is done in conjunction with the BU-CMD and aims to discover transformations leading to novel chemotypes.

Techniques & Resources:

-Organic Synthesis techniques are used and include modern methods for synthesis, purification, and analysis of organic molecules
-Boston University Center for Molecular Discovery (BU-CMD) is an NIH-funded Center at Boston University which focuses on development of new methodologies for the synthesis of complex chemical libraries.

Boston University School of Medicine
Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics

Boston University
BU-BMC Cancer Center

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science
05/01/2021 - 04/30/2026 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

BU-CMD Chemical Library Consortium: Fostering Collaborations between Chemists and Biologists for Translational Discovery
01/01/2020 - 12/31/2023 (PI)
NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

Chemical Sythesis of Complex natural Products for Translational Science
05/01/2016 - 04/30/2022 (Multi-PI)
PI: John A. Porco, PhD
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Synthesis of Cannabidiol (CBD)
08/05/2019 - 08/31/2021 (PI)

HCV Entry: Mechanisms and Therapeutics
09/26/2016 - 05/31/2021 (Subcontract PI)
SRI International NIH NIDDK

Elucidating the Mechanism of B-Raf Dimerization Inhibition Using (+)-Griffipavixanthone Derivatives
12/01/2019 - 04/15/2021 (Key Person / Mentor)
NIH/National Cancer Institute

High-Throughput Chemistry Platform (HTCP) for Reaction Screening
01/01/2018 - 03/31/2019 (Co-Investigator)
PI: Aaron Beeler, PhD
Department of Defense/DARPA

Synthesis and Biological Studies of the Ubc9 Inhibitor Spectomycin B1
01/01/2017 - 01/31/2019 (Key Person / Mentor)
American Cancer Society, Inc.

Center for Molecular Discovery (CMD): A Small Molecule Resource for Biomedical Research
07/01/2015 - 06/30/2018 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Development of Novel APP Dimerization Inhibitors that Lower A-beta Levels
09/01/2015 - 04/01/2018 (Co-Investigator of Sub-Project / SP)
PI: Carmela R. Abraham, PhD
Cure Alzheimer's Fund

Showing 10 of 19 results. Show All Results


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2022 BU-CMD Chemical Library Consortium: Fostering Collaborations between Chemists and Biologists for Translational Discovery 5U01TR002625-03
2022 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 5R35GM118173-07
2021 BU-CMD Chemical Library Consortium: Fostering Collaborations between Chemists and Biologists for Translational Discovery 5U01TR002625-02
2021 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 2R35GM118173-06 26
2020 BU-CMD Chemical Library Consortium: Fostering Collaborations between Chemists and Biologists for Translational Discovery 1U01TR002625-01A1
2020 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 5R35GM118173-05 26
2019 Acquisition of a helium recovery system for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass (ICR-MS) Spectrometers 3R35GM118173-04S1 26
2019 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 5R35GM118173-04 26
2018 Acquisition of an UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2) System for Synthetic Chemistry Research 3R35GM118173-03S1 26
2018 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 5R35GM118173-03 26
Showing 10 of 81 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Lehman SL, Wechsler T, Schwartz K, Brown LE, Porco JA, Devine WG, Pelletier J, Shankavaram UT, Camphausen K, Tofilon PJ. Inhibition of the translation initiation factor eIF4A enhances tumor cell radiosensitivity. Mol Cancer Ther. 2022 Jun 23.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35732578
  2. Praditya DF, Klöhn M, Brüggemann Y, Brown LE, Porco JA, Zhang W, Kinast V, Kirschning A, Vondran FWR, Todt D, Steinmann E. Identification of structurally re-engineered rocaglates as inhibitors against hepatitis E virus replication. Antiviral Res. 2022 Jun 18; 105359.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35728703
  3. Xu W, Brown LE, Porco JA. Divergent, C-C Bond Forming Macrocyclizations Using Modular Sulfonylhydrazone and Derived Substrates. J Org Chem. 2021 12 03; 86(23):16485-16510.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34730970; PMCID: PMC8783553; DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.1c01848;
  4. Shen L, Pugsley L, Cencic R, Wang H, Robert F, Naineni SK, Sahni A, Morin G, Zhang W, Nijnik A, Porco JA, Langlais D, Huang S, Pelletier J. A forward genetic screen identifies modifiers of rocaglate responsiveness. Sci Rep. 2021 09 16; 11(1):18516. PMID: 34531456; PMCID: PMC8445955; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-97765-8;
  5. Chatterjee S, Yabaji SM, Rukhlenko OS, Bhattacharya B, Waligurski E, Vallavoju N, Ray S, Kholodenko BN, Brown LE, Beeler AB, Ivanov AR, Kobzik L, Porco JA, Kramnik I. Channeling macrophage polarization by rocaglates increases macrophage resistance to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. iScience. 2021 Aug 20; 24(8):102845.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34381970; PMCID: PMC8333345; DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102845;
  6. Nishida Y, Zhao R, Heese LE, Akiyama H, Patel S, Jaeger AM, Jacamo RO, Kojima K, Ma MCJ, Ruvolo VR, Chachad D, Devine W, Lindquist S, Davis RE, Porco JA, Whitesell L, Andreeff M, Ishizawa J. Inhibition of translation initiation factor eIF4a inactivates heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) and exerts anti-leukemia activity in AML. Leukemia. 2021 09; 35(9):2469-2481. PMID: 34127794; PMCID: PMC8764661; DOI: 10.1038/s41375-021-01308-z;
  7. Jin C, Rajabi H, Rodrigo CM, Porco JA, Kufe D. Correction: Targeting the eIF4A RNA helicase blocks translation of the MUC1-C oncoprotein. Oncogene. 2021 May; 40(18):3347. PMID: 33850266
  8. Skofler C, Kleinegger F, Krassnig S, Birkl-Toeglhofer AM, Singer G, Till H, Benesch M, Cencic R, Porco JA, Pelletier J, Castellani C, Raicht A, Izycka-Swieszewska E, Czapiewski P, Haybaeck J. Eukaryotic Translation Initiation Factor 4AI: A Potential Novel Target in Neuroblastoma. Cells. 2021 02 02; 10(2). PMID: 33540613; PMCID: PMC7912938; DOI: 10.3390/cells10020301;
  9. Liu H, He XZ, Feng MY, Yuan Zeng, Rauwolf TJ, Shao LD, Ni W, Yan H, Porco JA, Hao XJ, Qin XJ, Liu HY. Corrigendum to "Acylphloroglucinols with acetylcholinesterase inhibitory effects from the fruits of Eucalyptus robusta". [Bioorg. Chem. 103 (2020) 104127]. Bioorg Chem. 2021 Mar; 108:104579. PMID: 33493929
  10. Iyer KR, Camara K, Daniel-Ivad M, Trilles R, Pimentel-Elardo SM, Fossen JL, Marchillo K, Liu Z, Singh S, Muñoz JF, Kim SH, Porco JA, Cuomo CA, Williams NS, Ibrahim AS, Edwards JE, Andes DR, Nodwell JR, Brown LE, Whitesell L, Robbins N, Cowen LE. An oxindole efflux inhibitor potentiates azoles and impairs virulence in the fungal pathogen Candida auris. Nat Commun. 2020 12 22; 11(1):6429.View Related Profiles. PMID: 33353950; PMCID: PMC7755909; DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-20183-3;
Showing 10 of 205 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 205 publications over 26 distinct years, with a maximum of 19 publications in 2011


Contact for Mentoring:

590 Commonwealth Ave
Boston MA 02215
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(617) 353-6466 (fax)

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