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 Sythesis of Complex natural Products for Translational Science
05/01/2016 - 04/30/2021 (Multi-PI)
PI: John A. Porco, PhD
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

HCV Entry: Mechanisms and Therapeutics
09/26/2016 - 05/31/2020 (Subcontract PI)
SRI International NIH NIDDK

Synthesis of Cannabidiol (CBD)
08/05/2019 - 05/04/2020 (PI)

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

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 (SP Co-PI of Sub-Project / SP)
PI: Carmela R. Abraham, PhD
Cure Alzheimer's Fund

Elucidating the T Brachyury pathway in Chordoma Using a Chemical Biology Approach
07/01/2017 - 03/31/2018 (Subcontract PI)
The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc. Chordoma Foundation

Inhibiting the Heat Shock Factor 1-Regulated Transcriptional Program in Cancers
04/01/2013 - 03/31/2017 (Subcontract PI)
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research NIH NCI

Chemical Synthesis of Bioactive Flavonoid and Xanthone-Derived Natural Products
02/01/2012 - 01/31/2017 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Target validation and development of drug discovery platform for TREM2/TYROBP signaling pathway modular
11/01/2014 - 10/31/2016 (Co-PI)
PI: Tsuneya Ikezu, MD, PhD
Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium

Showing 10 of 15 results. Show All Results


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
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 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 5R35GM118173-04 26
2019 Acquisition of a helium recovery system for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass (ICR-MS) Spectrometers 3R35GM118173-04S1 26
2018 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 5R35GM118173-03 26
2018 Acquisition of an UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2) System for Synthetic Chemistry Research 3R35GM118173-03S1 26
2017 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 5R35GM118173-02 26
2017 Center for Molecular Discovery (CMD): A Small Molecule Resource for Biomedical Research 5R24GM111625-03 28
2016 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 1R35GM118173-01 26
2016 Center for Molecular Discovery (CMD): A Small Molecule Resource for Biomedical Research 5R24GM111625-02 28
Showing 10 of 77 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.

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  1. Abe I, Mitsuhashi T, Barra L, Powers Z, Kojasoy V, Cheng A, Yang F, Taniguchi Y, Kikuchi T, Fujita M, Tantillo DJ, Porco JA. Exploiting the Potential of Meroterpenoid Cyclases to Expand the Chemical Space of Fungal Meroterpenoids. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2020 Sep 15. PMID: 32931152
  2. Liu H, He XZ, Feng MY, Yuan-Zeng, Rauwolf TJ, Shao LD, Ni W, Yan H, Porco JA, Hao XJ, Qin XJ, Liu HY. Acylphloroglucinols with acetylcholinesterase inhibitory effects from the fruits of Eucalyptus robusta. Bioorg Chem. 2020 Oct; 103:104127. PMID: 32745755
  3. Iyer KR, Whitesell L, Porco JA, Henkel T, Brown LE, Robbins N, Cowen LE. Translation Inhibition by Rocaglates Activates a Species-Specific Cell Death Program in the Emerging Fungal Pathogen Candida auris. mBio. 2020 03 10; 11(2). PMID: 32156828
  4. Chu J, Zhang W, Cencic R, O'Connor PBF, Robert F, Devine WG, Selznick A, Henkel T, Merrick WC, Brown LE, Baranov PV, Porco JA, Pelletier J. Rocaglates Induce Gain-of-Function Alterations to eIF4A and eIF4F. Cell Rep. 2020 Feb 25; 30(8):2481-2488.e5. PMID: 32101697
  5. Chan K, Robert F, Oertlin C, Kapeller-Libermann D, Avizonis D, Gutierrez J, Handly-Santana A, Doubrovin M, Park J, Schoepfer C, Da Silva B, Yao M, Gorton F, Shi J, Thomas CJ, Brown LE, Porco JA, Pollak M, Larsson O, Pelletier J, Chio IIC. eIF4A supports an oncogenic translation program in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Nat Commun. 2019 11 13; 10(1):5151. PMID: 31723131
  6. Powers Z, Scharf A, Cheng A, Yang F, Himmelbauer M, Mitsuhashi T, Barra L, Taniguchi Y, Kikuchi T, Fujita M, Abe I, Porco JA. Biomimetic Synthesis of Meroterpenoids by Dearomatization-Driven Polycyclization. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2019 11 04; 58(45):16141-16146. PMID: 31515901
  7. Purgett TJ, Dyer MW, Bickel B, McNeely J, Porco JA. Gold(I)-Mediated Cycloisomerization/Cycloaddition Enables Bioinspired Syntheses of Neonectrolides B-E and Analogues. J Am Chem Soc. 2019 09 25; 141(38):15135-15144. PMID: 31469554
  8. Chu J, Zhang W, Cencic R, Devine WG, Beglov D, Henkel T, Brown LE, Vajda S, Porco JA, Pelletier J. Amidino-Rocaglates: A Potent Class of eIF4A Inhibitors. Cell Chem Biol. 2019 11 21; 26(11):1586-1593.e3. PMID: 31519508
  9. Gonçalves AC, Towers ER, Haq N, Porco JA, Pelletier J, Dawson SJ, Gale JE. Drug-induced Stress Granule Formation Protects Sensory Hair Cells in Mouse Cochlear Explants During Ototoxicity. Sci Rep. 2019 08 29; 9(1):12501. PMID: 31467369
  10. Kong T, Xue Y, Cencic R, Zhu X, Monast A, Fu Z, Pilon V, Sangwan V, Guiot MC, Foulkes WD, Porco JA, Park M, Pelletier J, Huang S. eIF4A Inhibitors Suppress Cell-Cycle Feedback Response and Acquired Resistance to CDK4/6 Inhibition in Cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 2019 11; 18(11):2158-2170. PMID: 31395685
Showing 10 of 193 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 193 publications over 24 distinct years, with a maximum of 19 publications in 2011


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

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