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

Chemical Sythesis of Complex natural Products for Translational Science
05/01/2016 - 04/30/2021 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

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

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 (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 (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

Biomimetic Synthesis of Complex Natural Products
09/01/2014 - 07/31/2016 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Showing 10 of 14 results. Show All Results

Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2019 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 5R35GM118173-04 14
2018 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 5R35GM118173-03 14
2018 Acquisition of an UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2) System for Synthetic Chemistry Research 3R35GM118173-03S1 14
2017 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 5R35GM118173-02 14
2017 Center for Molecular Discovery (CMD): A Small Molecule Resource for Biomedical Research 5R24GM111625-03 22
2016 Chemical Synthesis of Complex Natural Products for Translational Science 1R35GM118173-01 14
2016 Center for Molecular Discovery (CMD): A Small Molecule Resource for Biomedical Research 5R24GM111625-02 22
2015 Center for Molecular Discovery (CMD): A Small Molecule Resource for Biomedical Research 1R24GM111625-01A1 22
2015 Inhibiting the heat shock factor 1-regulated transcriptional program in cancer 5R01CA175744-03 5
2015 Chemical Synthesis of Bioactive Flavonoid and Xanthone-Derived Natural Products 5R01GM099920-04 11
Showing 10 of 74 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.

  1. Zhang X, Bi C, Lu T, Zhang W, Yue T, Wang C, Tian T, Zhang X, Huang Y, Lunning M, Hao X, Brown LE, Devine WG, Vose J, Porco JA, Fu K. Targeting translation initiation by synthetic rocaglates for treating MYC-driven lymphomas. Leukemia. 2019 Jun 06. PMID: 31171817.
  2. Steinberger J, Robert F, Hallé M, Williams DE, Cencic R, Sawhney N, Pelletier D, Williams P, Igarashi Y, Porco JA, Rodriguez AD, Kopp B, Bachmann B, Andersen RJ, Pelletier J. Tracing MYC Expression for Small Molecule Discovery. Cell Chem Biol. 2019 May 16; 26(5):699-710.e6. PMID: 30880156.
  3. Qin XJ, Rauwolf TJ, Li PP, Liu H, McNeely J, Hua Y, Liu HY, Porco JA. Isolation and Synthesis of Novel Meroterpenoids from Rhodomyrtus tomentosa: Investigation of a Reactive Enetrione Intermediate. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2019 Mar 22; 58(13):4291-4296. PMID: 30681258.
  4. Trilles R, Beglov D, Chen Q, He H, Wireman R, Reed A, Chennamadhavuni S, Panek JS, Brown LE, Vajda S, Porco JA, Kelley MR, Georgiadis MM. Discovery of Macrocyclic Inhibitors of Apurinic/Apyrimidinic Endonuclease 1. J Med Chem. 2019 Feb 28; 62(4):1971-1988.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30653918.
  5. Itoua Maïga R, Cencic R, Chu J, Waller DD, Brown LE, Devine WG, Zhang W, Sebag M, Porco JA, Pelletier J. Oxo-aglaiastatin-Mediated Inhibition of Translation Initiation. Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 04; 9(1):1265. PMID: 30718665.
  6. Whitesell L, Robbins N, Huang DS, McLellan CA, Shekhar-Guturja T, LeBlanc EV, Nation CS, Hui R, Hutchinson A, Collins C, Chatterjee S, Trilles R, Xie JL, Krysan DJ, Lindquist S, Porco JA, Tatu U, Brown LE, Pizarro J, Cowen LE. Structural basis for species-selective targeting of Hsp90 in a pathogenic fungus. Nat Commun. 2019 01 24; 10(1):402. PMID: 30679438.
  7. Zhang W, Liu S, Maiga RI, Pelletier J, Brown LE, Wang TT, Porco JA. Chemical Synthesis Enables Structural Reengineering of Aglaroxin C Leading to Inhibition Bias for Hepatitis C Viral Infection. J Am Chem Soc. 2019 Jan 23; 141(3):1312-1323. PMID: 30590924.
  8. Liu S, Hausmann S, Carlson SM, Fuentes ME, Francis JW, Pillai R, Lofgren SM, Hulea L, Tandoc K, Lu J, Li A, Nguyen ND, Caporicci M, Kim MP, Maitra A, Wang H, Wistuba II, Porco JA, Bassik MC, Elias JE, Song J, Topisirovic I, Van Rechem C, Mazur PK, Gozani O. METTL13 Methylation of eEF1A Increases Translational Output to Promote Tumorigenesis. Cell. 2019 Jan 24; 176(3):491-504.e21. PMID: 30612740.
  9. Chen CD, Zeldich E, Khodr C, Camara K, Tung TY, Lauder EC, Mullen P, Polanco TJ, Liu YY, Zeldich D, Xia W, Van Nostrand WE, Brown LE, Porco JA, Abraham CR. Small Molecule Amyloid-ß Protein Precursor Processing Modulators Lower Amyloid-ß Peptide Levels via cKit Signaling. J Alzheimers Dis. 2019; 67(3):1089-1106.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30776010.
  10. Smith MJ, Reichl KD, Escobar RA, Heavey TJ, Coker DF, Schaus SE, Porco JA. Asymmetric Synthesis of Griffipavixanthone Employing a Chiral Phosphoric Acid-Catalyzed Cycloaddition. J Am Chem Soc. 2019 Jan 09; 141(1):148-153.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30566336.
Showing 10 of 181 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 181 publications over 23 distinct years, with a maximum of 19 publications in 2011

Contact for Mentoring:

590 Commonwealth Ave
Boston MA 02215
Google Map

(617) 353-6466 (fax)

Porco's Networks
Click the "See All" links for more information and interactive visualizations
Similar People
Same Department