The Chemistry Department is proud to announce our newest faculty members:
Dr. Christopher Beaudry
(Joined September 2009)
Christopher Beaudry grew up outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He excelled at school at a young age and was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin, Madison; he was one of the first people in his family to go to college. At Madison, he discovered a love of organic chemistry in an advanced course taught by Prof. Steven D. Burke. As a result of this experience he began working in the research laboratory of Prof. Burke and decided to pursue graduate study in synthetic organic chemistry. He moved on to the University of California, Berkeley and was one of the first students to join the group of Prof. Dirk Trauner. At Berkeley, Chris investigated a class of reactions known as electrocyclizations. Long appreciated on a theoretical level, these reactions were not recognized for their full biological relevance. It was the work of Chris and others that contributed to the realization that these reactions are more prevalent in biosynthesis than previously thought. His investigations resulted in the enantioselective synthesis of SNF4435C and SNF4435D, two compounds that selectivity suppress proliferation of B-lymphocytes over T-lymphocy.
After Berkeley, Chris was fortunate to receive an NIH postdoctoral fellowship working with Prof. Larry Overman at the University of California, Irvine. Chris worked on the synthesis of macfarlandin E, a molecule that causes the irreversible fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus in mammalian cells. The phenotype of macfarlandin E is unique in that Golgi fragments remain localized in the pericentriolar region surrounding the nucleus. Furthermore, only a few milligrams of macfarlandin E were isolated from natural sources, making chemical synthesis the only access to this molecule. Since the Golgi is increasingly recognized as a cell-cycle checkpoint (e.g. proper Golgi fragmentation is required prior to mitosis), this research could have profound implications in cellular biology. As a result of Chris’s efforts, investigations on the structural requirements of macfarlandin E (and related spongian diterpenes) for irreversible fragmentation of the Golgi are underway.tes. Since the activity of the SNF compounds is complementary to the blockbuster pharmaceuticals cyclosporin A and FK506, the SNF compounds represent lead compounds in the search for new immunosuppressants.
Chris’s interests of the ability of molecules found in nature to cure disease continues at Oregon State University. His group works on the development of new chemical reactions that will allow expeditious preparation of molecules with important biological activities. He is particularly interested in nitrogen-rich molecules, using transition metal catalysts for the preparation of molecules that display non-central chirality, and the formation of benzylic stereocenters. The ability to efficiently build molecular architectures of high complexity is central to all of these interests. Once prepared, the Beaudry group will use these synthetic compounds to find their cellular targets, test for medicinal applications, and investigate biological mechanisms.
When not trying to solve big problems in science, Chris tries to dip deep into the soupbowl of life. Music has always been important to him, and he has been seeing live music in the Corvallis area, discovering new recorded music, reading about it, and he may even dust off those old guitars he’s been moving around the country since his college days. Chris enjoys the taste of good food and drink, and so Oregon has been a good fit for him. He investigates the flavors in nearby restaurants, blackberry patches, cheeseboards, and local watering holes.