Rich Taylor

Rich Taylor

Synthetic Organic Chemistry Conformation-Activity Relationships of Polyketide Natural Products


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Interim Director of Notre Dame California
Interim Director of the Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development, University of Notre Dame
Associate Vice President for Research, University of Notre Dame
Associate Dean, College of Science, University of Notre Dame
Professor, University of Notre Dame
Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame
Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame
Merck Postdoctoral Associate, Stanford University
Ph.D. in Chemistry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
B.S. in Chemistry, State University of New York, Oswego

Selected Awards

University of Notre Dame Faculty Award
Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds
5th Annual Negishi-Brown Lectures, Plenary Speaker
Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Rev. Edmund P. Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Silveira Distinguished Lecturer, SUNY, Oswego
Kaneb Teaching Award

Research Interests

Chemical and Biological Synthetic Technologies for Accessing Biologically Active Natural Products

Our group is focused on the development of chemical and biological synthetic technologies for the production of natural products and natural product analogues and the study of their therapeutic potential for cancer and rare disease indications. In our lab, chemical synthesis tools such as methodology development and total synthesis are complemented by biological synthesis techniques such as bacterial fermentation, genetic and chemical manipulation, and heterologous expression. The power of synthesis enables access to the complex structures that are the foundation for a medicinal chemistry program.

  • Chemical Methodology Development and Total Synthesis
  • Bacterial Fermentation and Chemical and Genetic Manipulation of Microorganisms
  • Small Molecule Conformational Analysis and Analogue Synthesis
  • Biological Assay Development and Screening

Current projects include the development of chemical and biological methods for oxidative processing of putative biosynthetic intermediates towards the anti-cancer natural product, zampanolide and the anti-fungal, cyclopropane-containing polyketide, ambruticin. For several years, our lab has been studying the polyketide natural products, GEX1A and pladienolide, for their potential in rare diseases such as Niemann-Pick Type C and certain rare cancers.

The Identification of New Leads for Rare and Ultra-rare Diseases

Our lab also contributes to several collaborative rare disease programs within the Warren Center for Drug Discovery seeking therapeutic leads for rare indications such as NGly1 deficiency, Cori disease, and Behcet's disease.











Recent Papers

  • Henry, J. L.; Wilson, M. R.; Mulligan, M. P.; Quinn, T. R.; Sackett, D. L.; Taylor, R. E. “Synthesis, Conformational Preferences, and Biological Activity of Conformational Analogues of the Microtubule-Stabilizing Agents, (–)-Zampanolide and (–)-Dactylolide” MedChemComm 2019, 10, 800 - 805. DOI: 10.1039/C9MD00164F

  • Kearney, Sara E.; ZahoraÌnszky-KoÌhalmi, Gergely; Brimacombe, Kyle R.; Henderson, Mark J.; Lynch, Caitlin; Zhao, Tongan; et al. (2018): Canvass: A Crowd-Sourced, Natural Product Screening Library for Exploring Biological Space. ACS Cent. Sci. 2018, 1727–1741; DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.8b00747

  • Dodge, G.; Ronnow, D.; Taylor, R.; Smith, J. L. "Molecular Basis for Olefin Rearrangement in the Gephyronic Acid Polyketide Synthase" ACS Chem. Biol. 2018, 13, 2699–2707.

  • Kearney, Sara E.; ZahoraÌnszky-KoÌhalmi, Gergely; Brimacombe, Kyle R.; Henderson, Mark J.; Lynch, Caitlin; Zhao, Tongan; et al. (2018): Canvass: A Crowd-Sourced, Natural Product Screening Library for Exploring Biological Space. ChemRxiv Preprint.

  • Granatosky, E.; DiPrimio, N.; Pickering, J.; Stevens, D. C.; Perlstein, E.; Taylor, R. E. “GEX1A, a Polyketide from Streptomyces chromofuscus, Corrects the Cellular Defects Associated with Niemann-Pick Type C1 in Human Fibroblasts” J. Nat. Prod. 2018, 81, 2018-2025.

  • Muthukumar, Y.; Münkemer, J.; Mathieu, D.; Richter, C.; Schwalbe, H.; Steinmetz, H.; Kessler, W.; Reichelt, J.; Beutling, U.; Frank, R.; Büssow, K.; van den Heuvel, J.; Brönstrup, M.; Taylor, R. E.; Laschat, S.; Sasse, F. “Investigations on the mode of action of gephyronic acid, an inhibitor of eukaryotic protein translation from myxobacteria” PLOS ONE 2018, 13, e0201605.

  • Larsen, E. M.; Chang, C.-F.; Sakata-Kato, T.; Arico, J. W.; Lombardo, V.; Wirth, D. F.; Taylor, R. E. Conformation-Guided Analogue Design Identifies Potential Antimalarial Compounds through Inhibition of Mitochondrial Respiration Org. Biomol. Chem. 2018, 16, 5403.

  • Woods, L. M.; Arico, J. W.; Frein, J. D.; Sackett, D. L.; Taylor, R. E. "Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of 7-Deoxy-Epothilone Analogues." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 648.

  • Wagner, D. T.; Stevens, D. C.; Mehaffey, M. R.; Manion, H. R.; Taylor, R. E.; Brodbelt, J. S.; Keatinge-Clay, A. T. "alpha-Methylation follows condensation in the gephyronic acid modular polyketide synthase." Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 8822.

  • Chang, C.; Stefan, E.; Taylor, R. E. "Total Synthesis and Structural Reassignment of Lyngbyaloside C Highlighted by Intermolecular Ketene Esterification." Chem.-Eur. J. 2015, 21, 10681-10686.

  • Stefan, E.; Taylor, R. E. "1,5-Hydride transfer protocol for the synthesis of beta-branched polyketide structural units." Tetrahedron Lett. 2015, 56, 3416.

  • Naini, A.; Muthukumar, Y.; Raja, A.; Franke, R.; Harrier, I.; Smith,Amos B.,,III; Lee, D.; Taylor, R. E.; Sasse, F.; Kalesse, M. "The Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Desepoxyisotedanolide and a Comparison with Desepoxytedanolide." Angew. Chem.-Int. Edit. 2015, 54, 6935-6939.

  • Larsen, E. M.; Wilson, M. R.; Taylor, R. E. Conformation-activity relationships of polyketide natural products. Nat. Prod. Rep. 2015, 32, 1183-1206.


Contact Information

  • Professor; Interim Director, Notre Dame California
  • Office: 305A McCourtney Hall
  • Phone: 574-631-5674
  • Send an email

Primary Research Areas

Research Specialties