Chemistry 566: Chemistry and Synthesis of Natural Products

Course Level: 
Graduate Level
Academic Year: 


Jennifer A. Love (A231, )

Office Hours: 



For UBC Undergrads: Chem 330 or 313 

For Graduate Students: Strong foundation in undergraduate organic chemistry


No required textbooks.  Notes and handouts will contain reference to the primary literature.

Reference Texts: 

  • E.V. Anslyn and D.A. Dougherty, Modern Physical Organic Chemistry, 2006
  • Carey, F. A., Sundberg, R. J. Advanced Organic Chemistry, Parts A and B (2000)
  • Kurti, L., Czako, B. Strategic Applications of Named Reactions in Organic Synthesis (2005)
  • Corey, E. J., Cheng, X. -M, The Logic of Chemical Synthesis (1989)
  • Nicolaou, K. C., Sorensen, E. J. Classics in Total Synthesis (1996)
  • Paquette, L. A., Ed. Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis (1995)


You will be expected to read organic synthesis papers in the following journals:

  • Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS)
  • Angewandte Chemie International Edition (ACIE)
  • Organic Letters (OL)
  • Journal of Organic Chemistry (JOC)

Problem Sets:

There will be periodic problem sets that complement material covered in lecture and introduce new concepts not covered during class.   

Readiness Assurance Tests (RATs):

Students are expected to pre-read notes ahead of class. There will be a number of brief readiness assurance tests (RATs). Students will first take the test by themselves, then will re-take the same test as part of a team, and will get immediate feedback. The goal of these tests is to establish that students have a command of basic material and are therefore prepared for more advanced discussion and activities in class.

In-class problem-solving activities:

In teams, students will spend part of class time solving questions. This allows me to quickly determine where students are having problems and allows me to give immediate, corrective feedback. The types of questions are the same as on problem sets and exams. These will not be graded.

Comments on the 411/566 split:

In addition to the standard course material, Chemistry 566 students will have additional examination questions and a written project (details below).


Two exams (midterm and final), problem sets, readiness assurance tests (RATs) and, for Chem 566 only, a project.

Chem 566

Problem sets  30%
Midterm 20%
Final 30%
Individual RAT 5%
Group RAT    5%
Project  10%

Project (566 only):

Choose two total synthesis papers on the same natural product.  Analyze each route, identify the key steps, and write a report explaining important aspects of these syntheses.