Professor John A. Porco, Jr.
CMD Director and Professor of Chemistry
Professor Porco received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry with Stuart Schreiber at Harvard University in 1992 and did postdoctoral studies in Chi Huey Wong‘s laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Porco worked as an associate for Avalon Ventures where he participated in the founding of several biotechnology companies, including Pharmacopeia, Aurora Biosciences, and Argonaut Technologies. He was the first scientist at Argonaut Technologies and in 1997 was promoted to Director, Parallel Medicinal Chemistry where he and his colleagues developed a number of reagents and methods for parallel chemical synthesis.
Research activities in the Porco group involve the development of new methodologies for chemical synthesis and their application to synthesis of complex natural products and natural product-like molecules. Targets for synthesis include pharmacologically active compounds where the preparation of structural variants will allow the dissection of regulatory interactions with biomolecules. Parallel synthesis using simple reaction blocks and workstations is also used for efficient optimization of new chemical reactions and key synthetic transformations.