Research and Teaching Interests
My research program is directed towards the creation, understanding and application of methods within organic synthesis.
• use of shelf-stable dienes in multicomponent cycloaddition reactions to form highly functionalized heterocycles
• the construction of medicinally relevant heterocycles using transition metal catalysis
• DMAP catalyzed cyclizations to form tetrahydroxanthones
• metal catalyzed annulation: Pt(II), Ag(I), Au(I) catalyzed cyclizations onto alkynes. High yielding, mild, multibond forming processes to form complex heterocycles.• the total synthesis of natural products and natural product-like molecular structures. Examples: cladionamides, fawcettidine, nitiol, fasicularin
• simpler analogs of natural products to examine bioactive mechanisms and/or medicinal chemistry. Projects such as this are typically collaborative with other researchers.
Students trained in synthetic organic chemistry think deeply about the relationships between molecular structure, chemical reactivity and reaction mechanism. Thus, they are typically well poised to pursue a number of avenues of scientific inquiry in academia and industry later in their careers.
About Gregory Dake: Gregory Dake was a B.Sc. (Hons) student at UBC a long time ago. He did undergraduate research with Professor Raymond Andersen. He then earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University with Professor Barry Trost, working on reactions catalyzed by ruthenium(II) complexes and nucleophilic phosphines. Postdoctoral work with Gilbert Stork at Columbia University (in the City of New York) on the total synthesis of quinine followed. Employment at UBC followed. He was awarded a Science Undergraduate Society Teaching Excellence award in 2010 and a UBC Killam Teaching Prize in 2012. He believes in the concept of deliberate practice in education. He was a UBC Sustainability Initiative Teaching and Learning Fellow in 2013. Currently is the Associate Head-Undergraduate Affairs and the Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of Chemistry. When he commutes, he often listens to the following podcasts: 99% Invisible, Star Wars Minute, You Must Remember This, Switched on Pop, Football Weekly, Sticky Notes, Freakonomics, Good One, The Rewatchables, Household Name, Blank Check.
B.Sc.(Hons.), British Columbia (1992); Ph.D. Stanford University (Barry M. Trost, 1998); Postdoctoral, Columbia University (Gilbert Stork, 1998-1999).
2010 Science Undergraduate Society Teaching Excellence Award
2012 University of British Columbia Killam Teaching Prize
2013 University of BC Sustainability Teaching and Learning Fellow
2016 Associate Head, Undergraduate Affairs