Tomas Hudlicky: Canada Research Chair in Biocatalysis; Professor, Chemistry
Research: organic synthesis, green chemistry, chemoenzymatic synthesis, biomanufacturing, biocatalysis
When people are trying to find Brock University they are often told to use the Schmon Tower, which can be seen throughout Niagara, as their guide. In the world of organic chemistry, Tomas Hudlicky, a Canada Research Chair in Biocatalysis, has earned the same sort of status.
The goal of Hudlicky’s research is the practical and efficient synthesis of new medicinal agents by asymmetric synthesis and total synthesis of natural products. His work related to the total synthesis of morphine and the anticancer drug pancratistatin is concerned with refinements and production of the alkaloids in a more efficient and environmentally benign manner. Analogs of both compounds are also being synthesized and evaluated for biological activities.
Hudlicky also conducts research in the area of organic electrochemistry, which provides “green” alternatives to oxidation and reduction methodology. His current research has led to several patent applications and licensing agreements with the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Noramco. He has also developed a new, simpler route to Tamiflu, one of the few compounds effective against the illness known as H5N1 virus or bird flu.
Recognized as a "green" scientist, Hudlicky converts pharmaceutical waste into a variety of desirable pharmaceutical compounds. His research is responsible for giving the harmful waste of the past a new life as analgesic and anti-tumour products, specifically compounds used in the treatment of cancer, bio-infection and diabetes.
Hudlicky receives daily requests from across the globe to join his research team. The Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex will greatly improve the size and capacity of Hudlicky’s research facilities, allowing him to accept more graduate students to study with his group.