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Stephen C. Bergmeier

Stephen Bergmeier

Professor & Chair

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Clippinger 277

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Ph.D. University of Michigan


  • Medicinal chemistry, new synthetic methods to prepare aziridines, design and synthesis of selective agonists of the nicotinic receptor.

The research carried out in the Bergmeier group is best described as medicinal chemistry. We broadly define medicinal chemistry as the study of drug design, drug synthesis, and drug action. Our research seeks to advance the areas of drug design as well as drug synthesis. Within that broad description our group is currently carrying out research in two related areas.

A major emphasis of our group has been the development of new synthetic methods that either prepare or utilize aziridines. An aziridine is a strained three membered ring containing one nitrogen. As part of our emphasis on medicinal chemistry we have developed new methods, using an aziridine ring, for the synthesis of combinatorial libraries. These libraries are then assayed for antiviral and antibacterial action. We have also been active in the development of intramolecular ring opening reactions of aziridines. These reactions have led to new methods for the synthesis of aziridines and have been used in the total synthesis of natural products.

A second area of research for our group has been the design and synthesis of selective antagonists at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is an integral aspect of the proper functioning of the peripheral and central nervous system. Disease or injury can lead to disruptions of this system. Through our research we seek to understand how small molecules can selectively moderate this system, thus providing an access to new drugs and pharmacological tools. Our current research is based upon a study of the alkaloid methyllycaconitine. Methyllycaconitine is a very potent and selective antagonist at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Through both large and small modifications of this molecule we are trying to understand the rules for it's interactions with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

Selected Publications

A Facile Synthesis of a Polyhydroxylated 2-Azabicyclo[3.2.1]octane. D. D. Reed & S. C. Bergmeier, J. Org. Chem. 2007, 72, 1024-1026

Three-Membered Ring Systems, Chapter 3.2, S.C. Bergmeier & D.D. Reed in Progress in Heterocyclic Chemistry, G.W. Gribble & T.L. Gilchrist, Eds. Vol 19, Elsevier, 81-105

Structure Activity Studies of Oxazolidinone Analogs as RNA-Binding Agents. J. Means, S. J. Katz, R. Anupam, A. Nayek, J.V. Hines, & S.C. Bergmeier, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2006, 16, 3600-3604

Resolution of Methyl Nonactate by Rhodococcus erythropolis under Aerobic and Anaerobic Conditions. J. Nikodinovic, J. M. Dinges, S. C. Bergmeier, M. C. McMills, D. L. Wright, N. D. Priestley, Org. Lett. 2006, 8, 443-445

Intramolecular Cyclization Reactions of Aziridines with p-Nucleophiles. S. C. Bergmeier, S. J. Katz, J. Huang, H. McPherson, P. Donohugh & D. D. Reed, Tetrahedron Lett. 2004, 45, 5011-5014

Structure Activity Studies of Ring E Analogues of Methyllycaconitine. II. Synthesis of Antagonists to the a3�4* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Through Modifications to the Ester. S. C. Bergmeier, K. A. Ismail, K. M. Arason, S. McKay, D. L. Bryant & D. B. McKay, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2004, 14, 3739-3742

Aziridine-Allylsilane Cyclizations. Formation of Azabicyclo [n.2.1] Ring Systems. D. J. Lapinsky & S. C. Bergmeier, Tetrahedron 2002, 58, 7109-7117

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