The research program of the Fletcher group is focused on synthetic and physical organic chemistry with a special interest in dynamic systems, chirality and catalysis.
A major part of the program deals with the development of novel asymmetric synthesis methods. Overall we aim to develop new strategies for asymmetric synthesis, and use mechanistic insight to guide the process of discovering and improving new catalytic reactions. A theme of this program is to develop practical methods to convert simple starting materials into complex molecules in a straightforward manner.
A second part of the program is inspired by complex chemical phenomena observed in biological systems. The fundamental question of what “life” is and how living matter differs from other systems remains unanswered. We are working toward understanding how the most basic functions of life can be observed in purely synthetic systems by studying self-replicators that operate far-from-equilibrium, and mimicking engineering strategies seen in the biological world to develop smart materials.