PhD, 2007, McGill University, Department of Chemistry
The functional and biological properties of a small molecule are encoded within its structure so synthetic strategies that access diverse structures are paramount to the invention of novel functional molecules such as biological probes, materials or pharmaceuticals. The Cernak Lab studies the interface of chemical synthesis and computer science to understand the relationship of structure, properties and reactions. We aim to use algorithms, robotics and big data to invent new chemical reactions, synthetic routes to natural products, and small molecule probes to answer questions in basic biology. Researchers in the group learn high-throughput chemical and biochemical experimentation, basic coding, and modern synthetic techniques. By studying the relationship of chemical synthesis to functional properties, we pursue the opportunity to positively impact human health.
Gesmundo NJ, Sauvagnat B, Curran PJ, Richards MP, Andrews CL, Dandliker PJ, Cernak T. Nanoscale synthesis and affinity ranking. Nature. 2018 May;557:228-32.
Buitrago Santanilla A, Regalado EL, Pereira T, Bateman K, Campeau LC, Berritt S, Liu Y, Shevlin M, Shi ZC, Schneeweis J, Welch CJ, Helmy R, Vachal P, Davies I, Cernak T. Nanomole scale high-throughput chemistry for the synthesis of complex molecules. Science. 2015;347(6217): 49-53.
Lin S, Dikler S, Blincoe WD, Ferguson RD, Sheridan RP, Peng Z, Conway DV, Zawatzky K, Wang H, Cernak T, Davies IW, DiRocco, DA, Sheng H, Welch CJ, Dreher SD. Mapping the dark space of chemical reactions with extended nanomole synthesis and MALDI-TOF MS. Science. 2018 May;Early View:10.1126/science.aar6236
Cernak T. Synthesis in the chemical space age. Chem. 2016;1(1):6-9.
Cernak T, Dykstra KD, Tyagarajan S, Vachal P, Krska SW. The medicinal chemist's toolbox for late stage functionalization of drug-like molecules. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2016;45(3):546-576."