Research Network for Metals in Medicine

 

 

Dr Geoff Salem

Position: Head of School

Affiliation: Department of Chemistry, Australian National University

Postal Address:
Department of Chemistry
The Faculties
Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200
AUSTRALIA

Phone: +61 (02) 6125 3043
Fax: +61 (02) 6125 0760
Email: geoff.salem@anu.edu.au
Webpage: http://chemistry.anu.edu.au/Staff/GS/home.html


Research Profile

My research interests are primarily concerned with the synthesis and resolution of tertiary arsines and phosphines and, in particular, of asymmetric bidentate ligands containing stereogenic arsenic and/or phosphorus donor atoms

My research interests are primarily concerned with the synthesis and resolution of tertiary arsines and phosphines and, in particular, of asymmetric bidentate ligands containing stereogenic arsenic and/or phosphorus donor atoms. Such ligands are not only potential chiral auxiliaries in asymmetric synthesis and catalysis but furthermore, appropriately designed ligands of this type are precursors to chiral quadridentate ligands containing two or more stereogenic donor atoms. Several chiral quadridentate ligands containing three 1,2-phenylene linkages have been synthesised in a completely stereoselective manner using this approach. Optically active ligands of this type also form a single diastereomer on complexation to six coordinate transition metal ions and are seen as potential chiral auxiliaries in asymmetric catalysis.

A second area of interest is in the synthesis of chiral transition metal complexes as potential anticancer drugs. A variety complexes of the type [MX2(bidentate)], [(MX2)(m-quadridentate)], [M'(bidentate)2]X and [M'(quadridentate)]X [where M = Pt(II) or Pd(II); and M' = Au(I), Ag(I) or Cu(I)] have been synthesised containing chiral ligands which are derivatives of (2-aminoethyl)phosphine and (2-aminophenyl)phosphine. Certain of these complexes exhibit antiproliferative properties comparable to cisplatin. Furthermore, all of the gold(I) complexes have been shown to rapidly accumulate in mitochondria by virtue of their lipophilic, cationic nature and in most cases to inhibit the activity of ATP synthase leading to rapid cell death. Current work in this area is geared towards the development of gold(I)-based antimitochondrial antitumour agents.

Selected Publications

  1. Antitumour Activity of Gold(I), Silver(I) and Copper(I) Complexes Containing Chiral Tertiary Phosphines. Metal-Based Drugs, 1998, 5, 217 (with M. J. McKeage, P. Papathanasiou, A. Sjaarda, G. F. Swiegers, P. Waring and S. B. Wild).
  2. Completely Stereoselective Synthesis of a Chiral Tetra(Tertiary Phosphine). Crystal and Molecular Structure of [OC-6-22-(R*,R*)]-Dichloro{1,2-bis[(2-dimethylphosphinophenyl)-methylphosphino]benzene-P,P,P,P}cobalt(III) hexafluorophophate. J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 2000, 1829 (with S. Chatterjee, R. J. Doyle, D. C. R. Hockless and A. C. Willis).
  3. Synthesis of Chiral Multidentate Tertiary Arsines with As4 or As6 Donor Atoms. J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 2000, 3603 (with R. J. Doyle, N. Habermehl and A. C. Willis).