James Gleason

Associate Professor

B.Sc. (McGill University, 1989)
Ph.D. (University of Virginia, 1994)
NIH postdoctoral fellow (California Institute of Technology)
Phillip Morris Graduate Fellowship (1989-1990)
DuPont Graduate Fellowship (1990-1991)
Pratt Graduate Fellowship (1990-1992)
National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship (1994-1996)
Bio-Mega/Boehringer Ingelheim Young Investiagtor Award (1996)
Research Innovation Award (Research Corporation) (1997)

Office: Otto Mass 309A

Phone: (514)398-5596
Email: Jim.Gleason [at] McGill.ca

Web Page: http://www.gleason-group.mcgill.ca/

Lab: Otto Maass 300
Lab Phone: (514)398-6225


Research Themes:

Chemical Biology 

Synthesis/Catalysis


Research Description:

Our research is focused on several areas of organic chemistry, including synthetic methods development, total synthesis of natural products and medicinal chemistry

Synthetic Methods Development

We are continually interested in development of new methods for synthesis. We have previously developed methods for stereoselective quaternary carbon synthesis based on reductive functionalization of bicyclic thioglycolate lactams, catalytic asymmetric homoaldol reactions, and C-H activating cycloisomerizations of 1,6-enynes and allyl propargyl ethers. Current interests are the development of catalytic asymmetric pericyclic reactions such as the Cope and Claisen rearrangements.

Total Synthesis of Natural Products

The total synthesis of natural products is a challenging endeavor that allows us to both test current synthetic methods as well as develop novel methods and strategies. Targets of synthetic interest include palau'amine, CP-225,917, puraquinonic acid and virosaines.

Medicinal Chemistry - Multi Action Drugs

Our group has pioneered the development of novel hybrid drugs that combine structural features of nuclear receptor ligands (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, retinoids, antiestrogens and antiandrogens) with histone deacetylase inhibitors. These molecules take advantage of known synergy of these classes of molecules towards cancer cell lines and in many cases show improved antiproliferative activity compared to normal combination therapies. An example is triciferol, a molecule which combines the structural features of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D with trichostatin A and which is highly antiproliferative in MCF-7 breast cancer.


Currently Teaching:

CHEM 244 Organic Chemistry Lab 2 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

CHEM 302 Intro Organic Chemistry 3 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer