Rizzacasa Group

Research

The Rizzacasa group's main interests are the total synthesis of biologically active natural products and the development of synthetic methodology.

Our research includes the synthesis of oxygen containing heterocyclic compounds including tetrahydrofurans, tetrahydropyrans, spiroketals and cyclic acetals, the use of pericyclic reactions in the synthesis of natural products, the total synthesis of enamide containing natural products and marine metabolites and the asymmetric synthesis of acyclic systems.  We are also interested in the 'biomimetic' total synthesis.

Techniques

Organic synthesis and the identification of the structure of organic compounds by NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, UV and IR spectroscopy, chiroptical analysis. Chromatographic techniques such as flash chromatography and HPLC.

Biography

Professor Mark Rizzacasa obtained his BSc Honours degree in 1986 and a PhD in 1990 under the guidance of Professor Melvyn V. Sargent at the University of Western Australia. He then moved on to the USA and spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Robert Ireland's research group at the University of Virginia. In early 1993, he returned to Australia to begin an appointment as lecturer in the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne and was promoted to Associate Professor and Reader in 2003.

Dr Rizzacasa was awarded the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Rennie Memorial Medal in 1997, the Tasmanian Alkaloids Lecturership in 2002, the Organic Reactions Lectureship in 2005 and the David Syme Research Prize in 2006. In addition, professor Rizzacasa was awarded the 2005 Organic Reactions Lectureship and the prestigious RACI A. J. Birch medal in 2010. His main interest is the total synthesis of bioactive natural products.