Alison R. Narayan

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, University of California - Berkeley
B.S. Chemistry, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Research Focus: Development of biocatalytic methods; Complex molecule synthesis

Phone: 734.615.5505
Email: arhardin@umich.edu

Often the pharmaceutical potential of natural product scaffolds is under explored due to the difficulty in accessing analogs to complex secondary metabolites using traditional synthetic methods. Recent advances in sequencing technology have facilitated the identification of secondary metabolite gene clusters from genomic and metagenomic samples, which has led to an explosion of newly identified and annotated secondary metabolite pathways. In the Narayan Lab, we will leverage the powerful reactivity and selectivity of enzymes from natural product pathways in concise approaches to natural products and their analogs. Projects will be initiated with the identification of an enzyme with synthetic potential unmatched by chemocatalytic methods and continue by demonstrating the substrate scope and potential applications of the biocatalyst including the synthesis of biologically active molecules. Synthetic efforts will feed biological studies on activity, which will inform the subsequent selection of synthetic targets.

The group will welcome synthetic chemists, chemical biologists and biochemists eager to engage in cutting edge biocatalysis research. Our labs will be housed in the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan

Narayan Research Group



Life Sciences Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
2012 Postdoctoral Translational Scholars Program Fellow, University of Michigan
2010 Roche Symposium: Excellence in Chemistry Graduate Student Fellow
2009-2010 Amgen Graduate Fellowship
2009 Delegate, 59th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates
2006 American Chemical Society Outstanding Senior Award, University of Michigan


Representative Publications

  1. Narayan, A. R. H.; Sherman, D. H. “Enzymatic C–H functionalization” Review in preparation.

  2. Narayan, A. R. N.; Jiménez-Osés, G.; Liu, P.; Negretti, S.; Zhao, W.; Ramabhadr, R. O.; Furan, L.; Li, Z.; Yang, Y.-F.; Gilbert, M.; Podust, L. M.; Montgomery, J.; Houk, K. N.; Sherman, D. H. “Enzymatic Hydroxylation of an Unactivated Methylene C–H Bond Guided by Molecular Dynamics Simulations” Submitted for publication.

  3. Dutta, S.; Whicher, J. R.; Hansen, D. A.; Hale, W. A.; Chemler, J. A.; Narayan, A. R. N.; Hakansson, K.; Sherman, D. H.; Smith, J. L.; Skiniotis, G. “Structure of a modular polyketide synthase” Nature 2014, 510, 512-517.

  4. Whicher, J. R.; Dutta, S.; Hansen, D. A.; Hale, W. A.; Chemler, J. A.; Narayan, A. R. N.; Hakansson, K.; Sherman, D. H.; Smith, J. L.; Skiniotis, G. “Structural rearrangements of a PKS module during its catalytic cycle” Nature 2014, 510, 560-564.

  5. Negretti, S.*; Narayan, A. R. H.*; Chiou, K. C.; Kells, P. M.; Stachowski, J. L.; Hansen, D. A.; Podust, L. M.; Montgomery, J.; Sherman, D. H. “Directing group-controlled regioselectivity in an enzymatic C-H bond oxygenation” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 4901-4904. *Denotes equal contribution

  6. Heller, S. T.; Kiho, T.; Narayan, A. R. H.; Sarpong, R. “Protic Solvent Mediated Cycloisomerization of Quinoline and Isoquinoline Propargylic Carbinols: Syntheses of (±)-3-Demethoxyerythratidinone and (±)-Cocculidine” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 11129-11133.

  7. Hansen, D. H.; Rath, C. M.; Eisman, E. B.; Narayan, A. R. H.; Kittendorf, J. D.; Mortison, J. D.; Yoon, Y. J.; Sherman, D. H. “Biocatalytic Synthesis of Pikromycin, Methymycin, Neomethymycin, Novamethymycin, and Ketomethymycin” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 11232-11238.

  8. Narayan, A. R. H.; Sherman, D. H. “Re-engineering nature’s catalysts” Science 2013, 339, 283-284.

  9. Hardin Narayan, A. R.; Sarpong, R. "Indolizinones as Synthetic Scaffolds: Fundamental Reactivity and the Relay of Stereochemical Information" Org. Biomol. Chem. 2012, 10, 70-78.