Nadale Downer-Riley

Lecturer (Organic)
B.Sc., Ph. D., U.W.I.

Research Interests:

  • The synthesis of bioactive natural products from plants and marine microorganisms.
  • The synthesis of  heterocyclic molecules

Research in Dr. Nadale Downer Riley's group is driven by the demands of the international medicinal chemistry field for the development of new anticancer, antibacterial and antiviral drugs. As a consequence, one area of research involves the preparation of heterocyclic compounds which have been found in plants or marine organisms and demonstrate interesting biological activities. An additional research interest is the development of new methodologies for the synthesis of five-membered heterocyclic molecules including benzothiazoles, benzoxazoles, benzofurans and benzimidazoles - structural features contained in many pharmaceutical compounds. 
The research group has successfully identified several new and efficient approaches for the preparation certain five-membered heterocyclic molecules. Currently, the group is exploring new methods to synthesise two potentially bioactive compounds and similar molecules: violatinctamine and balsaminone A. Violatinctamine was originally isolated from a marine tunicate and balsaminone A was obtained from a plant used to treat several ailments including itchy skin and certain cancers. By developing methods to prepare these compounds in the lab, the negative environmental effects of harvesting of plants and microorganisms are avoided.  Also, the compounds are prepared in sufficient quantities to undergo rigorous testing and evaluation for pharmaceutical, agricultural (for example, as pesticides) and industrial (as dyes or semi-conductors) applications. 
Selected Publications:

  • Oscene V. Barrett, Nadale K. Downer-Riley and Yvette A. Jackson, “Thermally induced cyclization of electron-rich N-arylthiobenzamides to benzothiazoles”, Synthesis, 2012, 44, 2579.
  • Nadale K. Downer-Riley and Yvette A. Jackson, Synthesis Highlights, Annu. Rep.Prog. Chem., Sect. B: Org. Chem., 2008-2012.
  • Nadale K. Downer-Riley and Yvette A. Jackson, Selenium(IV) oxide-tert-butylhydroperoxide in Paquette, L. A., Ed. Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis;John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New York (In press).
  • Oscene V. Barrett, Nadale K. Downer-Riley and Yvette A. Jackson, “Synthesis of some novel benzobisthiazoles”, Heterocycles, 2010, 81, 1641.
  • Nadale K. Downer-Riley and Yvette A. Jackson,Conversion of thiobenzamides to benzothiazoles via intramolecular cyclization of the aryl radical cation”, Tetrahedron, 2008, 64, 7741.
  • Nadale K. Downer-Riley and Yvette A. Jackson,Iodine-mediated cyclisation of thiobenzamides to produce benzothiazoles and benzoxazoles”, Tetrahedron, 2007, 63, 10276.
  • Nadale K. Downer and Yvette A. Jackson. “Synthesis of benzothiazoles via ipso substitution of ortho-methoxythiobenzamides”, Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 2004, 2, 3039. Read More