Bela Torok, PhD

University Of Massachusetts - Boston

University Of Massachusetts - Boston
Phone: (617) 287-6159

Bela Torok, PhD

University Of Massachusetts - Boston


  • Associate Professor, Chemistry, University Of Massachusetts - Boston


Research Abstract

Development of synthetic methods for biologically active compounds.

The first major focus area is the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds such as: benzo[N,N]-heterocycles (benzodiazepines, benzimidazoles, quinoxalines, quinoxalinones), phthalazinones, iso-benzofuranones. We have developed one step domino syntheses for the preparation of pyrazolines, pyrazoles, Hantzsch esters, and pyridines.

The second major area is the synthesis of organofluorine compounds. This topic includes a broad variety of molecules such as: trifluoromethyl-benzimidazoles, trifluoromethyl-Schiff-bases, trifluoromethyl-alpha-hydroxy-gamma-ketoesters, unnatural trifluormethyl-amino acids, 3,3,3-trifluoropropenes, alpha-fluoro-beta-trifluoromethyl-alpha, beta-unsaturated esters and indolyl-hydroxyl-trifluoromethyl-propionic acid esters.

Many in these groups of compounds have been earlier identified as potent anticancer agents.


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  • Kulkarni A, Quang P, Curry V, Keyes R, Zhou W, Cho H, Baffoe J, Török B, Stieglitz K. 1,3-disubstituted-4-aminopyrazolo [3, 4-d] pyrimidines, a new class of potent inhibitors for Phospholipase D. Chem Biol Drug Des 2014. PubMed
  • Rudnitskaya A, Borkin DA, Huynh K, Török B, Stieglitz K. Rational design, synthesis, and potency of N-substituted indoles, pyrroles, and triarylpyrazoles as potential fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase inhibitors. ChemMedChem 2010; 5:384-9. PubMed
  • Sood A, Abid M, Hailemichael S, Foster M, Török B, Török M. Effect of chirality of small molecule organofluorine inhibitors of amyloid self-assembly on inhibitor potency. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2009; 19:6931-4. PubMed
  • Rudnitskaya A,Huynh K,Torok B,Stieglitz K. Novel heteroaromatic organofluorine inhibitors of fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase. J Med Chem 2009; 52:878-82. PubMed
  • Abid M, Teixeira L, T. Triflic acid-catalyzed highly stereoselective friedel-crafts aminoalkylation of indoles and pyrroles. Org Lett 2008; 10:933-5. PubMed
  • T. Organofluorine inhibitors of amyloid fibrillogenesis. Biochemistry 2006; 45:5377-83. PubMed
  • Mhadgut SC, Palaniappan K, Thimmaiah M, Hackney SA, T. A metal nanoparticle-based supramolecular approach for aqueous biphasic reactions. Chem Commun (Camb) 2005. PubMed
  • T. Highly enantioselective organocatalytic hydroxyalkylation of indoles with ethyl trifluoropyruvate. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2005; 44:3086-9. PubMed
  • Olah GA, Mathew T, Goeppert A, T. Ionic liquid and solid HF equivalent amine-poly(hydrogen fluoride) complexes effecting efficient environmentally friendly isobutane-isobutylene alkylation. J Am Chem Soc 2005; 127:5964-9. PubMed
  • Mhadgut SC, Bucsi I, T. Sonochemical asymmetric hydrogenation of isophorone on proline modified Pd/Al2O3 catalysts. Chem Commun (Camb) 2004. PubMed
  • T. Deprotection and cleavage of peptides bound to Merrifield resin by stable dimethyl ether-poly(hydrogen fluoride) (DMEPHF) complex. a new and convenient reagent for peptide chemistry. Chem Commun (Camb) 2002. PubMed
  • Olah GA, T. Efficient chemoselective carboxylation of aromatics to arylcarboxylic acids with a superelectrophilically activated carbon dioxide-Al(2)Cl(6)/Al system. J Am Chem Soc 2002; 124:11379-91. PubMed
  • Bucsi I, T. Stable dialkyl ether/poly(hydrogen fluoride) complexes: dimethyl ether/poly(hydrogen fluoride), a new, convenient, and effective fluorinating agent. J Am Chem Soc 2002; 124:7728-36. PubMed
  • T. Asymmetric reactions in sonochemistry. Ultrason Sonochem 2001; 8:191-200. PubMed
  • T. Asymmetric sonochemical reactions enantioselective hydrogenation of alpha-ketoesters over platinum catalysts. Ultrason Sonochem 2000; 7:151-5. PubMed
  • Sz. Ultrasonics in chemoselective heterogeneous metal catalysis sonochemical hydrogenation of unsaturated carbonyl compounds over platinum catalysts. Ultrason Sonochem 2000; 7:173-6. PubMed
  • Felf. Sonochemical hydrosilylation of 2-substituted cyclohexanones in the presence of Wilkinson complex. Ultrason Sonochem 2000; 7:15-7. PubMed
  • T. Ultrasonics in heterogeneous metal catalysis: sonochemical chemo- and enantioselective hydrogenations over supported platinum catalysts. Ultrason Sonochem 2001; 6:97-103. PubMed
  • Bal. Homogeneous and heterogeneous asymmetric reactions: Part 11. Sonochemical enantioselective hydrogenation of trifluoromethyl ketones over platinum catalysts. Ultrason Sonochem 2001; 5:149-55. PubMed
  • T. Sonochemical enantioselective hydrogenation of ethyl pyruvate over platinum catalysts. Ultrason Sonochem 2001; 4:301-4. PubMed