Chemestry Graduate Program links
shdw top
Other Sites

Faculty Research Interests
Dr.José M. Rivera - Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Josť M. Rivera photo

Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2000

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, The Scripps Research Institute 2000 – 2002

Associate Professor of Chemistry at UPR Río Piedras, 2002



Phone: 787-764-0000 ext. 2906

Fax: 787 756 8242

Fields of Interest: Supramolecular chemistry, molecular recognition, organic synthesis, nanotechnology, bioorganic chemistry, medicinal chemistry.


Classical organic chemistry deals with the synthesis and studies of individual molecules constructed mostly with covalent bonds. Supramolecularchemistry, also known as the chemistry beyond the molecule is a relatively new field of chemistry that deals with the design, construction and study ofsystems (supermolecules) held together reversibly by intermolecular forces.This field is characterized by the search for understanding how molecules interact with themselves and also how they interact with other molecules. In a way, supramolecular chemistry is like the sociology of molecules. This science can be considered to be in its infancy both in terms of the overall understanding of the noncovalent interactions holding together the final structures and the level of complexity of the systems that have been studied.

Our lab uses an eclectic approach to solving problems and students are expected toexcel in a variety of disciplines. Organic and inorganic synthesis, alone orcombined with synthetic biological techniques like recombinant technology, provides the building blocks necessary construct functional devices. Such devices in turn are used independently or as parts of bigger systems constructed using supramolecular techniques like self-assembly. We then use physical chemistry to understand in detail the properties of such systems. All these systems are a source for potential applications in chemistry, biology, materials science and nanotechnology. Following are representative examples ofthe kind of projects that our laboratory is engaged in.

imageSmallmolecule-based treatment for human diseases.
Our short-term goal in this area is to establish the feasibility of using novel guanosine (G) analogues to modify and stabilizeG-quadruplexes in telomeres (end of chromosomes). More stable G-quadruplexes have the potential of inhibiting telomerase, which is an enzyme that regenerates telomers and is active in cancer cells. This novel approach to inhibition of telomerase has the potential of leading towards new treatments for cancer.


Selected Publications:

Hobley, G.; Gubala, V.; Rivera, J. M. “Synthesis of 8-Heteroaryl-2-deoxyguanosine Derivatives”Org. Lett.9, (2007) submitted.

Gubala, V.; De Jesús, D.; Rivera, J. M.“Self-assembled Ionophores Based on 8-Phenyl-2'-deoxyguanosine Analogues” Tetrahedron Lett. 47, 1413-1416 (2006).

V. Gubala, J. E. Betancourt and J. M. Rivera, Expanding the Hoogsteen Edge of 2'-Deoxyguanosine: Consequences for G-Quadruplex Formation, Org. Lett., 6, 4735-4738 (2004).

Rivera, J.M., Martín, T. & Rebek, J., Jr. Chiral Softballs: Synthesis and Molecular Recognition Properties, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 123, 5213-5220 (2001).

Rivera, J. M. & Rebek, J., Jr. Chiral Space in a Unimolecular Capsule, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 122, 7811-7812 (2000).

Rivera, J. M.; Craig, S. L.; Martín, T.; Rebek, J., Jr. Chiral Guests and their Ghosts in Reversibly-Assembled Hosts Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 39, 2130-2132 (2000).




Copyright© 2005-2007 Chemistry Graduate Program
University of Puerto Rico - Río Piedras Campus


home College of Natural Sciences Contact us