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
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.
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.
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).