Michael King

Michael M. King

Chair, Department of Chemistry
SEH 4000B
Address: Science and Engineering Hall
800 22nd St. NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
Phone: 202-994-6488
Fax: 202-994-5873

Areas of Expertise

Molecules of Biological Interest, Applications of Stereopopulation Control



Current Research

Synthetic efforts have included the preparation of stable tryptophan derivatives with tetrahedral geometry at C-3 that are mirror-image inhibitors of tryptophan synthesizing and degrading enzymes and aldose reductase. Our group has devised and is exploiting a regiospecific route to alkylated imidazoles, histamines  and histidines, found to possess antimalarial activity. The thrust of the program on stereopopulation control has been to demonstrate the utility of conformational restriction, including the development of a novel method for drug delivery that allows a modulation in the timing of drug release, and creation of a system whereby van der Waals substituent volumes can be determined using spectroscopic methodologies.


  • BS, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1966
  • AM, Harvard University, 1967
  • PhD, Harvard University, 1970


  • A Semiconductive Coordination Network Based on 2,3,6,7,10,11-Hexakis(methylthio)triphenylene and BiCl 3
  • Synthesis of Novel Ring-Substituted Histidines and Histamines
  • Regiospecific Alkylation of Histidine and Histamine at C-2
  • Synthesis of 5-[(Indol-2-on-3-yl)methyl]-2,2-dimethyl-1,3-dioxane-4,6-diones and Spirocyclopropyloxindole Derivatives. Potential Aldose Reductase Inhibitors
  • Stereopopulation Control. 7. Rate Enhancement in the Lactonization of 3-(o-Hydroxyphenyl)propionic Acids: Dependence on the Size of Aromatic Ring Substituents
  • Sapphyrins: Novel Aromatic Pentapyrrolic Macrocycles

Classes Taught

2151-2152 Organic Chemistry (3 credits each)
Systematic treatment of the structure, preparation, properties, and reactions of the principal classes of organic compounds. Fundamental principles of stereochemistry, reaction mechanisms, and spectroscopic methods of analysis. Prerequisite to Chem 2151: Chem 1112. Prerequisite to Chem 2152: Chem 2151.    (Academic year)

2153-2154 Organic Chemistry Laboratory (1 credit each)
Laboratory complement of Chem 2151–52. Introduction to and practice in basic skills of synthesis, separation, purification, and identification of organic compounds.  Prerequisite or concurrent registration: Chem 2 151–52. Prerequisite to Chem 2154: Chem 2153. Laboratory fee, $60 per semester.    (Academic year)