Kohei Torikai has completed his PhD in Osaka University (Prof. Michio Murata) and Post-doctoral studies in Osaka University (Prof. Tohru Oishi) and the University of Tokyo (Prof. Hiroaki Suga). In 2010, he started his academic career at University of Shizuoka as a Research Assistant Professor, and in the same year, moved to Kyushu University as a tenured Assistant Professor. He has published more than 20 papers, received more than 10 awards and grants, and serving as an Editorial Board Member of JSM Chemistry. His research interests are on synthetic organic, natural products, bioorganic, and medicinal chemistry.


Protective groups are still playing important roles in the synthesis of complex molecules, despite the recent negative campaign against using them that increase the E-factor and the number of steps. To expand the variety of protective groups, naphthylmethoxymethyl (NAPOM) was newly developed for the protection of hydroxy (including phenolic hydroxy and carboxy) and mercapto groups. The NAPOM group can be introduced in extremely mild conditions (NAPOMCl, 2,6-lutidine, rt) without concomitant acyl migration in a 1,2-diol system. Furthermore, selective removal of NAPOM in the presence of naphthylmethyl (NAP) and p-methoxybenzyl (PMB), and conversely, that of PMB in the presence of NAPOM, were realized. These results, as well as its easy handling and compatibility with various solvents, show that NAPOM is a novel and useful choice of protective groups.