Anthony Barrett has invented many new reactions, including novel glycosidations, atom-economic aromatic substitution reactions, metal-catalysed oxidations and hydroaminations, reactions using ROMP-gel supported reagents and multi-component benzyne coupling reactions.
He reported the total syntheses of antibiotics, including b-lactams and structurally complex natural products such as papulacandin D, papuamine, the multiple cyclopropane CETP inhibitor U-106305 and nucleoside FR-900848, milbemycin b3, preussomerin G and (+)-calyculin A. Most recently, he published highly flexible methods for the biomimetic total syntheses of resorcylate natural products, including 15G256b, aigialomycin D, LL-Z1640-2, cruentaren A, hericenone J, macrosporin and hongoquercin B.
With R. Charles Coombes and Simak Ali, Anthony made pioneering contributions to addressing unmet medical needs with the invention of highly selective and bioavailable inhibitors of the cyclin-dependent kinases. Additionally, with Brian Hoffman, he published pioneering work on the synthesis of diverse porphyrazines bearing 8, 6, 4, and 2 thiols, amines or alcohols as peripheral macrocyclic ring substituents and the conversion of these ligands by the complexation of metal ions both within the macrocyclic cavity and at the periphery to produce multimetallic complexes.