Welcome to Nishikawa Lab
Goal of this laboratory:
Education of international-standard organic chemists who are able to synthesize any organic compounds through their own designing the synthetic route and repeated try and error process.  
Synthesis of natural products needs comprehensive power of organic chemistry, including knowledge of a variety of organic reactions, reaction mechanism as well as molecular orbital theory.  Spectroscopic analysis methods are indispensable for identification of products and structure elucidation of by-products.  Calculation is sometimes important for conformational analysis of an intermediate and designing the reaction.  As synthesis of complex molecule needs multi-steps, a sense of process chemistry is important for large-scale reaction.  Reaction of 100 mg of a substrate is completely different from that of several dozen gram of the same substrate.  In each reaction, the reaction condition and work-up procedure as well as purification method must be optimized for larger scale of the synthesis.  Otherwise total synthesis may not be realized.  These are the reasons why natural product synthesis needs comprehensive power of organic chemistry.  However, these items are not enough for achievement of total synthesis of complex natural product. 
Even when you start the synthesis according to a carefully designed synthetic plan, it is not so unusual that you face a serious problem in the early stage of the synthesis; text book reactions sometimes do not work in the synthesis of multi-functional natural products.  Laboratory experiments are situated in a chaos condition every time.  One of the reasons is that prediction of reactivity of the intermediate possessing some functions is difficult.  However, reference books, papers, and database such as Scifinder are not useful in such situation.  When you face such problems, continous experiments with try and error would be important to find out the solution, which would lead to the total synthesis of natural product.  Important point is to think about the solution through your own experimental result.  Careful observation of reaction sometimes is a clue for the breakthrough.  Consideration of careful observation as well as repeated try and error is a key for this situation. 
Synthesis of complex natural product faces many difficult problems that have no general solutions.  Therefore, continous experimentation with your best efforts should be the only way to realize the total synthesis.  Education through the natural product synthesis should become an important base for development of human resources for fine chemical manufacturing in Japan