ABSTRACT Manipulation of biological targets using synthetic or naturally occurring organic compounds has been the focal point of medicinal chemistry. The work described herein centers on the synthesis of organic small molecules that are targeted either to cell surface receptors, to the ribosomal catalytic center or to human immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptase. Bleomycins (BLMs) are a family of naturally occurring glycopeptidic antitumor agents with an inherent selectivity towards cancer cells. DeglycoBLM, which lacks the sugar moiety of bleomycin, has much lower cytotoxicity in cellular assays. A recent study using microbbuble conjugates of BLM and deglycoBLM showed that BLM was able to selectively bind to breast cancer cells, whereas the deglyco analogue was unable to target either the cancer or normal cells. This prompted us to further investigate the role of the carbohydrate moiety in bleomycin. Fluorescent conjugates of BLM, deglycoBLM and the BLM carbohydrate were studied for their ability to target cancer cells. Work presented here describes the synthesis of the fluorescent carbohydrate conjugate. Cell culture assays showed that the sugar moiety was able to selectively target various cancer cells. A second conjugate was prepared to study the importance of the C-3 carbamoyl group present on the mannose residue of the carbohydrate. Three additional fluorescent probes were prepared to improve the uptake of this carbohydrate moiety into cancer cells. Encouraged by the results from the fluorescence experiments, the sugar moiety was conjugated to a cytotoxic molecule to selectively deliver this drug into cancer cells. The nonsense codon suppression technique has enabled researchers to site specifically incorporate noncanonical amino acids into proteins. The amino acids successfully incorporated this way are mostly α-L-amino acids. The non-α-L-amino acids are not utilized as substrates by ribosome catalytic center. Hoping that mutations near the ribosome peptidyltransferase site might alleviate its bias towards α-L-amino acids, a library of modified ribosomes was generated. Analogues of the naturally occurring antibiotic puromycin were used to select promising candidates that would allow incorporation of non-α-L-amino acids into proteins. Syntheses of three different puromycin analogues are described here. The reverse transcriptase enzyme from HIV-1 (HIV-1 RT) has been a popular target of HIV therapeutic agents due to its crucial role in viral replication. The 4-chlorophenyl hydrazone of mesoxalic acid (CPHM) was identified in a screen designed to find inhibitors of strand transfer reactions catalyzed by HIV-1 RT. Our collaborators designed several analogues of CPHM with different substituents on the aromatic ring using molecular docking simulations. Work presented here describes the synthesis of eight different analogues of CPHM.