Professor of Chemistry; Patricia and Joseph T. '49 Vanderslice Millennium Chair
We discover, design and develop new catalysts for chemical synthesis that are easily prepared, are stable to air and moisture and can be recycled. We introduce efficient new chiral catalysts that can be used to synthesize important enantiomerically pure compounds for the preparation of biologically and medicinally active agents. Our focus is on transformations that are truly important (such as conjugate additions and olefin metathesis), but cannot be catalyzed efficiently by existing methods. We are interested in complex molecule total synthesis (testing our catalysts), study of reaction mechanism (how do our catalysts work?) and new approaches to catalyst discovery (combinatorial chemistry).