North Carolina State University
Milad Abolhasani is an Associate Professor and a University Faculty Scholar in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Abolhasani leads a diverse research group that studies flow chemistry strategies tailored towards accelerated development and manufacturing of advanced functional materials and molecules using autonomous robotic experimentation. He received his Ph.D. degree in 2014 from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in collaboration with the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining NC State University, he was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT (2014-2016).
Dr. Abolhasani has received numerous awards, recognitions, and fellowships, including NSF CAREER Award, Dreyfus Award for Machine Learning in Chemical Sciences & Engineering, AIChE 35 Under 35, I &EC Research 2021 Class of Influential Researchers, ACS-PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award, AIChE Futures Scholar, The John C. Chen Young Professional Leadership Scholarship (AIChE), University Faculty Scholar, Goodnight Early Career Innovator Award, and Emerging Investigator recognition from Lab on a Chip, Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, and Journal of Flow Chemistry.
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Erik received his A. B. degree from Harvard University in 2001. During his undergraduate education, he performed research with Prof. Amir Hoveyda at Boston College focusing on enantioselective alkene metathesis. Erik continued his studies at The Scripps Research Institute in the laboratory of Prof. Erik Sorensen, moving to Princeton University before receiving his Ph. D. degree in 2006. His doctoral training involved the total synthesis of the furanosteroid viridin and the development of a palladium-catalyzed alkene aminoacetoxylation. Erik’s postdoctoral work with Prof. John Hartwig at the University of Illinois centered on synthetic and mechanistic studies of transition metal enolates. Erik enthusiastically joined the Chemistry Department faculty at UNC Chapel Hill in 2008 and was promoted to Professor of Chemistry in 2019. The Alexanian group currently focuses on the development of new methods for the aliphatic C–H functionalization of small molecules and polymers, as well as transition metal–catalyzed approaches to C–C bond construction.
California Institute of Technology
Frances Arnold is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology and co-Chair of President Biden’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. She received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2018) for pioneering the directed evolution of enzymes. Her group has been using directed evolution to explore new-to-nature enzyme chemistry (mainly carbene and nitrene transfer) and enzyme-catalyzed synthesis of noncanonical amino acids. The group also develops machine-learning guided approaches to directed protein evolution.
University of Wisconsin - Madison
John was born in Atlanta, GA in September 1977, and grew up in Newport News, Virginia. He attended Virginia Tech from 1996 – 2000 where he obtained two degrees: a BA in music theory and composition, and a BS in chemistry. John then pursued graduate education in chemistry, attending Texas A&M University from 2000 – 2004 where he worked as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the research group of Prof. F. Albert Cotton. His graduate work involved synthetic and experimental studies to elucidate the electronic structure and metal-metal bonding in linear trinuclear molecules that serve as models for molecular wires. John then did postdoctoral work in Germany on a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. From 2004 – 2006, he worked with Prof. Karl Wieghardt at the Max Planck Institute for Bioinorganic Chemistry in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, on new electrochemical and photochemical routes to unstable high-valent iron intermediates. In 2006, John joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he has established a vibrant research program tackling fundamental problems in coordination chemistry and bonding. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012, full Professor in 2015, and in 2016 John was appointed the Lester R. McNall Professor of Chemistry. John’s honors include the Enrst Haage Prize (first recipient, 2006), an NSF CAREER Award (2008), an Alexander von Humbold alumni fellowship (2015), the Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Award (2016), and the H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship (2017), along with two university housing awards for teaching. John is a member of the ACS, AAAS, and the editorial board of Inorganic Chemistry, and is Deputy Editor in Chief for Comments on Inorganic Chemistry. Outside of research, John still enjoys writing music, which he sometimes has occasion to perform on either the violin, viola, or piano.
The Scripps Research Institute
Donna G Blackmond received a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. She has held professorships in chemistry and in chemical engineering in the US (University of Pittsburgh), Germany (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung), and the UK (University of Hull; Imperial College London), and she has worked in the pharmaceutical industry (Merck). She is Professor of Chemistry, Department Chair, and the John C. Martin Endowed Chair in Chemistry at Scripps Research, La Jolla, California. She holds joint US/UK citizenship.
Prof. Blackmond is an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She has been recognized internationally for her research including the Wolfson Research Merit Award from the Royal Society, the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Award for Outstanding Women Scientists, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society, and the IUPAC Award for Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering. She has been a Woodward Visiting Scholar at Harvard, a Miller Institute Research Fellow at Berkeley, and an NSF Visiting Professor at Princeton. Among other named lectureships, she has been the Merck Distinguished Lecturer at MIT, the Paul Gassmann Lecturer at the University of Minnesota, the Givaudan-Karrer Lecturer at University of Zürich, the 8th Anton Vilsmeier Lecturer at the Universität Regensburg, the Lemieux Lecturer at University of Ottawa, the Laird Lecturer at the University of British Columbia, and the Gordon Lecturer at the University of Toronto. In 2021 she received a Humboldt-Forschungspreis from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Prof. Blackmond’s research focuses on mechanistic studies of organic reactions, including asymmetric catalysis. She pioneered the methodology of “Reaction Progress Kinetic Analysis (RPKA)” for fundamental mechanistic studies of complex organic reactions as well as for streamlining pharmaceutical process research. Prof. Blackmond is a Simons Investigator in the Simons Foundation Collaboration on the Origins of Life where she studies prebiotic chemistry and the origin of biological homochirality. She has been invited by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to speak at two Nobel Workshops, “On the Origin of Life” (2006) and “Chiral Matter” (2021).
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Rochester Institute of Technology
Michael G. Coleman, Ph.D. is a native of Rochester, New York. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University at Buffalo in 1998. After serving four years as a laboratory technician at the Research and Development division of Praxair, Inc, he returned to the University at Buffalo and he received his Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry in the laboratories of Huw M.L. Davies, Ph.D. In 2007, he held a brief appointment as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at South Carolina State University, and shortly thereafter, he occupied a NSF Visiting Scholar position at the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Chemistry studying synthetic inorganic chemistry in the laboratory of Hairong Guan, Ph.D. He later joined the faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2008 as a Visiting Professor and was later promoted to Assistant Professor in 2010. From 2011 – 2012, he occupied a joint position as Research Assistant at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory researching radiochemical organometallic transformations in the laboratory of Joanna Fowler, Ph.D. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Alcorn State University
Stefan Malone Cooper, Jr. obtained his B.S. in chemistry from the College of Charleston (Charleston, SC) in 2007. There he worked, as an undergraduate researcher, on creating derivatives of the antibiotic, Cytosporone E, advised by Dr. Justin Wyatt. Later in 2015, Stefan obtained a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry advised by Dr. William E. Crowe. His dissertation was entitled “TRANS-POSITIONING” CARBONS WITHIN STRAINED CAGED BICYCLIC(S): ROM/RCM (RING-OPENING/RINGCLOSING METATHESIS AND DIECKMANN CONDESATION ROUTES TO A CIS-DECALIN INFRASTRUCTURE. Stefan completed a short stint as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab Dr. Herman Sintim in 2015, at the University of Maryland and later was appointed in 2016 as a Path to Professoriate Fellow within Hampton’s University NSF Partnership for Research and Education in Material (PREM). Stefan was appointed as an assistant professor in the department of Chemistry and Physics at Alcorn State in August 2017.
Mingji Dai received his B.S. degree from Peking University in 2002. After two years’ research with Professors Zhen Yang and Jiahua Chen in the same university, he went to New York City in 2004 and pursued graduate study under the guidance of Professor Samuel J. Danishefsky at Columbia University. After earning his Ph.D. degree in 2009, he took a postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Professor Stuart L. Schreiber at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. In August 2012, he began his independent career as an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department and Center for Cancer Research of Purdue University. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2018 and full professor in 2020. He is currently a Showalter Faculty Scholar of Purdue University. His research program focuses on developing novel catalytic methodologies and strategies to streamline the synthesis of complex natural products and other medicinally important molecules. His recent awards include the 2022 Purdue University College of Science Research Award, the 2020 Arthur E. Kelly Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Amgen Young Investigators’ Award, the Eli Lilly Grantee Award, the 2017 Chinese-American Chemistry & Chemical Biology Professors Association (CAPA) Distinguished Junior Faculty Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the 2015 Organic Letters Outstanding Author of the Year Lectureship Award, and the 2015 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award.
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Ampofo Darko was born in Accra, Ghana. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Guilford College and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida, where he studied tungsten-catalyzed oxidative carbonylation of functionalized amines under the direction of Prof. Lisa McElwee-White. He then performed postdoctoral research with Prof. Joseph Fox at the University of Delaware studying trans-cyclooctenes and their bioorthogonal reactivity with tetrazines. He joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee in 2014, with research interests at the interface of organic and inorganic chemistry. His group is interested in using nature as an inspiration for organometallic catalyst design, cycloaddition reactions, and organocatalysis. Most recently, the Darko lab has been interested in novel methods to control selectivity and reactivity in carbene transfer reactions.
Huw Davies is now the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Chemistry at Emory University. His research program is directed towards the development of new enantioselective synthetic methods and their applications in total synthesis and drug discovery. A major current theme of his program is catalytic asymmetric C–H functionalization by means of rhodium-carbene induced C–H insertion. He is particularly interested in catalyst controlled site selective functionalization of unactivated sp3 C-H bonds. He collaborates broadly with several academic and industrial partners to develop a mechanistic understanding of his chemistry in order to enhance further methodology development, predictive modelling, and applications in total synthesis and drug discovery. He is currently the Director of the NSF Center for Chemical Innovation for Selective C-H Functionalization. Recent recognition of his work includes the Paul N. Rylander Award (2018) and the ACS Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods (2019).
West Virginia University
Professor Jessica Hoover earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA in 2004, and completed her Ph.D. in 2009 at the University of Washington in Seattle under the direction of Professors Jim Mayer and Forrest Michael. She completed postdoctoral work with Shannon Stahl at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, developing practical copper-catalyzed aerobic alcohol oxidation reactions. Jessica’s independent academic career began at West Virginia University (WVU) in 2012 as Assistant Professor, and she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018.
The Hoover research group at WVU focuses on developing and understanding new reactions, particularly C-C and C-heteroatom bond forming redox reactions, employing first-row transition metal catalysts. Current research interests include: (1) Decarboxylative coupling reactions of (hetero)aromatic carboxylates, (2) nickel catalyzed cross-coupling reactions, and (3) cobalt-catalyzed aerobic coupling reactions. Prof. Hoover’s honors and awards include a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and an NIH MIRA Award.
University of Connecticut
Kerry Gilmore is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Connecticut. He received B.S. degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Roger Williams University. He then attended Florida State University for graduate studies under the direction of Prof. Igor Alabugin where he re-examined the Baldwin rules for cyclization reactions. During graduate school he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and worked for a year with Dr. Christoph Chatgilialoglu at the CNR in Bologna, Italy. He was a postdoctoral researcher with Profs. Tyler McQuade and Peter Seeberger at the Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany, where he later ran the flow chemistry group for six years as a group leader and later promoted to W2 research group leader.
His group at UConn currently focuses on the use of remotely accessible automated flow chemistry platforms and machine learning to better understand organic reaction mechanisms, facilitate reaction/process development, and increase global access to advanced technologies. Recent recognition for his work includes the 2021 ACS award for Affordable Green Chemistry.
Carnegie Mellon University
In January 2022, Gabe started his independent career at Carnegie Mellon University, jointly appointed at the Department of Chemistry and Department of Chemical Engineering. The Gomes Group @ CMU research program is the interface between machine learning, computational and physical organic chemistry, and automated synthesis, with aims to develop new platforms for reaction discovery with emphasis on catalysis. Gabe’s goal is to establish a program focused on the development of new chemical reactions, pioneering research and training the next generation of chemists and chemical engineers.
In 2019, Gabe joined the University of Toronto and the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Matter Lab, led by Professor Alán Aspuru-Guzik. In 2020, Gabe was awarded the NSERC Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship with the project “Designing Catalysts with Artificial Intelligence” and has been featured on the “Next Great Impossible” series by Merck/Milipore-Sigma. Gabe earned his PhD in Fall 2018 from Florida State University, under the guidance of Professor Igor V. Alabugin. At FSU, Gabe's research was centered on the relationship between molecular structure and reactivity, focusing on the development and applications of stereoelectronic effects. His work at FSU earned many accolades, including an IBM PhD Scholarship, the ACS COMP Chemical Computing Group Excellence Award and his selection as a CAS SciFinder Future Leader.
University of California Los Angeles
K. N. Houk received his PhD with R. B. Woodward on experimental tests of orbital symmetry selection rules. He is now Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Houk is an authority on theoretical and computational organic chemistry. His group is involved in developments of rules to understand reactivity, computer modeling of complex organic reactions, and experimental tests of the predictions of theory. He collaborates prodigiously with chemists all over the world, frequently on theoretical investigations of mechanisms involving transition metals, organocatalysts and enzymes. He is also involved in the studies of biosynthetic processes, the design of enzymes, the quantitative modeling of asymmetric reactions used in synthesis, and the dynamics and properties of supramolecular nanomachines, and the mechanisms and dynamics of pericyclic reactions. He has published over 1400 publications and a physical organic chemistry textbook with Pierre Vogel. He has an h-index of 138.
College of the Holy Cross
A native of Jamaica, André Isaacs, Ph.D. moved to the US to attend the College of the Holy Cross where he received his B.A. in Chemistry in 2005. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and then worked as a post-doctoral researcher with Professor Richmond Sarpong at the University of California, Berkeley before returning to his alma mater. He is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and serves as faculty advisor to several student groups including the Caribbean African Students' Assemblage, acapella group Fools on the Hill and Club Tennis. His research involves decomposing the triazole products of click chemistry utilizing the generated intermediates in the synthesis of N-Heterocycles.
Georgia Institute of Technology
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Jared was born and raised in Effingham, IL. He obtained his B.S. in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he completed thesis research with Professor Eric Oldfield. He then moved to the University of California, Berkeley where he earned his Ph.D. under the guidance of Professors Jonathan Ellman and Robert Bergman. Jared studied protein engineering as a NIH postdoctoral fellow with Professor Frances Arnold at the California Institute of Technology before starting his independent career at the University of Chicago. He moved to Indiana University as an Associate Professor in 2018. Research in the Lewis group focuses on identifying solutions to challenging synthetic problems by developing new catalysts for key chemical transformations. Small molecule transition metal catalysts, enzymes, and artificial metalloenzymes are being explored toward this end and comprise the three major areas of emphasis within the group.
Song Lin grew up in Tianjin, China. He obtained B.S. from Peking University in 2008 and Ph.D. from Harvard University working under the mentorship of Eric Jacobsen. He then carried out postdoctoral studies with Chris Chang at UC Berkeley. In 2016, Song started his independent career at Cornell University, where he is currently an Associate Professor. He is also an Associate Editor at Organic Letters and has served on the Early Career Advisory Board of ACS Catalysis and Chemistry–A European Journal. The Lin Laboratory’s research lies at the interfaces between catalysis, electrochemistry, and radical chemistry, where they explore fundamental principles of electrochemistry and radical chemistry to discover new organic transformations and uncover new reaction mechanisms.
University of Pittsburgh
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University of Pennsylvania
Professor Molander received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Iowa State University under the tutelage of Richard C. Larock and earned his Ph.D. with Herbert C. Brown at Purdue University. After a postdoctoral stint at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with Barry M. Trost, he began his independent career as an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, rising through the ranks to professor before moving to the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as Chair from 2009 to 2018. His research interests are in the development of new synthetic methods for organic synthesis. He has won numerous awards for his research, including the American Chemical Society Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods. He currently serves on the editorial board at Thieme with Science of Synthesis, as Editor-in-Chief of Comprehensive Organic Synthesis 3e, and the Advisory Board of Chem Catalysis. He has been an active member of the Division of Organic Chemistry of the American Chemical Society, serving as Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee, SecretaryTreasurer, and Chair of the Division. He was also the Executive Officer of the National Organic Symposium, currently serves as one of the co-chairs of the Division of Organic Chemistry Graduate Research Symposium and was elected a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.
University of Michigan
John Montgomery grew up in Albemarle, N.C. and studied chemistry at the University of North Carolina working with Profs. Joe Templeton and Maurice Brookhart. He received his Ph.D. at Colorado State University with Prof. Louis Hegedus, and he was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California at Irvine with Prof. Larry Overman. John spent twelve years on the faculty at Wayne State University before moving to the University of Michigan, where he is the Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor of Synthetic Chemistry and Arthur Thurnau Professor in the Department of Chemistry. His lab focuses on the discovery and development of enabling technologies for organic synthesis and includes active programs in transition metal and main group catalysis, carbohydrate chemistry, complex molecule synthesis, and biocatalysis. He also enjoys teaching and mentoring the diverse population of undergraduate students at Michigan, and he has been involved in the development of new courses at Michigan designed to improve access, equity, and inclusion in introductory courses in organic chemistry.
Djamaladdin (Jamal) Musaev received his B.A. degree from Azerbaijan State University, Azerbaijan, and PhD degree from USSR Academy of Sciences (Moscow). He worked as a Research Fellow and then as a Sr. Research Fellow at the Institute for New Chemical Problems of USSR Academy of Sciences (Chernogolovka, Moscow region). In 1991, Jamal was awarded by JSPS junior fellowship and worked at Institute for Molecular Sciences, Okazaki, Japan (1991-1993) under guidance of Prof. Keiji Morokuma. In 1993, Dr. Musaev moved to the Emory University, Atlanta, USA. Dr. Musaev is a Director of the Emerson Center for Scientific Computation, and Adjunct Professor of Chemistry. Musaev is co-founder of the Emory BioInspired Energy Center, the CCI-NSF Center for Stereoselective C-H Functionalization, and founder of the Emerson Center Lectureship Award promoting multi-disciplinarity in modern science and technology. Musaev’s scientific interest includes: (a) Designing of predictive rules for development of new and more effective Stereoselective C-H bond functionalization strategies; (b) Designing solar energy-driven robust multi-electron-transfer catalysts for water splitting and fuel formation; (c) Understanding of fundamental principles of transition metal catalyst (including nano-scale catalysts) and photocatalyst promoted nitrogen fixation, hydrocarbon oxidation and borylation, olefin polymerization; (d) Elucidating mechanisms of enzymatic processes, and (e) Development of hybrid computational methods to study interfacial charge transfer dynamics. Among Jamal’s multiple awards are JSPS Sr. Fellowship (Japan), Tubitak Award (Turkey), and multiple visiting professorships in Spain, Germany and Japan. Jamal has published more than 4100 papers in peer-review journals, two books, and have presented more than 320+ invited talks in 22 countries.
The Ohio State University
David Nagib grew up near Philly as the eldest of four siblings in an Egyptian family with a strong love for teaching. His training entails research in asymmetric catalysis (with Prof. Scott Miller, Boston College, BSc 2006), photoredox organocatalysis (with Prof. David MacMillan, Princeton University, PhD 2011), and organometallic mechanisms (with Prof. F. Dean Toste, UC Berkeley, NIH Postdoc). Since 2014, David has taught at The Ohio State University, where he is the inaugural Harold and Betty Miller Professor of Organic Chemistry, as well as the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His team’s research on radical- and carbene- mediated C-H and C-O functionalization is focused on streamlining the synthesis of complex, medicinally relevant molecules.
University of Michigan
Alison Narayan's main research interest is identifying enzymes from secondary metabolite pathways with potential synthetic utility and developing methods based on these biocatalysts to enable access to biologically active target molecules.
Narayan holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her undergraduate studies in chemistry at the University of Michigan, where she later returned as a postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of David Sherman.
She started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Life Sciences Institute at Michigan in 2015. Since this time Alison and her research group have been recognized as a part of C&ENs Talented 12, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, a Cottrell Scholar and as the inaugural recipient of the Life Sciences Institute Outreach award.
Stony Brook University
Ming was born in China and grew up in Hong Kong. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 2003 and earned his Ph.D. degree under the guidance of Professor Michael Krische at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. He then continued his training as a Croucher Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University with Professor Barry Trost and Harvard University with Professor Tobias Ritter. Ming joined the Chemistry Department at the State University of New York - Stony Brook in 2013 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2019. The Ngai lab focuses on the establishment of catalytic platforms to edit and prepare organic molecules efficiently and selectively. They combine detailed experimental and computational studies to understand reactivity and mechanisms with which to guide the design of new catalysts and the development of novel applications in organic, bioorganic, and medicinal chemistry. His research programs have been supported and recognized with an NIH Maximizing Investigator Research Award, NSF CAREER Award, ACS Young Academic Investigator. He is also inducted as a member of the National Academy of Inventors.
California Institute of Technology
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The Scripps Research Institute Florida
Prof. Hans Renata is an associate professor at Scripps Florida. Prior to his independent career, he trained with Prof. Phil Baran in natural product total synthesis and Prof. France Arnold in enzyme engineering and its application in biocatalysis. Research in the Renata lab is focused on the development of new biocatalysts for C–H oxidation and their applications in the chemoenzymatic synthesis of bioactive natural products. In addition, his lab is also interested in adapting these chemoenzymatic approaches in the generation of useful compound analogs and chemical probes to study disease-relevant processes.
Mississippi State University
Dr. Scott was born in Kingston Jamaica where she grew up and attended High School. Following high school, she accepted a track and field scholarship to Auburn University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry (cum laude). She went on to obtain her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, under the guidance of Dr. Craig Wilcox. Her thesis focused on the development of methods for the synthesis of organic and supramolecular compounds.
University of Michigan
Professor Sherman received his undergraduate degree in chemistry at UC Santa Cruz and Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry at Columbia University with Gilbert Stork. After four years at Biogen, he moved to the John Innes Institute as a research scientist with Sir Prof. David A. Hopwood. Following 13 years at the University of Minnesota, Prof. Sherman moved to the University of Michigan and is now the Hans W. Vahlteich Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Professor of Chemistry, and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology. Sherman’s laboratory is in the U-M Life Sciences Institute where his research focuses on the discovery and analysis of bioactive natural products, their metabolic pathways, and diverse biosynthetic enzymes. The functional, structural, and computational analysis of new biocatalysts for late-stage C-H functionalization, polyketide assembly, and pericyclic reactions is a particular focus of the group. Prof. Sherman is faculty lead for the U-M Natural Products Biosciences Initiative and co-founder of the Natural Products Discovery Core.
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University of Wisconsin - Madison
Shannon S. Stahl is the Steenbock Professor of Chemical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (B.S., 1998), a graduate student at Caltech (PhD, 1997; Prof. John Bercaw), and an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1997–1999; Prof. Stephen Lippard). He began his independent career at UW-Madison in 1999. His research group specializes in catalysis, with an emphasis on aerobic and electrochemical oxidation reactions, with applications to chemical synthesis, biomass conversion, and energy generation and storage. Chemical synthesis efforts primarily target applications to pharmaceutical and fine chemical synthesis, and his industrial collaborations in this domain have been recognized by a US EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and the ACS Award in Affordable Green Chemistry. He is co-editor, with Dr. Paul L. Alsters (DSM), of Liquid Phase Aerobic Oxidation Catalysis (Wiley-VCH), a book highlighting existing applications and future opportunities for the use of aerobic oxidation in industrial chemical synthesis. In recent years, his group has expanded in several complementary directions, including oxidative processes for lignin and other biomass valorization, electrochemical organic synthesis, molecular and heterogeneous electrocatalysis.
California Institute of Technology
Professor Brian M. Stoltz earned his B.S. degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After graduate studies at Yale University in the labs of John L. Wood and an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard with E. J. Corey, he took a position at the California Institute of Technology in 2000. At Caltech, he is currently Professor of Chemistry. His research interests lie in all areas of synthetic organic chemistry. He is the recipient of numerous award and accolades for his research and teaching including the Feynman Teaching Prize from Caltech and the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society.
The Stoltz laboratory is deeply interested in the discovery and development of new reaction methodology en route to the chemical synthesis of complex bioactive molecules. The Stoltz group has been heavily involved in the synthesis of complex natural products and catalysis. Much of the group’s methodological research has focused on new asymmetric catalytic methods for carbon–carbon bond formation and the synthesis of challenging stereochemically-rich sub units such as quaternary centers.
University of Texas Southwestern
Uttam Tambar moved from India to the United States when he was four years old. He received his A.B. degree from Harvard University in 2000 and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2006 with Professor Brian Stoltz. After he completed his NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at Columbia University with Professor James Leighton in 2009, he began his independent research career at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He is currently the Bonnie Bell Harding Professor in Biochemistry, Chair of Organic Chemistry Graduate Program, and Director of Diversity for Biochemistry.
The Tambar laboratory is interested in asymmetric catalysis, natural product synthesis, and medicinal chemistry. They have developed a new approach to the stereoselective functionalization of hydrocarbons that leverages catalyst-controlled pericyclic reactions.
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Sidney is currently an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department at UNC Chapel Hill where his research focuses on methods to obtain orphaned cyclopropanes. Sidney Hill was born in Kinston, North Carolina and began his undergraduate studies at North Carolina State University in 2006. He obtained a B.S. in Polymer and Color Chemistry through the College of Textiles, a B.S. in Chemistry through the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences in 2010. In 2015, Sidney received his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Richmond Sarpong from the University of California, Berkeley where his researched focused on using transition metal-catalyzed cycloisomerization reactions to access natural product scaffolds. Then, he was a UNCF-Merck postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Huw Davies at Emory University in Atlanta, GA where his research focused on developing novel reactions using N-sulfonyltriazoles and rhodium tetracarboxylate catalysts for C–H functionalization reactions. During his graduate studies, Sidney was also involved in diversity initiatives such as the Berkeley Science Network, and California Alliance programs to address disparities facing minorities pursuing careers in the physical sciences. Since starting at UNC, he has received the ACS Herman Frasch Foundation grant, NSF CAREER Award, Eli Lilly ACC Grantee Award, the ACS Organic Letters Lectureship, and the Thieme Journal Award.
The goal of the Hill group is to develop new reactions to obtain pyrethroids, small molecules used to combat vectors for malaria (e.g., Anopheles gambiae). We are particularly interested in identifying new small molecule pyrethroids with enhanced photostability, reduced off target toxicological properties to beneficial pollinators (honey bees), and reduced insect resistance profiles. To accomplish these goals, my research group is developing new routes to orphaned cyclopropanes, a structural motif found in all pyrethroids, by using 1) biomimicry and frustrated Lewis acid-base pairs (FLP’s), 2) reagent-based approaches toward natural product families; and 3) chemotype-centric approaches using sulfones as unstabilized carbene equivalents. These methods to obtain orphaned cyclopropanes also enable the discovery of new cyclopropane-containing medicines, since they permit rational structure activity relationship studies at the 1,1-dialkyl position - a traditionally understudied portion of chemical space.
University of California Santa Barbara
Dr. Yang obtained his B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University in 2011. He received his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry in 2016 under the guidance of Prof. Steve Buchwald at MIT. In the Buchwald lab, he developed CuH-catalyzed methods for the asymmetric hydrofunctionalization of simple olefins. As an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow working with Prof. Frances Arnold at Caltech, Dr. Yang studied biocatalysis and protein engineering and developed biocatalytic asymmetric C–H amination. Dr. Yang started his independent career in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2020. By integrating synthetic chemistry, biocatalysis, protein engineering, bioinformatic and computational tools, the Yang group is reprograming nature’s biosynthetic machineries to address challenging problems in synthetic chemistry and asymmetric catalysis. Dr. Yang is a recipient of the Regent’s Junior Faculty Fellowship Award (2021), Faculty Career Development Award (2022), NSF CAREER Award (2022), NIH Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (2022), and the Thieme Chemistry Journals Award (2023).
The Scripps Research Institute
Jin-Quan Yu received his B.S. in Chemistry at East China Normal University, where he worked with Professor Li-Xin Dai and Professor Bi-Qi Wu as a visiting student at Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1987. He went to Cambridge University for his doctoral studies under the supervision of Prof. J. B. Spencer, where he studied biosynthesis and the mechanistic details of the hydrometallation step in asymmetric hydrogenation. He was elected as a Junior Research Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge University in 1998. From 2001-2002, Jin-Quan worked on Pd-catalyzed allylic oxidation as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard University in the laboratories of Professor E. J. Corey. He returned to Cambridge University in 2002 and was appointed as a University Royal Society Research Fellow in 2003 to start his independent research towards developing asymmetric C–H insertion reactions. In 2004, he moved to Brandeis University as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He joined The Scripps Research Institute as an Associate Professor in 2007 and became a full Professor in August 2010. He was appointed as the Frank and Bertha Hupp Professor of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute in 2012. He received the Mukaiyama Award in 2012, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences in 2013, the Elias J. Corey Award in 2014, the MacArthur Fellowship in 2016, and the Pedler Award in 2017.
Research in his group focuses on developing C–H activation reactions to provide new disconnections for asymmetric synthesis and catalytic processes. In the past 15 years, he has developed new ligands and strategies to achieve enantioselective and remote C–H activation reactions of synthetically relevant substrates (>300 publications on C–H activation). C–H activation reactions developed in his laboratory have been used in pharma industry including BMS, Pfizer, Vertex, Novartis, AbbVie, GSK, Genentech, Boehringer Ingelheim, Amgen, Abide and Eisai. He also cofounded a drug discovery company, Vividion, to exploit the power of C–H activation technologies.
Scientific Advisory Board
Justin Du Bois
University of Colorado Boulder
Prof. Nicholas Ball grew up in Chattanooga, TN. He received his B.A. in Chemistry at Macalester College in 2005 and completed their Ph.D. in 2011 under Prof. Melanie Sanford at the University of Michigan working with C–F and C–CF3 bond formation from high-oxidation state Pd. In 2010, he headed to the California Institute of Technology to pursue his postdoctoral studies with Prof. David Tirrell as a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow. Prof. Ball started as an Assistant Professor at Amherst College in 2013. In 2015 Prof. Ball joined the faculty at Pomona College and is now an Associate Professor of Chemistry with tenure.
The Ball Research group is interested in developing new metal-catalyzed/-mediated organic reactions. Our focus is to develop methodologies to make and activate sulfur(IV) and (VI) fluorides. In particular we are interested in using sulfur fluorides as a more air and water stable alternatives to traditional synthesis of sulfur-based organic molecules. Our strategy is to achieve this goal by metal-catalyzed activation of sulfur fluorides via sulfur-fluorine exchange (SuFEx) to make sulfonylated compounds using catalysis, electrochemistry, and machine learning. Additionally, we have interest in sulfur (VI) fluorides in cross-coupling chemistry. Prof. Ball’s honors and awards include Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award, NIH R31, and ACS PRF grants.
Jessica Kisunzu's research interests lie in the field of synthetic organic chemistry, specifically in the study of strained aromatic alkynes (“arynes” – for example, benzyne and related compounds). Undergraduate researchers in her lab are engaged in the investigation of new directions in aryne reactivity and the development of reactions that leverage underused and/or complementary aryne generation methods (e.g., photochemical or electrochemical processes). Her research also incorporates the use of computational tools to analyze and predict reactivity and structure. Jessica received her B.S. at Southern Adventist University and completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley with Richmond Sarpong working on the total synthesis of alkaloid natural products. She then conducted postdoctoral research with Helma Wennemers at the ETH Zürich in the area of peptide catalysis before starting as an Assistant Professor at Colorado College in 2017.
University of Utah
To be written