Photoredox-catalyzed Oxidation of Anions 

Our work on the photoredox-catalyzed oxidation of anions to generate electrophilic radicals is published in The Journal of Organic Chemistry! This work generates 1,3-dicarbonyl and amidyl radicals by a stepwise proton-coupled electron transfer process for the functionalization of alkenes. The result is a highly atom-economical process for hydro-, amido-, and dialkylation of alkenes. We used experimental and computational mechanistic experiments to understand the role of the catalyst as an electron shuttle between starting material and product molecules.

NIH Grant funded!

Our research in photoredox catalysis has been funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Science of the National Institutes of Health! The funds from this grant will support a number of research students and any supplies they need to conduct their research. The reactions studied under this grant will enable the use of visible light to conduct challenging carbon-carbon bond forming reactions.

NSF Instrumentation Grant!

The chemistry department was just awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase a new nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer! Thanks to Prof. Cannon as well as Profs. Despagnet-Ayoub, Hill, Navarro, and Udit for putting together a successful proposal. The features of this new instrument will advance our research and also allow us to include more hands-on NMR experience in the teaching lab.

Syntheses of Coniine, DAB-1, and Nectrisine

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Our work on the total syntheses of the alkaloid natural products (–)-coniine, DAB-1, and nectrisine just appeared in ACS Omega! This was collaborative work with Prof. Deardorff to develop a robust synthesis of these biologically active natural products. The approach utilizes an enzyme-catalyzed hydrocyanation to establish the key stereochemistry, which is followed by transition metal-catalyzed reactions to transform this building block into the natural products. We envision this approach as a general platform for the enantioselective syntheses of alkaloid natural products. Congrats to the undergraduates that worked on this project together!