Research

Our group is generally interested in developing new methods for stereoselective carbon-carbon bond formation. Some examples of active research areas in our group are described below:

Enantioselective Catalysts for Umpolung C–C Bond Forming Reactions

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With the ultimate goal of finding new enantioselective catalysts for reductive umpolung reactions, we are investigating the transition-metal mediated synthesis of ketyl radicals. These nucleophilic radicals, which are generated by the single electron reduction of carbonyl compounds, are capable of forming new carbon-carbon bonds with many traditional electrophiles. Opportunities in this area range from photoredox catalysis to single-electron reducing metals such as titanium(III) or samarium(II).

Computational Evaluation of Organic Reaction Mechanisms and Selectivities

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The utility and practical application of quantum mechanical theory to synthetic organic chemistry is growing at a rapid pace. We employ theoretical methods to understand underlying catalytic reactivity and aid in their development of new catalysts with improved reactivity and selectivity. The low cost and increasing accuracy of theory make it invaluable for modern methodology development.

Stereoselective Total Synthesis of Natural Products

New reaction methodologies must be tested in complex settings to examine the frontiers of their utility. Natural products not only provide inspiration for the development of new reactions, but are also the ideal testing ground for new methods.