B.A. (Honors, Summa Cum Laude) 2000, Knox College; Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2005; NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Irvine, 2005-2008.
New organic transformations that facilitate the synthesis complex organic molecules from simple and inexpensive starting materials are in high demand for both pharmaceutical and material applications. Pericyclic reactions are a class of particularly valuable organic transformations in which one or two new C-C bonds can be formed regio- and stereoselectively based on FMO theory. My research group is interested in expanding the scope, tolerance, and application of known pericyclic transformations as well developing and controlling new types of pericyclic reactions. Our goal is to design new methods to provide general solutions to practical problems using both physical organic and organometallic mechanistic studies in order to fully understand, control, and exploit the transformations we investigate. The specific areas that we are interested in are: 1) the development of new methods for the synthesis of carbonyl ylides in order to expand the scope of their [3+2] cycloaddition reactions; 2) the design of new pericyclic reactions involving metal-carbon and metal-heteroatom multiple bonds that combine the reactivity of transition metal complexes and the selectivity of pericyclic reactions; and 3) the development of new sigmatropic rearrangements related to the Fisher-Indole synthesis to stereoselectively form challenging C-C bonds.