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23rd Annual Stauffer Lectureship (Day 2 of 2): Professor Scott Denmark

Scott Denmark
February 15, 2018 -
4:30pm to 5:30pm
Sapp Center Lecture Hall

23rd Annual Stauffer Lectureship (Day 2 of 2): Professor Scott Denmark (Host: Carolyn Bertozzi)

"Lewis Base Activation of Lewis Acids: An Evolving Paradigm for Catalysis in Main Group Chemistry"

About the Seminar

Catalysis is a chemical evergreen. Ever since Michael Faraday first recognized that platinum wire could bring about the combination of hydrogen and oxygen with spectacular speed, chemists have been fascinated with the origins, principles, scope and applications of catalysis. Despite Berzelius’s unfortunate choice of the word for this phenomenon (from the ancient Greek for destruction), the field of chemical (abiological) catalysis has grown immensely in the past century. Surprisingly, however, catalysis of reactions of the p-block main group) elements is almost non-existent. Over the past decade, my group has investigated reactions based on elements in Groups 13, 14, 16 and 17, under the newly developed paradigm of “Lewis-base activation of Lewis acids”. This lecture will describe the most recent efforts in our laboratories to design, understand and apply synthetically useful reactions of, inter alia, the halogens and the chalcogens under catalysis by Lewis bases.

About the Speaker

Scott E. Denmark was born in New York on 17 June 1953.  He obtained an S. B. degree from M.I.T. in 1975 and his graduate studies were carried out at the ETH-Zürich under the direction of Professor Albert Eschenmoser, culminating in a D. Sc. Tech degree in 1980. That same year he began his career as assistant professor at the University of Illinois.  He was promoted to associate professor in 1986, full professor in 1987 and then in 1991 named the Reynold C. Fuson Professor of Chemistry.

Professor Denmark is primarily interested in the invention of new synthetic reactions and elucidating the origins of stereocontrol in novel, asymmetric reactions. The current emphasis in his laboratories focuses on the relationship between structure, reactivity and stereoselectivity in a variety of organoelement processes.  He has pioneered the concept of chiral Lewis base activation of Lewis acids for catalysis in main group synthetic organic chemistry.  His group has also developed palladium-catalyzed cross-couplings with organofunctional silicon compounds.  In addition his research program encompasses the development and application of tandem heterodiene cycloadditions for the synthesis of complex natural (alkaloids) and unnatural (fenestranes, phase transfer catalysts) nitrogen containing compounds. In recent years, his group has investigated the use of chemoinformatics to identify and optimize catalysts for a variety of organic and organometallic reactions.

Professor Denmark has won a number of honors for both research and teaching.  These include: A. P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, A. C. Cope Scholar Award (ACS), Alexander Von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, Pedler Lecture and Medal (RSC), the ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, the Yamada-Koga Prize, the Prelog Medal (ETH-Zürich), the H. C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods (ACS), Robert Robinson Lecture and Medal (RSC), the ISHC Senior Award in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Paul Karrer Lectureship (Uni Zürich), the Frederic Stanley Kipping Award for Research in Silicon Chemistry (ACS), and the Harry and Carol Mosher Award (Santa Clara Section, ACS). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Chemical Society and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous honorary lectureships and visiting professorships and has served on many editorial advisory boards. He edited Volume 85 of Organic Syntheses, was Editor of Volumes 22-25 of Topics in Stereochemistry and was a founding Associate Editor of Organic Letters (1999-2004). After serving on the editorial board from 1994-2003, he became Editor in Chief and President of Organic Reactions, Inc. in 2008.

This event belongs to the following series