Skip to content Skip to navigation

Special Chemistry Seminar: Professor Bill Morandi, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung

headshot of morandi
January 19, 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
Chemistry Gazebo

Special Chemistry Seminar: Professor Bill Morandi, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (Host: Yan Xia)

"Shuttle Catalysis – a Conceptual Blueprint for Reversible Functional Group Transfer"

About the Seminar

Catalytic reversible reactions, such as alkene metathesis and transfer hydrogenation, have had an auspicious impact on the molecular sciences. This presentation will describe our efforts to develop related “shuttle catalysis” reactions1-3 for the functionalization and defunctionalization of organic compounds. These reactions avoid the use of toxic reagents (e.g. HCN, CO) through the reversible transfer of chemical moieties between organic molecules. Shuttle catalysis has further been employed in the development of unprecedented C–X (X = S, P, N) bond metathesis reactions to realize powerful applications across the molecular sciences, including the late-stage generation of a drug library and the recycling of a commercial thermoplastic.4


(1) Xianjie Fang, Peng Yu, Bill Morandi, Science 2016, 351, 832.

(2) Xianjie Fang, Bastien Cacherat, Bill Morandi, Nat. Chem. 2017, DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2798.

(3) Benjamin N. Bhawal, Bill Morandi, ACS Catal. 2016, 6, 7528.

(4) Zhong Lian, Benjamin N. Bhawal, Peng Yu, Bill Morandi, Science 2017, 356, 1059.

About the Speaker

Bill Morandi was born in Fribourg, Switzerland in 1983. He studied at the ETH Zurich from 2003 to 2008, earning a BSc in Biology and a MSc in Chemical Biology, working under the guidance of Prof. Peters, Prof. Diederich and Prof. Carreira. After performing his master thesis on the decarbonylation of aldehydes under the supervision of Prof. Carreira, he remained in the the Carreira Lab to perform his doctoral studies in organic synthesis. As a doctoral student supported by the Swiss Chemical Industry Funds, he developed new synthetic methodologies using in situ generated diazo compounds, enabling the safe use of these reagents in the preparation of important building blocks. In 2012, he moved to the California Institute of Technology to work under the guidance of Prof. Grubbs. As a SNSF postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, he initiated a new research program aiming to develop efficient and general catalytic oxidation reactions of internal alkenes, including the study of the effects determining the regioselectivity of this transformation. In 2014, Dr Morandi was awarded an independent Max Planck Research Group Leader Position by the Max Planck Society. He founded and leads the "Homogeneous Catalysis and Reaction Design" group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim/Ruhr. 

This event belongs to the following series