Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research interest: Developing "greener" methods to form carbon-carbon bonds, studying ways to use catalysts to harness light energy to drive chemical reactions
My students and I are interested in developing new chemical reactions and methodology. We are particularly interested developing "greener" methods to form carbon-carbon bonds. Currently we are studying ways to use catalysts to harness light energy to drive such chemical reactions. Our goal is to use inexpensive low-energy light sources, such as compact fluorescent bulbs, to promote useful chemical reactions. This would provide an attractive alternative to current methods, which require high-energy lamps and specialized reactors for conducting photochemical reactions.
Ultimately, these methods are applied to synthesize biologically relevant natural products. Such chemical compounds have the potential to serve as leads for the development of new medicines and therapeutics. Therefore, through collaborations and interdisciplinary research, we will use organic chemistry to optimize the biological activity and answer questions about how molecules synthesized in our lab function in biological systems.
Undergraduate Research & Odyssey Projects
The most important outcome of research in my lab is for students to learn to think critically and become skilled at solving complex "real-world" problems. Students learn to design and troubleshoot experiments, search the primary scientific literature, and gain "hands-on" experience with analytical instrumentation including NMR, GC/MS, and IR.