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2005-06 Organic Graduate Fellows

Pharma supports 18 of organic chemistry's brightest young scholars

November 27, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 48

Timothy E. Barder

The ACS Division of Organic Chemistry has announced its annual fellowship awards to outstanding third- and fourth-year graduate students in organic chemistry. Awardees are selected on the basis of their research accomplishments and a short original essay. The essays are available online at

M. Kevin Brown
Daniel D. Caspi
Arthur Catino
Juan Diaz
Matthew B. Harney
Robert M. Hughes
Jason Lowe
Anita E. Mattson
Steve Mennen
Joshua E. Ney
Brian H. Northrop
Izzat Raheem
Valentin Rodionov
Thomas Snyder
Benjamin D. Stevens
Mark Tichenor
Ryan Yoder

The fellowship stipend for the 2005-06 awards is $24,000, and the fellows will travel to the 2007 National Organic Symposium, where they will present posters on their work.

Listed below are the 2005-06 fellows, their advisers, the titles of their essays, and the sponsors of the awards.

Timothy E. Barder is a student in Stephen Buchwald's group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Barder's research involves developing catalysts for the Suzuki-Miyaura coupling reaction and exploring the relationship between their structure and activity. His essay is titled "The Growing Utility of Ag(I) Catalysts in Organic Synthesis."  Sponsor: Novartis Pharmaceuticals

M. Kevin Brown is a student of Amir Hoveyda's at Boston College. He has developed peptide-copper complexes that catalyze the asymmetric conjugate addition of organometallic reagents to various classes of unsaturated carbonyl compounds. His essay is titled "Direct and Selective Transition-Metal-Catalyzed Olefin Hydroalkoxylation." Sponsor: Schering-Plough Research Institute

Daniel D. Caspi is a student at California Institute of Technology working in Brian Stoltz's laboratory. Caspi was involved in the total synthesis of both enantiomers of the natural product dragmacidin F. He has also expanded the scope of a palladium-catalyzed oxidative kinetic resolution of secondary alcohols using oxygen as the oxidant. His essay is titled "Recent Advances in Enantiodivergent Strategies." Sponsor: Merck Research Laboratories

Arthur Catino is a student at the University of Maryland working in Michael Doyle's laboratory. Catino's work involves allylic oxidation and aziridination methods using rhodium catalysis. His essay is "Recent Developments in the Direct Catalytic Asymmetric Nitro-Mannich Reaction." Sponsor: Emmanuil Troyansky Fellowship

Juan Diaz is a student at the University of California, Irvine, working in Gregory Weiss's laboratory. Diaz uses phage display libraries to engineer novel transcription factors and overexpress the resultant proteins for X-ray crystallography and biophysical characterization. His essay is "Correlating Structure and Function in Enzymatic Organic Synthesis of Terpenes." Sponsor: Organic Syntheses

Matthew B. Harney is a student at the University of Maryland working in Lawrence Sita's laboratory. Harney designed and synthesized the first homogeneous, well-defined isotactic-atactic stereoblock polypropylene materials and has also studied the mechanism of Ziegler-Natta polymerization with a monamidinate zirconium complex. His essay is "Stereoblock Polypropylene Elastomers." Sponsor: Procter & Gamble

Robert M. Hughes is a University of North Carolina student working in Marcey Waters' laboratory. Hughes has used β-hairpin peptides to investigate the structure and energetics of π-cation interactions. His essay is "Two Design Strategies for Peptide-Based Asymmetric Catalysis." Sponsor: Albany Molecular Research

Jason Lowe is a student at Boston University working in James Panek's laboratory. Lowe is working on the total synthesis of bistramide A and kendomycin using a [4+2] annulation approach. His essay is "Direct Coupling of N-Heterocycles: Highly Convergent Approach to Complex Molecular Architecture." Sponsor: Bristol-Myers Squibb

Anita E. Mattson is a student at Northwestern University working in Karl Scheidt's laboratory. Her research has focused on synthetic methodology primarily using acylsilanes. She has developed a thiazolium-catalyzed sila-Stetter reaction and an acyl anion approach to α-amino ketones using a catalytic addition of acylsilanes to phosphorylimines. Her essay is "Recent Umpolung Reactions Catalyzed by N-Heterocyclic Carbenes." Sponsor: Eli Lilly &Co.

Steve Mennen is a student at Boston College working in Scott Miller's laboratory. Mennen developed a streamlined synthesis of the core of mitomycin C, a peptide-catalyzed Stetter reaction, and a thiazolylalanine-derived catalyst for enantioselective intermolecular aldehyde-imine cross-coupling. His essay is "Preventing β-Hydride Elimination in Pd(II)-Catalyzed Bond-Forming Processes." Sponsor: Abbott Laboratories

Joshua E. Ney is a student in John Wolfe's laboratory at the University of Michigan. Ney developed a palladium-catalyzed stereoselective synthesis of pyrrolidines and studied the scope and mechanism of the method. His essay is "Recent Advances in Palladium-Catalyzed Functionalization of sp3 C-H Bonds." Sponsor: GlaxoSmithKline

Brian H. Northrop is a student of J. F. Stoddart's and K. N. Houk's at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research includes the synthesis and computational modeling of supramolecular interlocked bundles, single-molecule force spectroscopy of [2]rotaxanes, computational investigations of diradical rearrangements, and the study of charge-charge interactions in mechanically interlocked molecules. His essay is "Self-Assembling Interwoven and Interlocked Dendrimer Architectures." Sponsor: Nelson J. Leonard ACS DOC Fellowship, sponsored by Organic Syntheses

Izzat Raheem is a student at Harvard University working in Eric Jacobsen's laboratory. Raheem is involved in an asymmetric total synthesis of quinine and quinidine and has developed asymmetric synthetic methods, including a highly enantioselective aza-Baylis-Hillman reaction. His essay is "Recent Advances in C-C Bond Formation via C-H Activation." Sponsor: Pfizer

Valentin Rodionov is a student at Scripps Research Institute working in M. G. Finn's laboratory. He is working on developing the new catalysts for the copper-promoted azide-alkyne cycloaddition and has performed mechanistic studies on the same reaction. His essay is "State of the Art in Anion Receptor Design." Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim

Thomas Snyder is a student at Harvard University working in David Liu's laboratory. Snyder's research goal is to develop new methods for controlling the reactivity of small molecules using DNA-templated synthesis. His essay is "Recent Chemical Strategies for the Site-Specific Modification of Proteins." Sponsor: Organic Reactions

Benjamin D. Stevens is a student at the University of Pittsburgh working in Scott Nelson's laboratory. Stevens has developed an olefin isomerization-Claisen rearrangement with subsequent intramolecular Sakurai reaction for preparing carbocyclic compounds. His essay is titled "Applications of Strain-Induced Lewis Acidity to Stereoselective Organic Synthesis." Sponsor: SanofiAventis

Mark Tichenor is a student at Scripps Research Institute working in Dale Boger's laboratory. Tichenor was involved in the successful total synthesis, structure revision, and absolute configuration determination of the natural product (+)-yatakemycin. His essay is "C-H Bond Functionalization of Nitrogen Heterocycles." Sponsor: Roche Pharmaceuticals

Ryan Yoder is a student at Indiana University working in Jeffery Johnston's laboratory. Yoder has developed "chiral proton catalysts" and applied them to an enantioselective aza-Henry reaction. His essay is "Enantioselective Biomimetic Total Syntheses Inspired by Nature's Elegance." Sponsor: Wyeth Research.


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