09/29/16 -9:45 AM to 11:00 AM
Department Seminar: Professor Donald A. Watson
"Recent Developments in Heteroatomic-Heck Reactions"
Donald Watson's research group is focused on the invention of new chemical reactions and their applications in organic synthesis. His researchers choose to work in this area as organic chemistry is central to modern scientific endeavor, including in such critical areas as the treatment of human disease (providing the tools to synthesize new medicines), understanding of biological processes (providing probes and methods to interrogate biochemical pathways), and the development of advanced materials (providing the building blocks from which they are derived). Advancements in these areas, as well as many others, require new, complex organic molecules and the ability to prepare them. Watson's group works to invent new, more efficient methods to prepare compounds, which help drive advancements across the spectrum of modern science.
Transition-metal catalysis plays a central role in their work, and lies at the heart of many of the methods that they have invented. The researchers' approach combines expertise in catalyst development and organometallic chemistry with insight deep insight into the needs of organic synthesis and complex molecule construction. In this context, they have been particularly focused on the invention of new methods to introduce heteroatoms into non-aromatic organic molecules. The products of these reactions are important intermediates in chemical synthesis as well as critical structural elements in biologically active molecules.