01/25/18 - 9:45 AM to 11:00 AM
Dow Lecture Series: Professor Viresh H. Rawal
Dow Lecture Series
"Design and Application of Simple Hydrogen Bond Donors as Enantioselective Catalysts"
The bare hydrogen atom, a proton, functioning in the Brønsted-Lowry sense, is perhaps the oldest catalyst used to promote chemical reactions. In contrast, the Lewis acid property of a hydrogen atom bonded to an electronegative atom, most evident in hydrogen bonds, remained little utilized for catalysis. Indeed, for asymmetric catalysis the concept of Lewis acid catalysis became synonymous with metal-based catalysis. Hydrogen bonds, while of central importance for biomolecules, played a minor role in the promotion of chemical reactions. This situation changed dramatically about 15 years ago, when my group and others reported examples of small hydrogen bond donor molecules that functioned as effective catalysts for enantioselective reactions. In this presentation, I will describe some of the results that have come out of my lab within this rapidly evolving field of catalysis.
Viresh Rawal is professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago. Activity in his research group is aimed at discovering new ways to make complex molecules, designing unique strategies to families of natural products, and developing broadly effective methods for chemical synthesis, with a focus on enantioselective methods.