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  • 08/04/17

    Professor Thomas Hoye receives a 2017 ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award

Professor Thomas Hoye has received a 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, recognized for his excellence in organic chemistry. He will be honored at the fall 2017 ACS National Meeting in Washington, D.C. He will be participating in the Cope Award Symposium, Tuesday, Aug. 22, presenting his lecture, "Three-component hexadehydro-Diels-Alder (HDDA) reactions," at 2:20 p.m. Rooms 202A/B, Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Hoye and his research group explore synthetic organic chemistry. Their studies are motivated principally both by what they make as well as how they make things. They synthesize compounds that have potential as active agents in, for example, new pharmaceuticals or organic light-emitting diodes (OLED). They also develop new reactions and new strategies that enable other synthetic chemists to improve the ways that they make the novel compounds that fuel their own research projects.

A major focus of Hoye's research is natural product chemical synthesis. His group has reported the total synthesis of eight structurally complex secondary metabolites in the last decade. An additional hallmark of Hoye's research program is its considerable breadth. His research encompasses the development of new synthetic methods; the development of new nuclear magnetic resonance-based strategies for determination of absolute and relative configurations, including computational approaches; natural product structure determination (e.g., sea lamprey pheromones); organometallic chemistry; polymer synthesis; development of sustainable materials from biorenewable resources; mechanistic organic chemistry; medicinal chemistry; spontaneous, non-enzyme-catalyzed events in the biosynthesis of natural products; and the development of new prodrugs and block polymer-based nanoparticles for drug and prodrug delivery.

Members of Hoye's research group have recently established that benzynes, arguably the most versatile of all the reactive intermediates in organic chemistry, can generally and practically be formed simply by heating appropriate triyne precursors. His group termed this the hexadehydro-Diels–Alder (HDDA) reaction. They have also gained many new mechanistic insights about the ensuing in situ trapping reactions, which include a number of unprecedented classes of transformation: e.g., the aromatic ene reaction and an alkane dehydrogenation reaction. This novel strategy for generating and trapping benzynes—HDDA cascades—provides a fundamentally new approach for the synthesis of useful new benzenoid compounds. The most recent outgrowth of this aspect of his program is the discovery of the pentadehydro-Diels–Alder (PDDA) reaction.

Hoye received his bachelor and master degrees from Bucknell University and earned his doctorate at Harvard University. He joined the University of Minnesota chemistry faculty in 1976. His accomplishments in organic chemistry have been recognized at the local, state, national, and international levels. Among his recent awards are the 2016 Royal Society of Chemistry's Robert Robinson Award, 2015 Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products from the American Chemical Society, and the 2014 Minnesota Award from the Minnesota Section of the American Chemical Society.