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  • Joe Topczewski

    Assistant Professor

    • Organic Chemistry, synthesis, catalysis, and methodology
    • Inorganic & Organometallic Chemistry, synthesis, catalysis, and methodology
    • Chemical Biology, Medicinal Chemistry
    • B.S. University of Wisconsin, 2007
    • Ph.D. University of Iowa, 2011, (David Wiemer)
    • Post Doctorate University of Iowa, 2011-2013 (Hien Nguyen and Daniel Quinn), University of Michigan, 2013-2015 (Melanie Sanford)
    Office: 568B Kolthoff Hall

Principal Research Interests

Fundamental Studies, Methods, Catalysis, Synthesis, Medicinal Chemistry

We aim to invent transformative synthetic methods to reduce chemical waste generation, while simultaneously redefining how chemists approach making medicines. Today, synthesizing certain medicines generates >1,000 kilograms of chemical waste for each kilogram of drug. An increasing global demand, combined with a decreasing supply of resources, necessitates more sustainable syntheses.

Our lab discovers and optimizes innovative synthetic methods to address this 21st century challenge. Superior methods i) prevent unnecessary resource consumption, ii) minimize the generation of chemical waste, and iii) provide access to new chemical space. New chemical space contains molecular diversity with unknown potential.

Our current research focuses on i) enhancing chiral amine synthesis, ii) discovering salt-free coupling reactions, and iii) improving access to bromodomain inhibitors. These focus areas address specific longstanding synthetic challenges. Furthermore, our methods provide unique access to untapped chemical space, which we are exploring through collaboration for medicinal chemistry applications.

Graphic for Professor Joseph Topczewski's profile page highlighting areas of his research.

Honors and Awards

  • Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, 2019
  • National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, 2014-2015
  • American Chemical Society Division of Medicinal Chemistry Predoctoral Fellow, 2010-2011
  • A. Lynn Anderson Award for Excellence in Graduate Research, 2010
  • UW-Parkside Outstanding Graduate, 2007

Mailing Address

  • Joseph Topczewski, University of Minnesota, Department of Chemistry
  • B-9, 139 Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St SE
  • Minneapolis, MN 55455-0431