Zhen wins Bristol-Myers Squibb Graduate Fellowship

Congratulations to rising G4 student, Zhen Liu, who was selected for the prestigious 2018–2019 Bristol-Myers Squibb Graduate Fellowship in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. As part of the program. Zhen will present his research at the upcoming Bristol-Myers Squibb Chemistry Awards Symposium, which will be held in the spring of 2019 at the BMS research site in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The entire Engle lab is extremely grateful to BMS for their support. Way to go, Zhen!

New Summer Research Interns Arrive

Tian Zhang is joining us from Nankai University and will be working with De Wei (PD2). He is looking forward to learning some copper chemistry while taking the occasional break to go catch pokemon outside on pokemon GO.


Ziyang (Nick) will be joining us from USTC on a summer internship and will be working with Tanner (G1). Ziyang is excited to learn some glovebox techniques and try out surfing in San Diego.

Simple and Practical Reductive Heck Protocol for Terminal Alkenes

Today our lab reports a new method for hydroarylation of aliphatic and heteroatom-substituted terminal alkenes with (hetero)aryl iodides via a reductive a Heck coupling approach.  A description of the work is available as a pre-print on ChemRxiv (click here).  This reaction is trivial to set up, as it can be performed on the benchtop and uses exclusively reagents that are commercially available and commonly available in a standard organic chemistry lab. The transformation is notable for its compatibility with a myriad of functional groups, including those that are potentially reductively sensitive (epoxides, ketones, aldehydes, etc.) as well various aza-heterocycles commonly required in drug discovery. Key to the successful of this reaction is use of a high PPh3:Pd (10:1) ratio to suppress undesired beta-hydride elimination. Kudos to John who took on this significant challenge single-handedly and overcame numerous obstacles to bring this idea to fruition!


Branched-Selective Oxidative Cyanation of Alkenes (Collaboration with Cravatt Lab)

Appearing online today in J. Am. Chem. Soc., the Engle lab and Cravatt group report the results of a joint investigation, encompassing the discovery of a new copper-catalyzed method to access branched alkenyl nitriles from simple alkenes and exciting applications of these compounds in organic synthesis and chemical proteomics. Congrats to all coauthors: De-Wei, Sri, Jose, and Yiyang (Elaine) from the Engle lab; and Katya and Radu from the Cravatt lab. Thanks to the Cravatt lab for a great collaboration (hopefully, the first of many). Click here for a link to the article.