Alpha-Hydroarylation Paper Accepted in J. Am. Chem. Soc.

Our collaborative paper with Bristol-Myers Squibb on α-selective hydroarylation of acrylates and acrylamides has been accepted for publication in J. Am. Chem. Soc. Detailed mechanistic studies revealed that the reaction proceeds via a [Pd(Ar)(H)] intermediate, which undergoes migratory insertion to deliver the hydride group to the β-position, generating a [Pd(Ar)(enolate)]; C–C reductive elimination then furnishes the final product. The reaction is notable for its operational simplicity, mild reaction conditions, and widely available starting materials. Congrats to Engle lab authors Alena and John (now at BMS Process), as well as BMS collaborators Candice (Process Chemistry) and Emily (Discovery Chemistry) As a reminder, this manuscript first appeared as a ChemRxiv pre-print (click here).

For a link to the paper, click here:

Congrats to the Class of 2020!

Huge congratulations to the Class of 2020! The Engle lab is incredibly proud of our recent, PhD, visiting PhD, and college students who are moving on to incredible jobs, postdocs, and graduate programs around the world!

Graduate Students (PhD)

Dr. Joseph Derosa: Caltech (Postdoc, J. Peters)

Visiting Graduate Students (PhD)

Dr. Xin Wang (Nankai University Medical School)

Undergrads/Visiting Undergrads

Jiahao Chen (Fudan U): Fudan University (Ph.D. in Chemistry)
Ryan Helsel (UCSD): UCSB (M.A. in Chemistry / Teacher Education)
Hou-Xiang Lu (Tsinghua U): Tsinghua University (Ph.D. in Chemistry)
Tian-Zhang Qiao (Nankai U): Cornell U (Ph.D. in Chemistry)
Zi-Yang (Nick) Qin (USTC): Caltech (Ph.D. in Chemistry)
Juntao Sun (Nankai U): Scripps Research (Ph.D. in Chemistry)
Zhong-Qian Wu (Tsinghua U): UChicago (Ph.D. in Chemistry)

We are also excited that two 2019 graduates will be pursuing their Ph.D. degrees next year:

Hanh Ngyuen (UCSD): UC Irvine (Ph.D. in Chemistry)
Tim Gallagher (Claremont McKenna): Scripps Research (Ph.D. in Chemistry)

1,1-diborylation pre-print online

Appearing today in a pre-print on ChemRxiv, Yang and Zhong-Qiang describe a copper-catalyzed tandem process for preparing differentially protected E-configured 1,1-diboryl alkenes from terminal alkynes. Mechanistically the reaction proceeds through the intermediacy of an alkynyl–Bdan intermediate which undergoes in situ hydroboration. Special congrats to undergrad co-author, Zhong-Qian, who is headed to UChicago to start his Ph.D.

For a link to the pre-print, click here:

directed cyclization pre-print online

Appearing today as a pre-print in ChemRxiv we describe a series of Pd(II)-catalyzed intramolecular alkene hydrofunctionalization reactions, where we take advantage of a proximal directing group to recruit the metal catalyst and promote otherwise disfavored rings closures. This work was part of a fun collaboration with the Liu group at the University of Pittsburgh and the Xiang group at Nankai University Medical School. Congrats to the three project leads: Xin (a visiting PhD student from Nankai University who spent one year in our lab in La Jolla, Zi-Qi (a second-year PhD student at Scripps Research), and Binh (a postdoc at the University of Pittsburgh). Props to the rest of the team, especially former high-school intern Jessica Xu, who carried out critical proof-of-concept studies in the summer of 2016 and is now an undergraduate student at MIT. Way to go, team!

For a link to the pre-print, click here:

Keary selected as 2020 ONR Young Investigator

The Engle lab is excited and honored to be selected for the 2020 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator program. This award through the Advanced Energetic Materials program will support a project titled, “Selective Alkene Functionalization as a Platform for Energetic Materials Development“. We are looking forward to applying our experience in catalytic alkene functionalization to streamline the discovery and development of new energetics — should be a blast 😉

For a full list of 2020 awardees, click here: