2019 *NSPIRE Symposium

*NSPIRE, an organization co-founded by Keary in 2018, held its inaugural Symposium (#NSPIRE2019) at the McMahan House on the campus of CSU San Marcos. #NSPIRE2019 brought together roughly 80 students and faculty from all four partner institutions (Scripps Research, CSU-SM, MiraCosta, and Palomar) for a series of talks by the the 2019 *NSPIRE Fellows, a poster session, and info sessions about research and educational opportunities at Scripps Research. All participants braved the sweltering heat for lively discussion and active networking. Thank goodness for AC inside during the talks! Keep your eyes out for more to come from *NSPIRE.

About *NSPIRE: The North County San Diego Professional and Interdisciplinary Research Enrichment (*NSPIRE) program (www.nspireinitiative.com) is a partnership between Scripps Research, CSU San Marcos, Palomar, and MiraCosta that operates with financial support of the North County Higher Education Alliance (NCHEA3). The

syn-selective 1,2-carboboration and -silylation pre-print online

Our latest work on directed alkene functionalization appears online today as a preprint in ChemRxiv. Specifically we describe a method for Pd(0)-catalyzed alkene syn-1,2-carboboration and -silylation, allowing streightforward access to structural complex alkylboronates and -silanes. Notable aspects of the method include its tolerance for all different alkene substitution patterns (mono-, di-, tri-, and tetrasubstituted alkenes), with the regioselectivity completely dictated by the directing group. Additionally, electron-rich heterocycles, such as indole, can also participate in this reaction; undergoing dearomative 1,2-difunctionalization. We further show that a chiral bidentate directing group can be used in place of the standard 8-aminoquinoline auxiliary to allow for control of absolute and relative stereochemistry in the reactions. Congrats to all of the coauthors from the Engle lab: Zhen, Jiahao, Xiaohan, and Yang (particularly undergrad co-authors Jiahao and Xiaohan). Thanks too to our BMS collaborators and organoboron grand masters, Ryan and Matt. Well done, team! (For a link to the article, click here.)

Welcome Juntao!

Juntao is the latest undergraduate to intern in our lab! This Nankai University student is working (and reuniting) with Mingyu. He has wasted no time in getting started and we’re excited to work with him over the next six months!

Zhen is selected as a finalist for the 2019 Reaxys PhD Prize

Congratulations to Zhen, who has been selected as a Finalist for the 2019 Reaxys PhD Prize! Zhen was acknowledged for his 2016 J. Am. Chem. Soc. publication, “β,γ-Vicinal Dicarbofunctionalization of Alkenyl Carbonyl Compounds via Directed Nucleopalladation.” The 45 Finalists, selected from 360 nominations, are invited to a the Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium, which takes place in Amsterdam on Oct 3 and 4, 2019.

(BT)S Directing Group paper accepted for publication

For the past four years, a major focus of our research has been developing substrate-directed Heck- and Wacker-type alkene hydrofunctionalization and 1,2-difunctionalization reactions. In particular, we’ve previously found that alkenyl amides containing removable bi- and tridentate directing groups are highly effective substrates, owing to the ability of the directing group to facilitate regioselective addition of the first reaction partner and then subsequently form a stabilized palladacycle that can be intercepted with a proton, nucleophile, or electrophile. Based on these results, we became interested in identifying news weakly coordinating directing groups that can enable regioselective addition of a nucleophile and then allow a site-selective β-H elimination.

In a manuscript appearing online today in ACS Catalysis, we describe the discovery and development of the benzothiazole thioether, (BT)S, directing group for oxidative Heck and C–H activation reactions (click here). In a colossal 15-page-long (!!!) paper covering reaction development, mechanistic studies, and applications in total synthesis, Andrew, Kin, and Malkanthi, demonstrate the unique coordination properties of (BT)S and showcase its synthetic versatility . Congrats to the three Engle lab authors listed above, and huge thanks to our tireless collaborator Jason from the Scripps Research Automated Synthesis Facility for guidance on high-throughput experimentation, design of experiments, and kinetics! In case anyone missed it, a pre-print of this work was published on ChemRxiv back in early April (click here).

Welcome Houxian and Zhongqian!

Two senior undergraduates from Tsinghua University, Houxian and Zhongqian, started their internships with Zhen and Yang, respectively. They’re already doing great work using the glove box and running reactions. Summer time in the Engle lab is going to be a blast.