Joe receives an Arnold O. Beckman Postdoc Fellowship

Former graduate student Joseph Derosa has been selected for a 2020 Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship to support his postdoctoral research at Caltech in the laboratory of Prof. Jonas Peters, where he has worked since earning his Ph.D. in December 2019. As a founding member of #TeamNickel, Joe developed a range of nickel-catalyzed alkene difunctionalization reactions and spearhead the lab’s initial collaborative projects with Bristol-Myers Squibb during his time at Scripps. Congratulations Joe!

Van is selected for the 2020 Genentech Symposium

Congrats to G4 student Van Tran, who has been selected to represent Scripps Research at the 2020 Genentech Graduate Student Symposium in Chemical Research. Van will join seven other graduates students from nationally competitive selection process to visit Genentech for a two-day symposium (April 27-28). In the Engle lab, Van has pursued a diverse range of research topics. Most recently, she developed Ni(COD)(DQ) as a new air-stable Ni(0)–olefin precatalyst, which has attracted widespread attention within the chemical community and was highlighted in Nature Reviews Chemistry.

New “Indestructible” Ni(0)–Olefin Precatalyst – Now Available

Appearing online today in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, we report new Ni(0)–olefin precatalyst, Ni(COD)(DQ), a remarkably stable complex that can survive, air, moisture, silica, and elevated temperature, yet still initiate in a variety of catalytic transformations. Originally, reported in 1962 by Schrauzer, Ni(COD)(DQ) has been the previously studied from a structural, spectroscopic, and fundamentally reactivity perspective, but its catalytic potential has been largely overlooked. This project is the latest success story to arise from the BMS/Scripps Research collaboration, and it was great collaborating with Drs. Steve Wisniewski, Matt Joannou, and Martin Eastgate on this investigation. Well done to all authors, including on the Scripps end: Van, Zi-Qi, Omar, and Joe. Special thanks to BMS for supporting Van’s summer internship to kick-start this project!

This catalyst is currently being commercialized by MilliporeSigma (#912794) but is not yet available for purchase (as of the time of publication). For a limited time only, to receive a free sample of this precatalyst, please email your name and shipping address to: keary(at)

For a link to the paper, click here:

Keary is Selected as a 2020 Cottrell Scholar

Today Keary was selected by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) as one of 25 early-career chemists to join the 2020 class of Cottrell Scholars. The award recognizes leadership and creativity in integrating research and teaching. Keary is the first Cottrell Scholar in the history of the program from an institution that does not grant undergraduate degrees. Congrats to Keary and the whole Engle lab on this accomplishment.

For more information, read the press release: