Congratulations to Keary for being selected for the 2020 Young Investigator Award by the MDPI journal Catalysts. The award recognizes “ground-breaking research and… significant contribution to the advancement of the field of catalysis” by an early-stage investigator (Ph.D. granted within the past 10 years). Well done, Keary!
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.
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!
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 😉
Huge congratulations to G2 student Alena Vasquez who has been selected for a highly competitive 2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. In the Engle lab, Alena has developed an α-selective reductive Heck hydroarylation of acrylamides and acrylates, which was recently described in ChemRxiv. Outside of the lab, Alena volunteers as a refugee tutor, runs workshops for younger students through the Bario Logan College Institute, and serves as the Engle Lab’s Outreach coordinator, among other activities. She is also an animal enthusiast who loves spending time with her pet cats. We are so proud of you, Alena!