Chemistry and Biochemistry

3 Science Papers in 3 Years

Posted: Oct 04, 2016

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry professors Dr. Daniel H. Ess and Dr. Scott Burt were part of a multi-institution collaboration to disclose in Science a new catalytic chemical reaction that replaces hydrocarbon bonds with nitrogen. The collaboration headed by Professors László Kürti at Rice University and John Falck at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSWMC) developed a one-step reaction to convert arene hydrocarbons to aryl amines, which are key molecular precursors for the preparation of drugs and bioactive molecules. The team’s success achieves a previously elusive synthetic chemistry goal.

 For Dr. Ess, this is his group’s contribution to a third Science publication in just three years. In 2014, the same team disclosed the molecular details of directly synthesizing aziridine compounds from alkenes (Science 2014, 343, 61-65). Also in 2014, The Ess Group played a major role in discovering that main-group metal compounds facilitate C-H activation chemistry en route to oxygen functionalization of light alkanes found in natural gas (Science 2014, 343, 1232-1237). The success of The Ess Group is the result of using and developing powerful state-of-the-art computational chemistry techniques to reveal the molecular details of complex reactions that propel teams to discover new catalysts. Visit Dr. Ess’ website to learn more details.


Writer: Taelin Wilford