March 15th, 2022 Webinar Speakers

Our next webinar will take place via the internet on Tuesday March 15th at 7 PM EST/12 AM GMT. Sign up on our mailing list to receive the Zoom link!

We hope to see/hear from you all at one of our sessions or as one of the next speakers. If you are an early career scientist and would like to present your research, don't hesitate to submit an abstract today! For now, please learn more about our current speakers and their research below. We also thank the generous support from Cell Reports Physical Science, Merck, Janssen, and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Our featured speakers this week are Connor Frye (Graduate Student, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, USA), and Dr Juliana Vidal (Postdoctoral Researcher, McGill University, Canada).


CONNOR FRYE (on Twitter @ConnorFrye42)

Biography: Connor Frye is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Tonks group at the University of Minnesota, where he is interested in developing practical methods for the synthesis of heterocycles or other valuable organic molecules from simple feedstocks. His research has focused on developing a Ti-mediated multicomponent synthesis of α-diimines via alkyne diimination. Connor is originally from Tennessee, where he graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2018 with a B.S. in Chemistry.

Title of Talk: α-Diimine Synthesis via Titanium-Mediated Multicomponent Diimination of Alkynes with C-Nitrosos

Abstract: α-Diimines are commonly used as supporting ligands for a variety of transition metal-catalyzed processes, most notably in α-olefin polymerization. They are also precursors to valuable synthetic targets, such as chiral 1,2-diamines. Their synthesis is usually performed through acid-catalyzed condensation of amines with α-diketones. Despite the simplicity of this approach, accessing unsymmetrical α-diimines is challenging. Herein, we report the Ti-mediated intermolecular diimination of alkynes to afford a variety of symmetrical and unsymmetrical α-diimines through the reaction of diazatitanacyclohexadiene intermediates with C-nitrosos. These diazatitanacycles can be readily accessed in situ via the multicomponent coupling of Ti≡NR imidos with alkynes and nitriles. The formation of α-diimines is achieved through formal [4+2]-cycloaddition of the C-nitroso to the Ti and γ-carbon of the diazatitanacyclohexadiene followed by two subsequent cycloreversion steps to eliminate nitrile and afford the α-diimine and a Ti oxo.

DR JULIANA VIDAL (on Twitter @juliana_lvidal)

Biography: Dr. Juliana Vidal received her PhD from Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada) in 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Francesca Kerton and co-supervision of Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie (Cape Breton University, Canada). She completed her BSc and MSc at Federal University of Juiz de Fora (Brazil) and has been selected a Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Future Leader in 2020. Currently, Juliana is a Postdoctoral Researcher at McGill University (Canada) under the supervision of Prof. Audrey Moores, a Liaison for the Beyond Benign organization, and a member of the Chemicals and Waste Platform of the United Nations Environment Programme Major Group for Children and Youth (UNEP MGCY).

Title of Talk: "Towards a Circular Economy: Functionalized Biochar as Catalysts for the Synthesis of O-heterocycles"

Abstract: Functionalized biochars, renewable carbon materials prepared from waste biomass, can catalyze transformations of a range of oxygen-containing substrates via hydrogen-bonding interactions. Good conversions (up to 75.2%) to different O-heterocycles are obtained from ring-closing C-O/C-O metathesis reactions of different aliphatic ethers under optimized conditions using this heterogeneous, metal-free, and easy separable catalyst. The diversity in the sorts of O-containing feedstocks is further demonstrated by the utilization of functionalized biochar to promote the esterification of terpene alcohols, an important reaction in food and flavor industries. Under the optimized conditions, full conversions to various terpene esters are obtained. Moreover, both of the reactions studied herein are performed under neat conditions, thus increasing the overall sustainability of the process described.

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