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October 26th, 2021 Webinar Speakers

Our next webinar will take place via the internet on Tuesday October 26th at 8 PM EDT/ 1 AM BST. 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, and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Our featured speakers this week are Dr Matias Rafti (principal investigator, Institute for Applied and Theoretical Physical Chemistry, Argentina), and Dr. Christopher Kelly (industry researcher, Janssen Pharma, USA).


DR MATIAS RAFTI (on Twitter @matiasrafti)

Biography: After receiving my B.S. from the National University of La Plata in 2003, I did my PhD on simulations and experiments for heterogeneous catalysis with Prof. Vicente (UNLP, Argentina), and Prof. Imbihl (University of Hannover, Germany). During my postdoc, I worked on synthesis and applications of meso and microporous materials, and after joining the Softmatter Lab in 2011, I visited Prof. Matzger Lab at the University of Michigan and worked on synthesis and applications of MOFs. Our current projects include the synthesis of composites integrating MOF and diverse materials with potential use in energy-related and sensing technologies.

Title of Talk: Integration of MOFs and polymers for electrochemical applications

Abstract: Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are microporous materials constituted by the combination of metallic ions and organic linkers, which emerged in the last few decades and opened a wide range of possible applications due to their chemical and structural versatility. Integration of MOFs into different composites is challenging and requires controlling synthetic procedures for rendering the desired size/shape of the obtained nano/microcrystals. In particular, applications related to electrocatalysis require electrical conductivity, and aside from few recent examples, MOFs are intrinsic insulators. I will thus focus on this issue, and present some examples of MOFs modification strategies in order to produce electrocatalysts active towards oxygen reduction reaction (ORR).

DR CHRISTOPHER KELLY (on Twitter @ckellzchem)

Biography: A native New Yorker, Chris’s interest in synthesis was sparked during his undergraduate studies at Stonehill College, where he worked under Prof. Leon Tilley and completed a targeted synthesis of 1-(trifluoromethyl)bicyclo[1.1.0]butane. Chris moved to UCONN in 2010 for his Ph.D. in the areas of organofluorine chemistry and sustainable oxidative processes under Prof. Nicholas Leadbeater. In 2015, he continued his training under Prof. Gary Molander at the University of Pennsylvania as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, working on photoredox catalysis to enable C–C bond construction. After a short stint in academia as an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, he joined Janssen's Discovery Process Research team to tackle problems relating to human health. Chris also serves as the lecturer for CHEM 746, a graduate-level organic chemistry course at Penn.

Title of Talk: Radical/Polar Annulation Reactions (RPAR): Not Just An NMR Command

Abstract: Synthetic chemistry is often the crux for understanding phenomena in chemical biology and provides solutions to problems in material science. Discoveries in this area not only propel our understanding of organic chemistry forward but provide all chemists with an expanded synthetic toolbox. Although polar (two-electron) chemistries comprise the bulk of known synthetic approaches, strategies relying on radical intermediates have flourished in recent years. Odd-electron processes are not beholden to the inherit limitations of polar reactions and thus enable bonds to be constructed in the presence of acidic or basic functionalities. This expedites syntheses by removing the necessity of protecting groups. Further, radical reactions unlock reactivity patterns that are simply not observed in two-electron processes. Photoredox catalysis serves as a vehicle to harness radicals for synthesis in a controlled, predicable manner. These catalysts can be used to orchestrate elaborate radical and polar processes in so-called radical-polar crossover (RPC) processes and thus the realization of the radical/polar annulation reaction (RPAR) paradigm. Discoveries in this arena will be discussed.

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