Featured News

Outstanding chemistry students recognized for their achievements!

Featured Students

Congratulations to chemistry majors Grace Breiner, Tina Chai, Alyssa Montalbine, and Eric Wang! 

Featured Faculty

Congratulations to Ken Hsu and his graduate student, Myungsun Shin.


Magnesium(I) Dimers: Universal Reductants for the Synthetic/Catalytic Chemist?

Magnesium(I) Dimers: Universal Reductants for the Synthetic/Catalytic Chemist?

Professor Cameron Jones | Monash University: Director, Monash Centre for Catalysis

Hosted by Professor Robert Gilliard


The renaissance that has occurred in main group chemistry over the last several decades has been largely driven by the realization that very low oxidation state p-block compounds can be stable species at ambient temperature, given the right ligand environment. Increasingly, such compounds are being shown to possess "transition metal-like" reactivity patterns in small molecule activations, and associated catalytic synthetic transformations.[1] In late 2007 we extended this field to the s-block with the preparation of the first room temperature stable molecular compounds containing magnesium-magnesium covalent bonds, viz. LMgMgL (L = bulky guanidinate or b-diketiminate, e.g. 1).[2] We have subsequently shown that the unique properties these species possess lend them to use as versatile reducing agents in both organic and inorganic synthetic protocols.[3] The products of such reactions are often inaccessible using more classical reducing agents. In this lecture an overview of what has been achieved with these remarkable reagents will be given, with an emphasis placed on the preparation of unprecedented examples of low oxidation state/low coordination number metal-metal bonded complexes involving metals from the s-, p- and d-blocks, e.g. 2-4.[4] The further chemistry of these highly reactive systems will also be discussed, as will our efforts to incorporate magnesium(I) dimers into catalytic cycles.[5]



[1] Power, P. P. Nature 2010, 463, 171.

[2] Green, S. P.; Jones, C.; Stasch, A. Science 2007, 305, 1136.

[3] Jones, C. Nature Rev. Chem. 2017, 1, 0059.

[4] Bonyhady, S.J.; Collis, D.; Holzmann, N.; Edwards, A.J.; Piltz, R.O.; Frenking, G.; Stasch, A.; Jones, C. Nature Comm., 2018, 9, 3079.

[5] (a) Boutland, A. J.; Carroll, A.; Lamsfus, C. A.; Stasch, A.; Maron, L.; Jones, C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 18190; (b) Yuvaraj, K.; Douair, I.; Paparo, A.; Maron, L.; Jones, C. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2019, 141, 8764.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Chemical Biology and Chemistry for Translational Lipid Biology and Beyond

Chemical Biology and Chemistry for Translational Lipid Biology and Beyond

Professor Ken Hsu | UVA Department of Chemistry

Hosted by Professor Linda Columbus


Lipids represent a rich model system for understanding how nature maintains cellular architecture (membrane building blocks), bioenergetics (energy stores), and communication (secondary messengers) through fine adjustments in enzyme metabolism. Embedded within lipid structures is chemical information that define their metabolic fate and function. Elucidating structure-function relationships of lipids in biological systems has been traditionally challenging because of the massive structural diversity of lipids in nature and lack of tools to selectively probe their function in vivo. I will describe efforts from my group to use chemical biology and mass spectrometry to gain fundamental insights into diacylglycerol (DAG) biology and the translational potential of modulating DAG pathways in inflammation and immuno-oncology.

Friday, October 25, 2019
Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer by Copper-Oxygen Species Relevant to Enzyme Intermediates

Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer by Copper-Oxygen Species Relevant to Enzyme Intermediates

Professor William Tolman | Washington University in St. Louis

Hosted by Professor Charlie Machan

Characterization of copper intermediates in enzymes and other catalysts that attack strong C-H bonds is important for unraveling oxidation catalysis mechanisms and, ultimately, designing new, more efficient catalytic systems. New insights into the nature of such intermediates may be obtained through the design, synthesis, and characterization of copper-oxygen complexes. Two key proposed examples contain [CuO2]+ and [CuOH]2+ cores, which have been suggested as possible reactive intermediates in monocopper enzymes such as lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase. Recent progress toward the characterization of the structures and properties of complexes with these cores that feature the same supporting ligand will be described, and detailed comparisons of their kinetics in reactions with C-H and O-H bonds will be discussed. Notable differences in their PCET reaction pathways with para-substituted phenols has been discovered that shed new light on the fundamental chemistry of these important core structures.

Friday, November 1, 2019

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