My group works on catalysis, which provides opportunity to accomplish selective chemical conversions under mild conditions. We enjoy making new ligands and organometallic compounds, studying their activity and reactivity in catalytic conversions, and characterizing their mechanisms through kinetic studies and synthesis.
My interest in organometallic chemistry and catalysis began in Ayusman Sen's research group. As an undergraduate at Penn State, I worked on synthesis of polyesters, using CO and activated alcohols as co-monomers. I continued to study organometallics in Don Tilley's group as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, working first on catalysts for polymerization of silanes to make long chains with silicon-only backbones, synthesizing possible intermediates containing reactive metal-silicon bonds, and then on related CH activation reactions and hydrocarbon functionalization catalysis. We developed two new catalytic reactions that used methane as a source for methyl groups, hydromethylation of propene and dehydrogenative simulation of methane. I then moved to ETH Zürich, where I worked with Antonio Togni on enantioselective hydroamination and hydrophosphination for the synthesis of chiral amines and phosphines.