Zach Wickens

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Wickens Group
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Assistant Professor

B.A. 2010, Macalester College
Ph.D. 2015, California Institute of Technology
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, 2015-18

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Research Description

Catalysis, organometallics, synthesis, mechanistic analysis

The primary focus of the Wickens group will be the discovery of new catalytic principles that can be leveraged to precisely control chemical reactivity. Despite our understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and reactivity, many chemicals remain impractical to access by relying on intrinsic reactivity patterns. Our group will develop catalysts that fundamentally alter substrate reactivity profiles, enabling practical transformations of simple precursors to valuable products. In particular, we are interested in understanding how catalysts can work in concert to provide previously unknown selectivity. Each of the projects we pursue will balance the identification of novel strategies to create and control reactivity with the introduction of synthetically useful methodologies. Students working in the Wickens group will explore the frontier of organometallic catalysis and organocatalysis while developing advanced skills in organic and inorganic synthesis as well as in mechanistic analysis. 

Awards and Honors

Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship, American Chemical Society 2015
Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institutes of Health 2015