Organic Seminar – Prof. Julian West (Rice University)

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@ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Prof. Julian West

Title: A Radical Approach to Organic Chemistry


Synthetic chemists need ever better tools to synthesize the molecules of modern life, from life-changing pharmaceuticals to next generation materials. Further, there is increasing need for these transformations to be both step and atom efficient and sustainable, proceeding under mild conditions using earth abundant elements. Here we show how employing open shell intermediates strategically allows for challenging transformations to be achieved directly, from alkene difunctionalization to carboxylic acid deletion. Importantly, these reactions make use of earth abundant elements and proceed under mild conditions, with many being driven by light. Together, our studies demonstrate the versatility of radical reactions to achieve challenging disconnections that are sustainable and environmentally-responsible.


Julian G. West is a Canadian-American chemist who firmly believes the greatest advances in science are made through supporting and empowering a diverse team of scholars. Julian received his B.Sc. (Honours) in chemistry from UBC Vancouver with Dr. Glenn Sammis, his Ph.D. as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Princeton with Dr. Erik Sorensen, and was an NIH and Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech with Drs. Harry Gray and Brian Stoltz. Julian joined Rice University in July 2019 as an assistant professor of chemistry, where his group has been captivated by the possibilities of free radicals in catalysis. Julian and his group have been recognized by awards including the NIH Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award, the ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award, a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research Award, a Cottrell Scholar Award, the 2021 Rice Graduate Student Association Faculty Teaching and Mentoring Award, and Forbes 30 Under 30 – Science.

Host: Prof. Teshik Yoon