Group News

Congraduations to Reagan

July 2023

A big congratulations to Reagan Hooper, who defended her thesis in June. Reagan has been a really key innovator in the lab, including her newly published idea of accessing C/S chelating ligands for Fe using C-S bond activation chemistry. She has also been our group computational guru, and epitomizes the kind of person who not only does well themselves but also makes everyone else around them better too. We will miss Reagan, but look forward to her future successes. Her next stop is a postdoc at Stanford with Amy Cordones-Hahn and Kelly Gaffney… best wishes for the future!!

Congraduations to Elena and Maria

May 2023

Our “Dynamic Duo” of Yale seniors, Elena Urquiola and Maria Grillo, completed their undergraduate degrees today with flying colors. Both longtime researchers in the lab have been inspirational, including their deep involvement with everything in the lab, exceptional enthusiasm and spirit, grit and persistence in research, and outstanding academic performances. Both are off to spectacular chemistry careers, which will continue with Ph.D. research at MIT (Maria) and Caltech (Elena). So glad we’ve had the opportunity to get to know you, and we’ll keep in touch!

Majed is going to UIUC

April 2023

Congratulations to postdoc Majed Fatafah, who has accepted a faculty position at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Majed has been a huge contributor to our group’s efforts on synthesis, magnetism, spectroscopy, and everything else during his pandemic-riddled time with us. We look forward to seeing your own independent career flourish!

Farewell to Chris and Alex

March 2023

Congratulations to Chris Gendy and Alex Genoux, postdocs who are both moving on to the next stages of their careers. Chris is continuing his joint postdoctoral appointment in Finland, where he is completing our work on new low-coordinate iron complexes. Alex has a habilitant position at the EPFL in Lausanne, where he will begin his own independent research. Both of them have made numerous contributions to the group, and I’m sure that each will go on to continued success!

Welcome to Simon and Sam

March 2023

We welcome two new postdoctoral coworkers this month to the lab. Simon Suhr comes to us from Biprajit Sarkar’s group at U. Stuttgart, and has won a Feodor Lynen Fellowship from the Humboldt Foundation that will support his research on catalytic N2 reduction and PCET. Samuel Newman-Stonebraker comes to us from Abby Doyle’s lab at UCLA, and will be working on bioinorganic model complexes. We are super excited about each of these accomplished, creative researchers who will be adding a lot to the group!

Congraduations to Conner

March 2023

Congratulations to Conner Wilson, who has defended his Ph.D. dissertation on cobalt catalysts for hydrogen atom transfer to alkenes. Conner has done an outstanding combination of kinetics, mechanism, isolation/observation of sensitive compounds, and exploration of various conditions… this added up to a tour de force dissertation (and upcoming papers!). Conner is one of our brave organic chemistry team members, and we look forward to additional impact on catalysis for organic chemistry in his continuing career.

Juan and Erik's paper on hydroalkoxylation

February 2023

Congrats to Juan Serviano and Erik Phipps on their paper describing a method for adding OR and O2CR groups to 2-azadienes, catalyzed by cobalt complexes. Juan did a lot of hard work to get this paper out, and both Juan and I are grateful to Erik for coming up with the original idea for this work and defining the scope. An awesome piece of teamwork!!

Sam's mechanism paper in JACS

February 2023

Back in 2020, we reported a cool system that can couple benzene and N2 using a strange aryl migration. Now, Sam has figured out the details of the N–C bond forming reaction through detailed kinetic studies in a paper that has appeared in J. Am. Chem. Soc. Key insights into the mechanism came from computations by Reagan Hooper, and as always we owe much to Brandon Mercado’s crystallography chops! Congratulations to all on a job well done.

The long hydride battle is won

February 2023

Our ten-year-long battle with a really weird iron-hydride complex has finally come to fruition, with a paper appearing in Chemical Science. In order to sort out its dynamic behavior, Sean McWilliams performed neutron crystallography, lots of variable-temperature Mössbauer, and other studies, while our collaborators Eckhard Bill and Shengfa Ye contributed magnetic and computational analysis, respectively. And a huge amount of the insight into the crystal twinning that underlies the behavior came from Brandon Mercado, who we are so lucky to have here at Yale as a crystallographic collaborator.

A key driver behind our ultimate understanding was Eckhard, who tragically passed away just after the paper was submitted in the fall. This paper is a testament to his deep insight and fearless inquisitive spirit. We are really proud of this paper, which was recognized as a “Pick of the Week” by Chem. Sci.

Congraduations to Allie

January 2023

Congratulations to Allie Nagelski on the completion of her Ph.D.! Allie has done amazing research on carbon bridges in multi-iron compounds, which are models of the active site of nitrogenase. Along the way, she has contributed in countless ways to our group and to the department. Allie is moving on to postdoctoral work at Los Alamos National Lab, and we look forward to future achievements. Great job, Allie!