Group News

Congrats to Ken Xie upon his Master's

January 2020

Congratulations on Ken on completion of his Master’s degree in the group. He distinguished himself as a thoughtful lab safety officer and contributor to the group. Ken will be continuing his chemistry career as a teacher in his home country of China. We wish him the best in the future!

Welcome to Savannah and Junwen

January 2020

A hearty welcome to graduate students Savannah Mason and Junwen Xiao, who have joined the group for their Ph.D. research. Savannah will be working on our project on H-atom transfer initiated alkene functionalization, and Junwen will be working on forming C-N bonds from dinitrogen at iron catalysts.

Sam wins teaching award  

November 2019


Congratulations to Sam Bhutto, who is the recipient of a 2019 Prize Teaching Fellowship. This is a University-level award that recognizes our best teachers, and Sam earned it through outstanding work as a Teaching Fellow in Chem 226L (Intensive Advanced Chemistry Lab). Great job, Sam!

Welcome to Majed!  

August 2019

We are happy to welcome Majed Fataftah to the Holland Group! Majed just completed his Ph.D. with Danna Freedman at Northwestern University, and we are looking forward to his upcoming work on iron-nitrogen research here at Yale.


New grant from DOE

July 2019

We are gratified that the U.S. Department of Energy has chosen to fund our project “Tandem Catalytic C-H Activation and N2 Activation Using Iron Complexes.” This grant, starting Sept. 1, will support Sam’s continued work on a project started by Sean and Danny, which uses atmospheric N2 to form organic compounds. Onward and upward!

Loads of summer students

July 2019

We are pleased to be hosting a number of research visitors this summer. We have four rising Yale sophomores, Alex Saczawa, David Gallagher, Peter Cappaert, and Will Wang. In addition, Anna Conley is visiting from Carleton College. Finally, Dan DiPrimio is continuing his undergraduate research with us with support from a Rosenfeld Science Scholarship. It is fun working with all of them!

Double trouble with sulfides

June 2019

Two excellent papers on Dan DeRosha’s work with new iron-sulfide clusters are now coming out in the literature. One (in Inorganic Chemistry) describes a new two-iron cluster that serves as a precursor to a variety of cluster shapes, including an unusual 10-iron cluster. The other (in Nature Chemistry) gives details on one of the product cluster types, which has a flat 4-iron shape that is new in iron chemistry. This unusual shape leads the central Fe site to have only three bonds but have a low-spin electronic configuration, which defies simple expectations but can be understood using spectroscopic and computational contributions from our collaborators Serena DeBeer, Frank Neese, and Eckhard Bill. This cluster is also capable of breaking N-N bonds in hydrazine, which mimics one activity of nitrogenase. A real tour de force!

DeRosha wins Wolfgang Prize

May 2019

Congratulations to Dan DeRosha, whose recently accepted Ph.D. thesis earned him a Wolfgang Prize that is awarded to the top Ph.D. theses for the chemistry department each year. This is a huge and well-deserved honor for Dan. Great work, Dan!

New papers are out

May 2019

Congratulations to DK on the appearance of his new paper on the mechanisms of alkene cross-coupling reactions, which was published in J. Am. Chem. Soc. This paper was a substantial achievement that was the fruit of a lot of careful thinking and experimentation, combined with computations by our collaborator Rinaldo Poli from Toulouse, France. In addition, Sam’s Minireview of N-N bond splitting chemistry appeared in Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. Great job, Sam!

Congratulations to Dr. Sean McWilliams!

March 2019

Congratulations to Sean McWilliams, who defended his Ph.D. thesis. Sean has been an amazing leader and contributor to the group and department, and we thank him for his years of dedication and fun in the group. Sean will be continuing his academic training this summer in the group of Jillian Dempsey at UNC. We wish Sean the best!