PhD defenses.

Metal Hydride Hydrogen Atom Transfer (MHAT) Initiated Annulations in Terpenoid Total Synthesis

Abstract: Terpenoid natural products host a range of potentially valuable biological activities. However, congeners with high degrees of oxidation and steric encumbrance are challenging to prepare by canonical chemical transformations. This problem inspired us to develop a novel annulation capitalizing on metal hydride hydrogen atom transfer (MHAT) chemistry. We leveraged this new annulation in a concise synthesis of a labdane diterpenoid, forskolin and a quassinoid natural product, quassin.

Understanding Proton-Transfer Dynamics of Reversible Excited-State Photoacids Using Driving-Force-Dependent Kinetic Theories

Abstract: In recent years, reversible excited-state photoacids have been exploited for high spatiotemporal sensing of local pH during electrochemical reactions, to study proton-coupled reaction mechanisms, to trigger processes in biological organisms relevant to energy transduction, and in the design of artificial light-driven proton pumps. Successful application of these photoacids in various systems requires non-trivial experimental quantification of accurate excited-state Brønsted-Lowry acidities (thermodynamics) and excited-state proton-transfer rate constants


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