CCHF Monthly Newsletter 03

April 2016

CCHF Monthly Newsletters

Each month we will be sending out a digest of recent Center activities and upcoming events.

These Newsletters will be sent out on the last Friday of every month. If you have any announcements that you would like included please contact Center management.

CCHF Announcements

Congratulations to Dr. Eric Moschetta!

Dr. Eric Moschetta will join AbbVie, Inc. in June to work in flow chemistry. Eric has been a member of the CCHF since 2013 when he joined the Jones group at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been a collaborator with the Davies group at Emory University to develop composite polymer/oxide hollow fibers as flow reactors for using immobilized dirhodium catalysts in C-H functionalizations.

Eric has participated in a number of CCHF outreach events, including the Atlanta Science Festival, Science at Hand Day at the Fernbank Museum, and the Graduate Student Prep Club.

Congratulations to CCHF NSF-GRFP Recipients!

The NSF recognizes the need for diversity of science, innovation, and individuals in the U.S. The NSF supports this initiative through the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP), which supports graduate students pursuing Master’s and Doctoral-level degrees in STEM disciplines. The CCHF would like to congratulate the current NSF-GRFP fellows, who have received the award over the past few years:

Robert Kubiak Jr. (2016)

Elizabeth Goldstein (2015)

Bret McLarney (2015)

Tyler St. Denis (2015)

Julian West (2015)

CCHF Member Profile | Robert Kubiak II

Author: Maisha Kamunde Devonish

If you spent your time studying subjects like anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry what type of career would you be preparing for? Most likely one in the medical field; maybe as a pharmacist, doctor, or nurse. However, Robert Kubiak II had other ideas.

It was during Robert’s time preparing to become an EMT paramedic in the Army, that his interest in biochemistry developed and evolved. Rather than looking solely at how the body functioned, he became curious about how drugs interacted with the body and how their design affected these interactions. This lead him to pursue studies in the area organic synthesis at D’Youville College (Buffalo, NY). Here, under the advisement of Dominic Ventura - an alum of the Huw Davies - he would begin to investigate the fundamental properties of the reaction pathways for organic molecule synthesis. Not surprisingly he decided to continue his studies at Emory University with Prof. Huw Davies.*

If you ask Robert about choosing chemistry over medicine, his answer speaks to a long forgotten perspective. While doctors can affect the lives of thousands of people during their careers, the drugs developed by scientists in laboratories all over the world can affect the lives of tens and hundreds of thousands of people, even millions. In this regard scientists can have a very large and positive impact not often recognized.

In fact, if you speak to Robert, many of his goals center around making an impact. Whether it is seeking global research collaborations by participating in the VICHF International Workshop this June or being actively involved in CCHF outreach activities (i.e. Atlanta Science Festival), Robert is continuously working to bring science to the masses. As a newly minted NSF GRFP fellow, this is reflected well in one of the many goals outlined by the NSF that “…values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to achievement of societally relevant outcomes”. It is clear that wherever the road takes him, Robert plans to leave his mark in graduate school and beyond.

*Robert Kubiak, Jr. is currently a first-year graduate student in the Davies Lab.

Three Minute Thesis Competition at Caltech

Author: Anton Toutov

Caltech Library hosted the live final round of its first Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition, sponsored by Springer Nature, on 15 April 2016. Founded by the University of Queensland in 2008, the 3MT® competition challenges final year PhD students to explain their thesis in an engaging three minute presentation aimed at a non-specialist audience.

From a pool of nine finalists, the winner of Caltech Library’s 3MT® competition was Anton Toutov, PhD candidate in Organic Chemistry. His talk was entitled “Breaking Society’s Dependence on Precious Metals: Green Chemical Manufacturing Using Potassium"

Recent CCHF Publications

Preparation of an Aurylated Alkylthiophene Monomer via C–H Activation for Use in Pd-PEPPSI-iPr Catalyzed-Controlled Chain Growth Polymerization

ACS Macro Letters., 2016, 5, (4), 533-536

Sabin-Lucian Suraru, Jason A. Lee, and Christine K. Luscombe


Date Published: 04/08/2016

Rhodium(II)-Catalyzed C–H Functionalization of Electron-Deficient Methyl Groups

J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, ASAP

Authors: Liangbing Fu, David M. Guptill, and Huw M. L. Davies


Date Published: 04/11/2016

The first bismuth(II)–rhodium(II) oxypyridinate paddlewheel complexes: Synthesis and structural characterization

J. Coord. Chem., 2016, 138, (12), 4237-4242

Authors: Travis Lee Sunderlanda & John F. Berry


Date Published: 04/12/2016

CCHF Integrative Activities

CCHF at the 2016 Cambridge Science Festival


On April 16th members of the Movassaghi group from MIT and scientists from our industrial partners at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research joined forces to teach participants of the 2016 Cambridge Science Festival how we make organic molecules, why we make organic molecules and the impact that particular organic molecules has on biological organisms.

Students from the Movassaghi group created a booth in the main expo area where kids could come and make their own candy molecules and learn about synthetic organic chemistry and how scientists put organic molecules together.

Scientists from Novartis hosted an adventure through biological organisms and how interactions between small molecule pharmaceuticals and the molecular machinery of cells can impact and treat diseases. This was done all in glorious 3D, with a 3D presentation in one of the class rooms.

Thanks to everyone involved for representing the CCHF!

Upcoming CCHF Meetings and Activities

Late Stage C–H Functionalization Theme Meeting

Tuesday, May 3rd, 4pm

This is an online event.

YR 4 Annual Reports Due

Monday, May 9th, 6pm

This is an online event.

Material Sciences Theme Meeting

Tuesday, May 10th, 4pm

This is an online event.

Disconnection Strategies Theme Meeting

Tuesday, May 17th, 4pm

This is an online event.

NSF Site Visit Online Rehearsal

Thursday, May 19th, 2-6pm

This is an online event.

Deadline for Poster submission for printing

Friday, May 20th, 6pm

This is an online event.

NSF Site Visit On Site Rehearsal

Wednesday, May 25th, 9:30am-5:30pm

Dickey Drive

Atlanta, GA

Meeting will be in the Emory University, Department of Chemistry. Main event will be Atwood 360

NSF Site Visit

Thursday, May 26th, 8:30am-5:30pm

Dickey Drive

Atlanta, GA

The main event. Atwood 360

CCHF Useful Links

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