Research in the Walsh group merges the fields of catalysis and organic and inorganic synthesis with the goal of achieving new catalytic asymmetric transformations for the synthesis of chiral building blocks. The transformations we have chosen to study are asymmetric C-C and C-O bond forming reactions, because construction of these bonds lies at the very heart of organic synthesis. We are also interested in the development of tandem reactions that combine several steps in a single reaction vessel. By introducing tandem reactions, we can increase synthetic efficiency while reducing the number of purification steps necessary.
Shown below are examples of tandem reactions developed in the Walsh group:
We are also interested in reaction mechanisms, which gives us the opportunity to synthesize some interesting catalysts. Shibasaki's M3(THF)n(BINOLate)3Ln (Ln = lanthanide, M = Li, Na, K) catalyst are among the most efficient known in asymmetric catalysis. We have studied the structure and reactivity of these amazing catalysts, one of which is shown below.4-6
We are also interested in structural organozinc chemistry. The first example of zinc coordinated to C-C double bond was recently reported from our group.7
In 2006 the Walsh group crystallographically characterized about 40 compounds, most of which contained metals.
- Advisor Prof. K. Barry Sharpless
- 1986 B.A. in Chemistry, University of California, San Diego
- 1991 Ph.D in Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
- 1991-1994 NSF Postdoctoral Fellow Postdoctoral, The Scripps Research Institute