PEOPLE

Ross A. Widenhoefer

Principal Investigator

Full CV

Office:  124 Science Drive, 2101 French Science Center, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-1533
Fax: (919) 660-1605

 


 

Mitch Rivers

4th Year Ph. D. Candidate

B.S. Northeastern University

mitch.rivers@duke.edu

 

Daniel Duan

3rd Year Ph. D. Candidate

B.S. University of California, Davis

chenghao.duan@duke.edu

 

Jack Malek

2nd Year Ph. D. Candidate

B.A. Colgate University

jack.malek@duke.edu

 

Brady Slinger

2nd Year Ph. D. Candidate

B.A. Hamilton College

brady.slinger@duke.edu

 

Kate Burns

2nd Year Ph. D. Candidate

B.S. College of William & Mary

kate.burns@duke.edu

 

Rosemary Buhrman

3rd Year Undergraduate Student

rosemary.buhrman@duke.edu

 

Xujun Zheng, Ph.D

Postdoc since 2020

Ph.D. Wuhan University

xujun.zheng@duke.edu

 


Former Graduate Students

Caroline Stow, Ph.D. 2022
Thesis Title: Investigation of Gold alpha-Oxo Carbene/Carbenoid Complexes as Key Intermediates in Gold(I) Catalysis
Current Position: Caroline is an innovation scientist at Robertet Group in New York City, New York

Yichen Yu, Ph.D. 2022
Thesis Title: Mechanical Force Modulated Organometallic Transformations
Current Position: Yichen is a software engineer at Google in San Francisco, CA

Liqi Wang, Ph.D. 2022
Thesis Title: Mechanochemical Reaction Development for Addition, Elimination, and Isomerization
Current Position: Liqi is a consultant at ZS associates in Chicago, IL.

Nana Kim, Ph.D. 2019
Thesis Title: Mechanistic Analysis of Gold(I) Catalysis through Generation and Direct Observation of Reactive Intermediate Analogues
Current Position: Nana is a postdoc in the Engle lab at Scripps Research, La Jolla, CA.

Robert Carden, Ph.D. 2019
Thesis Title: Mechanistic Investigations of Gold(I)-catalyzed Carbene Transfer and Hydrofucntionalization Reactions
Current Position: Bob is currently a teaching postdoc at Villanova University, PA.

Hillary Straub, M.S. 2017

Jacob Timmerman, Ph.D. 2017
Thesis Title: Gold(I)-Catalyzed Hydrofunctionalization of Alkenes and Alkylidenecyclopropanes with Carbon and Nitrogen Nucleophiles
Current Position: Jacob is currently at Genentech, San Francisco after Postdoctoral research in John Wood’s group at Baylor University.

Jessica Reel, M.S. 2016
Thesis Title: A comparative review of computational methods as applied to gold(I) complexes and mechanisms
Current Position:

Bradley Robertson, Ph.D. 2015
Thesis Title: I. The Asymmetric Total Synthesis of Apratoxin D II. Studies in the Gold(I)-Catalyzed Cycloisomerization of 7-Aryl-1,6-Enynes III. Synthesis and Application of Multidentate Ligands Toward the Realization of Fluxional Mechanocatalysis
Current Position: Brad is currently a research scientist with Chimerix in Durham, NC.

Robert Harris, Ph.D. 2015
Thesis Title: Mechanistic Investigations of Gold(I) Catalyzed Hydrofunctionalizations of C-C Multiple Bonds
Current Position: Robert is currently a HHMI Postdoctoral Fellow with Chris Scarborough at Emory University.

Rachel Brooner, Ph.D. 2013
Thesis Title: Mechanistic Studies of pi-Activation Catalysis by Cationic Gold(I) and Bronsted-acid
Current Position: Rachel is currently a postdoctoral associate with Melanie Sanford in Ann Arbor, MI.

Seong Du Lee, Ph.D. 2012
Thesis Title: Gold(I)-Catalyzed Enantioselective Hydroamination of Unactivated Alkenes
Current Position: Seong Du is currently working for LG in South Korea.

Timothy Brown, Ph.D. 2012
Thesis Title: Model Studies of Proposed Intermediates in Homogeneous Gold(I) Catalysis
Current Position: Tim is currently an Associate Scientist at the Pesticide Research Institute in Berkley, CA.

Paramita Mukherjee, Ph.D. 2012
Thesis Title: Gold(I)-Catalyzed Dehydrative Amination and Alkoxylation of Underivatized Allylic Alcohols
Current Position: Paramita is currently a Senior Scientist at Pfizer.

Kristina (Toups) Butler, Ph.D. 2012
Thesis Title: Gold(I)- and Platinum(II)-Catalyzed Hydrofunctionalizations of Allenes and Alkenes with Carbon and Nitrogen Nucleophiles
Current Position: Kristina is currently a Senior R&D Chemist at Albermarle Corporation in Baton Rouge, LA.

Alethea Duncan, Ph.D. 2011
Thesis Title: Gold(I)-Catalyzed Hydrofunctionalizations of Allenes with Nitrogen and Oxygen Nucleophiles
Current Position: Alethea is currently working for the United States government.

Zhibin Zhang, Ph.D. 2008
Thesis Title: Gold(I) and Platinum(II)-Catalyzed Hydrofunctionalization of Alkenes and Allenes with Carbon, Oxygen, and Nitrogen Nucleophiles
Current Position: Zhibin is currently a project chemist at Emerson Climate Technologies in Sidney, OH.

Christopher F. Bender, Ph.D. 2007
Thesis Title: Gold(I) and Pt(II)-Catalyzed Hydroamination of Alkenes and Allenes
Current Position: Chris is currently a research scientist Reata Pharmaceuticals in Dallas, TX.

Hua Qian, Ph.D. 2006
Thesis Title: Catalytic Hydrofunctionalization of Unactivated Alkenes
Current Position: Hua is currently a research scientist at Suzhou Novartis Pharma Technology in Changshu City, PRC.

Cong Liu, Ph.D. 2006
Thesis Title: I: Rhodium-Catalyzed Cyclization/Hydrosilylation of Diynes and Enynes. II: Transition Metal-Catalyzed Addition of Stabilized Carbon Nucleophiles to Unactivated Olefins and Alkenes
Current Position: Cong is currently a research scientist at Dow Chemical.

Xiaoqing Han, Ph.D. 2006
Thesis Title: Transition Metal-Catalyzed Addition of Carbon, Nitrogen, and Oxygen Nucleophiles to Unactivated Olefins
Current Position: Xiaoqing is currently a research scientist at Merck Pharmaceuticals in Rahway, NJ.

Laurel Goj, Ph.D. 2004
Thesis Title: Mechanistic Studies of Palladium-Catalyzed Diene Carbocyclization
Current Position: Laurel is currently Associate Professor of Chemistry at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL.

Xiang Silas Wang, Ph.D. 2004
Thesis Title: Cyclization/Hydrosilylation of Functionalized Dienes and Diynes Catalyzed by Cationic Late Transition-Metal Complexes and Catalytic Addition of Carbon and Nucleophiles to Unactivated Olefins
Current Position: Silas is currently a research scientist at Gilead Sciences.

Nick Perch, Ph.D. 2003
Thesis Title: Development of Enantioselective Methodology for, and Mechanistic Investigation of Palladium-Catalyzed Cyclization/Hydrosilylation of Functionalized Dienes
Current Position:

Tao Pei, Ph.D. 2002
Thesis Title: I: Palladium-Catalyzed Diene Cyclization/Hydrosilylation Employing Disiloxanes and Benzhydryldimethylsilane. II: Palladium-Catalyzed Alkylation of Unactivated Olefins
Current Position: Tao is currently a senior scientist at Merck Pharmaceuticals in Rahway, NJ.

Carmine Stengone, M.S. 1999
Thesis Title: Palladium-Catalyzed Cyclization/Hydrosilylation of Functionalized 1,6- and 1,7-Dienes to Form Five- and Six-Membered Carbocycles
Current Position: Carmine is currently vice president of corporate development at Afraxis, Inc.

 

Postdocs and Visiting Scientists

Dr. Michele Tragni (2010-2011)
Background/Project: Michele was a visiting Ph.D. student from Marco Bandini’s group at the University of Bologna supported through a Marco Polo Fellowship. In our group, Michele worked on the intermolecular, enantioselective hydroamination of allenes.

Dr. Atsushi Sugie (2009-2010)
Background/Project: Atsushi received his Ph. D. 2009 from Kobe University under the supervision of Professor Atsunori Mori. Atsushi worked in our lab as a JSPS fellow on the synthesis and study of cationic gold allene complexes.
Current Position: Atsushi is currently Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Kobe University.

Dr. Hao Li (2008-2009)
Background/Project: Hao received his Ph. D. from the University of New Mexico and in our group he worked on the intramolecular hydroamination of allenes and alkenes with ureas.
Current Position: Hao is currently Associate Professor of Chemistry at the East China University of Science and Technology.

Dr. Rachel Witek (2007-2008)
Background/Project: Rachel received her Ph. D. from the University of Florida and in our group worked on the enantioselective hydroamination of alkenes.
Current Position: Rachel is currently a staff scientist at Life Technologies.

Dr. Sasha Stankovich (2000-2001)
Background/Project: Sasha received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University with James Espenson.
Current Position: Sasha is currently a research chemist at Milliken & Company.

Dr. Philip Kisanga (1999-2000)
Background/Project: Philip received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University with John Verkade. In our group he worked on the palladium-catalyzed cycloisomerization of dienes.
Current Position: Philip is currently a research scientist at Albany Molecular Research, Inc.

Dr. Karel Base (1999-2000)
Current Position: Karel is currently a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Radiology at Duke University.

Dr. Bozenna Krzyzanowska (1998-1999)
Current Position: Bozenna is currently employed as Laboratory Preparator in the Chemistry Department of Duke University.