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Volume 16 Number 17

February 8, 2012

A Friendly Reminder...
Summer Research Applications Due Wednesday, February 15

Keep an eye on the application deadline for summer research positions.  It is coming up next Wednesday.  For details on how to apply, visit the Chemistry Department web site at If you have any questions about the application process, please contact me.

Steve Drew

Seminar Announcement

Friday, February 10, 2012
3:30 p.m.
Olin 04

Nicholas Ball
Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemical Engineering
California Institute of Technology

Synthesizing Organofluorines:  Harnessing the Power of Pd(IV)

Organofluorines are an important class of molecules that are highly useful in an array of applications from pharmaceuticals to material science.  In particular, the introduction of perfluorinated bonds (e.g. C–CF3 bonds) into organic compounds can significantly effect the chemical and biological properties of the molecule.  However, the selective installation of C–CF3  bonds into organic molecules is synthetically challenging.  Towards this goal, there has been significant work in developing metal-catalyzed aryl C–CF3 bond-forming reactions.  A major challenge in this area is that the CF3 ligand on the metal center is typically inert towards C–C bond-forming reductive elimination.  This seminar will discuss the use of Pd(IV)–CF3 intermediates that undergo facile and high-yielding generation of trifluoromethylated molecules.  An investigation of the reactivity of these complexes and the mechanism of C–CF3 bond formation will be highlighted.  The studies involving these model complexes will provide key evidence towards the viability of high oxidation intermediates in Pd-catalyzed trifluoromethylation reactions and provide a manifold to explore other important transformations at Pd(IV).

Journal Club Meets This Week

Journal Club meets this Thursday at noon in Mudd 171 to have lunch and discuss a paper relating to this week’s seminar.  Go to the following for information about what to read beforehand:

AfterCollege Science Student Scholarship

AfterCollege Science Student Scholarship is a new $500 scholarship awarded to a deserving science student each quarter.  Apply for this scholarship once, and your application will automatically be considered for future disbursements of this award as well.  Students seeking a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree in a field of science are eligible to apply before the March 31, 2012 deadline.  The short online application can be completed here:  AfterCollege Science Student Scholarship.

Summer Research Opportunities

University of Alabama, Birmingham (Physics)

The University of Alabama is currently accepting applications for their summer research program.  For 10 full weeks, undergraduates from across the country will have an opportunity to work in the laboratories of their renowned and esteemed researchers.  An online application is available for the convenience of interested undergraduate students.  The program provides:  a $4,000 stipend for the 10 week period; housing for participants; roundtrip travel to and from the program; travel to attend conferences.  For more information, visit their website.

University of Tennessee

The aim of this program is to provide research experiences for undergraduate students majoring in the sciences with an introduction to cutting edge research in the broad area of “Sensing and Signaling.”  The team of REU investigators represents a multidisciplinary ensemble of Cell Biologists, Geneticists, Biochemists, and Biophysicists who are taking modern approaches to the analysis of how signals are perceived and transduced in myriad biological systems.  This opportunity is available to sophomore and junior undergraduate science majors with a preference given to juniors.  Each Fellowship will include a $5,000 stipend as well as an allowance for cost of living, travel, and research supplies.  For more information, visit

University of California, Davis

UCD has a NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Energy and Catalysis for the summer of 2012.  The program is focused around “Energy and Catalysis” and will expose students to cross-disciplinary research in these important areas.  (Note, however, that they are taking a broad view of this area to include pretty much all of chemistry!!)  They will have an exciting program with not only cutting edge research, but social activities, tours of local companies, and communication and networking skills workshops.  They hope to recruit nine students to UCD this summer, and they particularly encourage students from underrepresented minorities to apply.  The program dates will be approximately June 18-August 17.  More information and the application can be found at the UCD Chemistry Department website:

Wellesley College

The goal of this ten-week REU summer program is to encourage bright young women to pursue research careers in science and medicine through their participation in a research project as early as possible in their academic careers.  The key components of the program are:  a student research project supervised by a Chemistry or Physics Department faculty member; weekly meetings in which students give oral presentations of their work; weekly seminars by visiting scientists; field trips to nearby industrial and academic research labs; career and graduate school panels; skills workshops in public speaking, scientific writing, and poster presentations; and a campus-wide poster session at the end of the program.  As in the past, about 60% of the NSF-REU slots will be reserved for non-Wellesley students with preference given to participants from institutions with limited research opportunities.  A distinguished faculty comprised of ~50% women and ~25% minorities will serve as role models.  Details of the summer research program can be found at the following site: