John F. Hartwig

Professor of Chemistry
The Henry Rapoport Chair in Organic Chemistry

office: 718 Latimer Hall
phone: 510-642-2038
fax: 510-642-2049
lab: 707, 709, 719, 721 and 9th Floor Latimer Hall
lab phone: 510-642-2069 and 510-642-2072
student/post doc office: 707, 709, 719, 721 and 9th Floor Latimer Hall

Research Group URL

Research Interests

Organic Chemistry, Organometallic Chemistry, and Chemical Biology

Professor Hartwig's research group focuses on the discovery and understanding of new reactions of organic compounds catalyzed by transition metal complexes and artificial metalloenzymes. These findings result from a combination of organic synthesis, organometallic synthesis, protein design and evolution, and mechanistic analysis of catalytic systems.

The Hartwig group is currently investigating both small-molecule catalysts and artificial metalloenzymes for selective reactions of organic molecules. These reactions include the selective catalytic functionalization of alkanes and arenes, cross-couplings to form aryl and allyl amines and ethers, α-aryl and α-allyl carbonyl derivatives, methods for the fluorination and fluoroalkylation of arenes, additions to alkenes, methods to prepare chemicals and polymers from renewable chemical feedstocks, and hydrocarbyl functionalization reactions catalyzed by artificial metalloenzymes that combine the reactivity of transition-metal catalysts with the selectivity and evolutionary potential of enzymes. His group has conducted extensive mechanistic investigations of each of these types of reactions. Through these studies, they have revealed several new classes of organometallic reactions, including reductive eliminations, discrete compounds that functionalize alkanes, unusual three-coordinate arylpalladium complexes that are intermediates in cross-coupling, the first compounds that oxidatively add ammonia to form monomeric products, and the first transition-metal amido and alkoxo complexes that insert unactivated alkenes. In addition to these research activities he has authored a leading textbook in organometallic chemistry, titled Organotransition Metal Chemistry: From Bonding to Catalysis.


Born 1964; B.A. Princeton Univ. (1986); Ph.D. Chemistry, Univ. of California, Berkeley (1990); American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1992); Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Yale Univ. (1992-96); Associate Professor of Chemistry (1996-98); Professor of Chemistry (1998-2004); Irénée DuPont Professor of Chemistry, Yale Univ. (2004- 06); Kenneth L. Reinhart Jr. Professor of Chemistry, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign (2006-11); Henry Rapoport Chair in Organic Chemistry, Univ. of California, Berkeley, and Senior Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2011-present); J. Willard Gibbs Medal Award, Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society (2015); Organometallics Senior Fellowship (2014); Janssen Pharmaceutica Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis (2014); Sierra Nevada Section of the ACS Distinguished Chemist Award (2014); Tetrahedron Chair at the Belgium Symposium on Organic Synthesis (2014); Nagoya Gold Medal Award (2014); National Institutes of Health MERIT Award (2014); ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science (2013); Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods (2013); Member, National Academy of Sciences (2012); Einstein Visiting Fellowship, Berlin (2011); GlaxoSmithKline Scholars Award (2010); National Institutes of Health MERIT Award (2009); Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award, Japan (2009); Joseph Chatt Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2009); Mukaiyama Award from the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan (2008); International Catalysis Award, International Association of Catalysis Societies (2008); Paul N. Rylander Award, Organic Reactions Catalysis Society (2008); Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Organic Synthesis (2007); Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences (2007); ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry (2006); Thieme-IUPAC Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry (2004); Leo Hendrik Baekeland Award (2003); A.C. Cope Scholar Award (1998).