John Hartwig receives the Arthur C. Cope Award

January 13, 2021

John Hartwig

John Hartwig, Henry Rapoport Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded the 2021 ACS Arthur C. Cope Award for the discovery, development, and mechanistic...

Holy grails: seeking out selective C–H activation

October 1, 2020

Demonstration of complexity of C-H targets

The sheer number of C–H bonds in the precursor to the antibiotic erythromycin shows just how tricky a task it is to target a single one. The oxidation of a single C–H bond (red) makes erythromycin six times more biologically active than its precursor 6-deoxy erythromycin A – this chemical feat...

The Life and Times of Richard A. Andersen

December 10, 2019

Richard Andersen

Academic researchers are usually quick to recognize the accomplishments of their colleagues, heaping praise on them when they reach a milestone birthday or, sadly, when they pass away. A few seem to always rise above the accolades to a place of higher reverence. One of those is Chemistry Professor Richard A. Andersen of the University of California, Berkeley.

Meet our faculty: Robert Bergman

December 10, 2019

Robert Bergman

On the first day of graduate school, I went to my physical organic chemistry class feeling nervous and intimidated. The class was taught by Bob Bergman, a chemist whose extensive scientific record and research contributions I had learned about as an undergraduate. Many professors who excel at research are, unfortunately, not good teachers, so I had no idea what to expect. In his first lecture, Bergman played a movie of his young granddaughter experimenting with a saltshaker, and he explained how excited children are about figuring out how things work.

New organometallic asymmetric synthesis research published

October 29, 2019

organometallic asymmetric synthesis

In a new publication released by ACS Publications, Dean Toste (Gerald E.K.Branch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry) joins Shu-Li You (Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry) penning the introduction to "Asymmetric Synthesis Enabled by Organometallic Complexes", a special edition on asymmetric synthesis enabled by organometallic complexes. According to the authors, "Chiral molecules in their enantioenriched or enantiopure forms today are targets of great significance for their widespread applications, ranging from medicinal chemistry to materials science. Asymmetric synthesis enabled by organometallic complexes is one of the preeminent routes toward these targets."

What happens when your discovery becomes personal?

August 22, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

Until this year Robert Harris and Robert Bergman have been esteemed colleagues at the College. Recently however, when they were at an event discussing an interview Bergman had done with Professor William Lester, they made a very interesting personal discovery. Their lives had more than crossed as children living in Chicago’s Hyde Park. In fact, they had lived about 100 yards from each other across an alleyway.

John Hartwig: The 2019 Wolf Prize and the importance of fundamental research in the discovery of synthetic catalysts

March 9, 2019

John Hartwig In a press release issued in January by the Wolf Foundation in Israel, it was announced that Professors John Hartwig and Stephen Buchwald (MIT) had been jointly awarded the 2019 Wolf Prize in Chemistry for independently harnessing cross coupling for the making of carbon-heteroatom bonds. The Foundation noted, “These bonds and especially the carbon-nitrogen bonds are immensely important, because such bonds constitute a very basis of medicinal chemistry."

Royal Society of Chemistry marks Richard Andersen’s 75th Birthday with special publication

January 2, 2019

Richard AndersenIn celebration of Andersen's research and teaching at Berkeley, the Royal Society of Landon has published a special web issue on the contributions of Richard Andersen to inorganic and organometallic chemistry in honor of his 75th birthday.

Robert Bergman presents 2018 G.N. Lewis Memorial Lecture

October 24, 2018

Robert Bergman and Doug Clark before the G.N. Lewis memorial lecture begins

Robert Bergman, the Gerald E. K. Branch Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Professor of the Graduate School, presented the 65th lecture in honor of Gilbert Newton Lewis (Dean of the College from 1912-1941). The talk was entitled: "The Application of Physical Organic Methods to the Investigation of Organometallic Reaction Mechanisms: A Nostalgia Trip through some Organotransition Metal Chemistry of the Late 20th Century."