McGill University Department of Chemistry Analytical/Environmental Chemical Biology Chemical Physics Materials Chemistry Synthesis/Catalysis  
Synthesis/Catalysis Profs.
Arndtsen, Bruce
Auclair, Karine
Bohle, Scott
Butler, Ian
Chan, Tak-Hang
Cosa, Gonzalo
Damha, Masad
Eisenberg, Adi
Farrell, Patrick
Friščić, Tomislav
Gleason, James
Gray, Derek
Guindon, Yvan
Harpp, David
Hay, Allan
Kakkar, Ashok
Lennox, Bruce
Li, C.J.
Lumb, Jean-Philip
Marchessault, Robert
Moitessier, Nicolas
Moores, Audrey
Perepichka, Dima
Shaver, Alan
Sleiman, Hanadi
Tsantrizos, Youla
van de Ven, Theo
Synthesis/Catalysis Research Activity Group (SCRAG)

The Synthesis/Catalysis Research Activity Group is collective to develop the state-of-art catalysts, synthetic methodologies, reaction mechanisms, and synthetic routes for organic chemicals, natural products and materials. The following are the major research activities of SCRAG:

(1). Development of novel catalysts and catalytic reactions for highly efficient organic synthesis; Green Chemistry. This includes the study and discovery of novel transition-metal catalysts (Arndtsen, Butler, Chan, Gleason, C.J. Li, Moores), biological catalysts (Auclair, Bohle, Sleiman), nano- and dendrimer-based catalysts (Kakkar, Lennox, Moores) for synthetic purposes; new chemical reactivity such as C-H activation (Auclair, Lennox, C.J. Li), asymmetric catalysis and theory (Arndtsen, Auclair, Gleason, C.J. Li, Moitessier, Moores), multi-component reactions and combinatorial chemistry (Arndtsen, Gleason, C.J. Li, Moitessier, Tsantrizos); innovative chemistry in alternative solvents such as water, ionic liquids, and liquid CO2 (Chan, Gray, C.J. Li, Moores); photocatalytic reactions, reaction mechanisms, and physical organic chemistry (Cosa, Farrell, Harpp, Lennox); and computational chemistry (Gleason, Moitessier)

(2). Synthesis of biological chemicals, organic materials and natural products: Focus areas are total synthesis of natural products (Bohle, Chan, Damha, Gleason, Guindon, C.J. Li, Moitessier, Tsantrizos), synthesis of DNA and RNA analogs (Chan, Damha, Lennox, Sleiman), synthesis of amino acid and peptides (Arndtsen, Auclair, Chan, Gleason, C.J. Li, Moitessier, Tsantrizos), synthesis and study of carbohydrate derivatives (Auclair, Chan, Damha, Gray, C.J. Li, Marchessault, van de Ven), and study of specialty organic chemical and materials (Eisenberg, Farrell, Harpp, Hay, Perepichka, Sleiman).


Students will be assigned to a committee of professors, including the thesis supervisor. The student evaluation will consist of:

Fall of Year 2: CHEM-688: Committee closed-door oral exam on research progress (15 min talk + questions).
Fall of Year 3: CHEM-701: Committee closed-door oral exam on research progress (15 min talk + questions).
Fall of Year 4: Research proposal (5 p. written proposal + 15 min talk + questions), on a topic not related to the research of the student.
Year 5+: Research seminar (public, 45 min talk in year 5, closed-door, 10 min presentation, thereafter).


Given the diverse research being performed in the SCTRG the course selection is by definition unique and student tailored. Each Master's student is expected to complete 4 courses and each Doctoral student is expected to complete 5-6 courses, the identity of which will be approved by the student's advisor and committee. Suggested courses include, for example:

CHEM-462 Green Chemistry
CHEM-503 Drug Design and Development 1
CHEM-504 Drug Design and Development 2
CHEM-552 Physical Organic Chemistry
CHEM-612 Organometallic Chemistry
CHEM-621 Recent Advances in Organic Chemistry
CHEM-629 Organic Synthesis

In addition, all chemistry students in their first year must take:
CHEM-650 Seminars in Chemistry 1
CHEM-651 Seminars in Chemistry 2


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