Karl A. Scheidt Professor

Research Statement

Our collaborative and interdisciplinary program is at the forefront of the discovery of new catalytic reactions and their application in medicine and energy. Specifically, we have pioneered the use of small organic molecules as catalysts in a multitude of high value chemical transformations. These processes provide new avenues for molecular construction and offer sustainable advantages to established transition metal catalyzed approaches. In the realm of therapeutic translational science, we are creating new routes to natural products and related analogs with promising activities against cancer and central nervous system disorders.

Selected Publications

  • Zhu, J.; Mishra, R. K.; Schiltz, G. E.; Makanji Y.; Scheidt, K. A.; Mazar, A. P.; Woodruff, T. K.* “Virtual High Throughput Screening to identify novel activin antagonists,” J. Med. Chem. 2015, 58, 5637-5648. (cover art).
  • Wang, M.; Cohen, D. T.; Schwamb, C. B.; Scheidt, K. A.* “Enantioselective -Protonation by an Abiotic Catalytic Triad Strategy,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 5891-5894.
  • Younai, A.; Zeng, B.-Z.; Meltzer, H. Y.; Scheidt, K. A.* “Enantioselective Syntheses of Heteroyohimbine Natural Products: A Unified Approach via Cooperative Catalysis,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 6900-6904.
  • McDonald, B. R.; Scheidt, K. A.* “Pyranone Natural Products as Inspirations for Catalytic Reaction Discovery and Development,” Acct. Chem. Res. 2015, 48, 1172-1183.
  • Lombardo, V. M., Dhulst, E. A.; Leitch, E. K.; Wilmot, N.; Heath, W. H.; Gies, A. P.; Miller, M. D.; Torkelson, J. M.; Scheidt, K. A.* “Cooperative Catalysis of Cyclic Carbonate Ring Opening: Application Towards Non-Isocyanate Polyurethane Materials,” Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2015, 2791-2795.
  • Lee, A.; Scheidt, K. A.* “N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Catalyzed Enantioselective Annulations: A Dual Activation Strategy for a Formal [4+2] Addition for Dihydrocoumarins,” Chem. Comm. 2015, 51, 3407-3410.
  • Cohen, D. T.; Johnston, R., Rosson, N. T.; Cheong, P. H.-Y.,* Scheidt, K. A.,* “Functionalized Cyclopentenes Through a Tandem NHC-Catalyzed Dynamic Kinetic Resolution and Ambient Temperature Decarboxylation: Mechanistic Insight and Synthetic Application,” Chem. Comm. 2015, 51, 2690-2693.
  • Check, C. T.; Jang, K. P.; Schwamb, C. B.; Wong, A. S.; Wang, M. H.; Scheidt, K. A.* “Ferrocene-Based Planar Chiral Imidazopyridine Salts For Catalysis,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 4264-4268. C&E News write up February 1, 2015.
  • McDonald, B. R.; Nibbs, A. E.; Scheidt, K. A.* “A Biomimetic Strategy to Access the Silybins: Total Synthesis of (—)-Isosilybin A,” Org. Lett. 2015, 17, 98-101.
  • Lee, A.; Younai, Y.; Price, C. K.; Izquierdo, J.; Mishra, R. K.; Scheidt, K. A.* “Enantioselective Annulations for Dihydroquinolones by in Situ Generation of Azolium Enolates,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 10589-10592.
  • Hovey, M. T.; Check, C. T.; Sipher, A. F.; Scheidt, K. A.* “N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Catalyzed Synthesis of 2-Aryl Indoles,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 9603-9607.
  • Liu, K.; Hovey, M. T.; Scheidt, K. A.* “A Cooperative N-Heterocyclic Carbene/Palladium Catalysis System,” Chem. Sci. 2014, 5, 4026-4031.
  • Lee, A.; Scheidt, K. A.* A Cooperative N-Heterocyclic Carbene/Chiral Phosphate Catalysis System for Allenolate Annulations,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 7594-7598.
  • Zeng, B.-S.; Yu, X.; Siu, P. W.; Scheidt, K. A.* “Catalytic Enantioselective Synthesis of 2-Aryl Chromenes,” Chem. Sci. 2014, 5, 2277-2281.
  • Johnston, R., Cohen, D. T.; Eichman, C. E.; Scheidt, K. A.,* Cheong, P. H.-Y.* Dynamic Kinetic Resolutions with N-Heterocyclic Carbene Catalysis: Design, Execution, and Computational Study of a Highly Stereoselective -Lactone Formation.“ Chem. Sci. 2014, 5, 1974-1982.
  • Lukas, T. J.; Schiltz, G.; Arrat, H.; Scheidt, K. A.; Siddique, T.* “Discovery of 1,3,4-oxidiazole scaffold compounds as inhibitors of superoxide dismutase expression,” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2014, 24, 1532-1537.
  • Jang, K.; Hutson, G. E., Johnston, R., McCusker, E. O.; Cheong, P. H.-Y.,* Scheidt, K. A.* “Asymmetric Homoenolate Additions to Acyl Phosphonates through Rational Design of a Tailored N-Heterocyclic Carbene Catalyst,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 76-79.

Selected Honors/Awards

  • 2015, Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher 
  • 2015, Northwestern University Graduate School Faculty Award for Diversity 
  • 2012-2014, Dow Chemical Company Research Professor in Chemistry 
  • 2012, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitation Fellowship 
  • 2012, Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 
  • 2011, Jeremiah P. Freeman Lecturer, University of Notre Dame
  • 2009-2012, Alumnae of Northwestern University Teaching Professor
  • 2009, Organic Syntheses Distinguished Lecturer, University of Toronto
  • 2008-2010, Irving M. Klotz Professor of Chemistry
  • 2008-2009, GlaxoSmithKline Scholar Award
  • 2007-2009, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow
  • 2007, AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award
  • 2007, Novartis Chemistry Lecture Award