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 January 27, 2015

NIH Funds Neidig Research on Iron-Catalyzed Carbon-Carbon Cross Coupling

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Michael L. Neidig and his group have been awarded a 5-year, $1.4 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS) to study new iron-catalyzed coupling reactions. Their long-term goal is to develop iron-catalyzed C-C cross-coupling to the level of understanding currently present for palladium, thus permitting the rational development of iron chemistry across the spectrum of desired C-C bond forming reactions. The objective of the proposed project is to utilize a novel experimental approach combining inorganic spectroscopies, density functional theory and synthesis to develop molecular-level insight into active catalyst structure and the mechanisms involved in current leading edge iron-catalyzed C-C cross-coupling reactions, and to utilize this insight to develop new catalysts and reaction methodologies with improved catalytic performance. The iron-based cross-coupling reaction studies in this grant utilize low-cost, non-toxic metals that offer the potential for the development of sustainable catalytic systems for use in the health sciences. The proposed research is relevant to public health and the mission of the NIH because it is from these low-cost, sustainable methods that affordable routes to the next generation of pharmaceuticals and molecular probes will be discovered.