Chemistry Welcomes New Faculty member, Dr. C. Rose Kennedy
February 22, 2019
Assistant Professor Rose Kennedy will officially join the Department of Chemistry faculty as of January 1, 2020. Dr. Kennedy received a B.S. in Chemistry in 2011 from the University of Rochester. She then joined the lab of Prof. Eric Jacobsen at Harvard University as an NSF graduate research fellow, completing her dissertation entitled “Mechanistic Studies in Ion-Pairing Catalysis with Dual Hydrogen-Bond Donors” in December 2016. Dr. Kennedy has since been conducting research as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Paul Chirik at Princeton University. We are thrilled to have Dr. Kennedy return to Rochester and the Department of Chemistry soon.
Research in the Kennedy group will be directed toward the development of chemo-, regio-, and stereoselective catalytic methods for the valorization of chemical feedstock (ranging from petrochemicals to biomass to anthropogenic waste) through C–H and C–C bond-activation processes. These methods will be applied to produce useful building blocks and materials for applications in chemical synthesis of therapeutics, agrochemicals, and polymers among others. Strategies to achieve these goals will draw from the complementary strengths of organometallic chemistry and organocatalysis. Particular emphasis will be placed on (i) rational manipulation of attractive secondary coordination sphere interactions to achieve precise control over competing reaction pathways and (ii) reversible application of external stimuli to govern reactivity and selectivity. These pursuits lie at the interface of synthetic & mechanistic organic & organometallic chemistry and will rely heavily on catalyst design driven by insights gleaned from mechanistic elucidation. This work will draw from state-of-the-art experimental and computational techniques in physical organic and inorganic chemistry to provide fundamental insights into chemical reactivity and address challenges in sustainable small-molecule synthesis.