Zachary K. Wickens will join the UW-Madison Department of Chemistry in summer 2018.
Catalysis, organometallics, synthesis, mechanistic analysis
The primary focus of the Wickens group will be the discovery of new catalytic principles that can be leveraged to precisely control chemical reactivity. Despite our understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and reactivity, many chemicals remain impractical to access by relying on intrinsic reactivity patterns. Our group will develop catalysts that fundamentally alter substrate reactivity profiles, enabling practical transformations of simple precursors to valuable products. In particular, we are interested in understanding how catalysts can work in concert to provide previously unknown selectivity. Each of the projects we pursue will balance the identification of novel strategies to create and control reactivity with the introduction of synthetically useful methodologies. Students working in the Wickens group will explore the frontier of organometallic catalysis and organocatalysis while developing advanced skills in organic and inorganic synthesis as well as in mechanistic analysis.