Speakers Bios for the October 27, 2022
Process Chemistry Symposium

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Vy Dong, University of California, Irvine

We are a team of chemists engaged in enantioselective catalysis, natural product synthesis, and organometallic mechanisms. Our team's discoveries have been recognized by the ACS EJ Corey Award, ACS Cope Scholar Award, and Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. The team's principle investigator is Professor Vy Maria Dong. Vy is a full professor in the chemistry department and teaches organic chemistry and advanced synthesis lab. She serves as the associate editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry's flagship journal, Chemical Science.
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Mélanie Hall, University of Graz

Mélanie Hall studied chemistry at the National Graduate School of Chemistry in Rennes (ENSCR), France, and conducted doctoral studies with Prof. Kurt Faber in the field of biocatalysis at the University of Graz, Austria, graduating in 2007. After a postdoctoral research stay with Prof. Andy Bommarius at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA, she returned to Graz, where she obtained her habilitation (venia docendi) in organic chemistry from the Institute of Chemistry in 2016. She is currently assistant professor for sustainable bioorganic synthetic chemistry. Her research is dedicated to the field of biocatalysis, with particular focus on asymmetric synthesis and enzymatic sustainable technologies. Since June 2022, she is an editorial board member of the RSC journal Catalysis Science & Technology, for which she acts as associate editor in the field of biocatalysis.

Talk title "
Taming Enzymes to Address Modern Challenges in Synthesis"

The field of biocatalysis has witnessed over the past decade a renewed interest for the design of synthetic routes with high atom-economy, driven by the need to provide sustainable access to important molecules in a clean and selective manner.
i) Redox enzymes especially have gained a predominant role in biocatalytic processes due to their pivotal role in the manipulation of functional groups through transfer of electron(s). Most redox enzymes rely on external source (reduction) or sink (oxidation) of electrons, a feature that impacts the atom-efficiency of the reactions. We are currently developing innovative protocols for sustainable and atom-efficient transformations, aiming at waste minimization and simplified processes, bypassing the need for stoichiometric reagents with redox enzymes.

- In the first example, we identified a case of asymmetric hydride-free isomerization of non-activated C=C-bonds by flavin-dependent enzymes.
We coupled this redox-neutral step to a nicotinamide- dependent bioreduction by designing a fusion bi-molecular protein to generate a one-pot enzymatic cascade for the formal stereodivergent reduction of non-activated C=C bonds (unpublished).
- In a second example, we developed an overall redox-neutral intramolecular bio-Tishchenko-type reaction. Alcohol dehydrogenases catalyzed a formal 1,4-, 1,5- and 1,6-hydride transfer with dialdehydes and yielded the corresponding lactone products.
We recently extended this concept to axially chiral biaryl molecules. Depending on the substrate substitution, the reaction proceeded with excellent atroposelectivity according to kinetic resolution (unpublished).
ii) Finally, a current focus of our research lies on the development of enzymatic strategies for nitration reactions. The most recent data in the field of oxidative nitration and hydronitration will be introduced.


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Song Lin, Cornell University

The research in the Lin Lab lies in the broadly defined area of organic chemistry,with specific interests in electrosynthesis, asymmetric catalysis and organic materials.

Research Focus
We will use our expertise in organic chemistry and electrochemistry to develop new catalytic methods to address unsolved problems in organic and materials synthesis. Particular emphases will be placed on the rational design of catalysts and the creative use of electrochemistry that will allow for the facile and selective conversion of readily available starting materials, such as sugars, CO2 and abundant natural products, into highly functionalized and value-added products, such as pharmaceuticals and polymers.

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Sophie Rousseaux, University of Toronto

Our group will focus on the development of new strategies to address current limitations and explore new areas in catalysis and synthetic organic chemistry. Our research program will involve aspects of supramolecular chemistry, organometallic chemistry and reaction mechanism elucidation. Specific projects will include, for example, the use of scaffolding strategies and molecular self-assembly to control catalyst configurations in solution and/or reaction product outcomes. We will also develop transition metal catalysts for the nucleophilic functionalization of C-O and C-N bonds. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in joining our group or would like additional information about our research projects.

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Matt Maddess, Merck

Bio forthcoming

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Kelsey VanGelder, Vertex

Kelsey completed her B.S. from The College of New Jersey in 2011. She went on to receive her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016, from the research lab of Marisa C. Kozlowski. Kelsey joined GlaxoSmithKline’s Chemical Development group for several years before moving to Vertex Pharmaceutical’s Process Chemistry group in 2019. At Vertex, she leads the Process Chemistry Automation Lab, implementing high throughput experimentation and other automated solutions to accelerate process development.

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Brenda Burke Chan, Sanofi

Bio forthcoming

Katherine Silvestre, Takeda

Bio and picture forthcoming

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