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Johnson, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Johnson

Jeffrey Johnson

A. Ronald Gallant Distinguished Professor

   Caudill Laboratories 220
  Group Website
  Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Asymmetric Catalysis

Research Synopsis

My interests lie in the general area of chemical synthesis. I am particularly interested in the discovery of new organic transformations and their application to the total synthesis of architecturally challenging and biologically important natural products. Our criteria for the development of a synthetic method may be summarized by three characteristics:

The reaction should achieve several structural modifications in a single synthetic operation: tandem or domino reactions are optimal;

The reaction should introduce a significant level of stereochemical complexity in a controlled fashion and absolute stereocontrol should arise from a chiral source used in catalytic quantities;

The starting materials should be readily accessed, but be easily transformed into complex products. To meet these challenges, students in my group will learn a full complement of organic and organometallic chemistry.

Professional Background

B.S., University of Kansas, 1994; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1999; NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 1999-2001; Research Corporation Research Innovation Award, 2002; National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2003-2008; 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, 2003; UNC Junior Faculty Development Award, 2004; Johnson and Johnson Focused Giving Award, 2004-2006; Eli Lilly Grantee, 2004; Amgen Young Investigator Award, 2005; GSK Scholar Award, 2006-2007; Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 2006-2008; Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar, 2006-2009; Ruth and Phillip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, 2006; Novartis Early Career Award in Organic Chemistry, 2008; American Chemical Society's Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award in Recognition of Excellence in Organic Chemistry, 2010; Elias J. Corey Award, 2012; Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan Lectureship Award, 2014; Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow, 2015; William C. Friday, Class of 1986, Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2016, Journal of Organic Chemistry Outstanding Author of the Year 2016, AAAS Fellow 2019

Research Group

News & Publications

A bifunctional iminophosphorane (BIMP)-catalyzed method for the synthesis of densely functionalized cyclohexanols establishes five contiguous stereocenters.


Herein, we disclose a simple catalytic crystallization-driven enantio- and diastereoselective Mannich reaction for the synthesis of stereodefined α-monosubstituted-ß-keto esters, dissymmetric ß-diesters, dissymmetric ß-diketones, and ß-keto amides that productively leverages product epimerization in solution.


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