Organic Research

Research in organic chemistry at UNC Chapel Hill covers a broad range of subjects from synthetic methods development to the design of materials with functions inspired by biological systems. Research is often interdisciplinary and involves science at the frontiers of polymer chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, materials science and bioorganic chemistry.

With nine faculty members formally in the organic division and a number of faculty members from other divisions whose research involves organic chemistry, graduate students find they have a wide range of choices for their doctoral research.

  • Synthetic Methods Development
  • Natural Products Synthesis
  • Chemical Catalysis
  • Bioorganic Chemistry
  • Molecular Photochemistry
  • Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Molecular Recognition
  • Chemical Biology
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Polymer Synthesis and Functionalization

Recent Research Results

Continuous-Flow Chemistry

Published in the journal Polymer Chemistry, scientists in the Leibfarth Group is an operationally...

Acylation Reaction

Researchers in the Aube Group, published in Organic Letters conclusion, have demonstrated an efficient, metal-free

Fluorogenic Sensor Platform

Post-translational modifications, PTMs, on histone tails act in diverse combinations in the "histone...

Representative Publications

Generation and Alkylation of α-Carbamyl Radicals via Organic Photoredox Catalysis.
Joshua B. McManus, Nicholas P. R. Onuska, and David A. Nicewicz.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140 (29), pp 9056–9060

Boron-Catalyzed Site-Selective Reduction of Carbohydrate Derivatives with Catecholborane.
Jared M. Lowe, Youngran Seo, and Michel R. Gagne.
ACS Catal., 2018, 8 (9), pp 8192–8198

Highly Functionalized Tricyclic Oxazinanones via Pairwise Oxidative Dearomatization and N-Hydroxycarbamate Dehydrogenation: Molecular Diversity Inspired by Tetrodotoxin.
Steffen N. Good, Robert J. Sharpe, and Jeffrey S. Johnson.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139 (36), pp 12422–12425

Reagent-Controlled Regiodivergent Ring Expansions of Steroids.
Manwika Charaschanya, & Jeffrey Aube.
Nature Communications; London Vol. 9, (Mar 2018): 1-8

Intramolecular Friedel–Crafts Acylation Reaction Promoted by 1,1,1,3,3,3-Hexafluoro-2-propanol.
Hashim F. Motiwala, Rakesh H. Vekariya, and Jeffrey Aube.
Org. Lett., 2015, 17 (21), pp 5484–5487

Control of Amphiphile Self-Assembly via Bioinspired Metal Ion Coordination.
Abigail S. Knight, Josefin Larsson, Jing M. Ren, Raghida Bou Zerdan, Shay Seguin, Remy Vrahas, Jianfang Liu, Gang Ren, and Craig J. Hawker.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140 (4), pp 1409–1414

Continuous-Flow Chemistry for the Determination of Comonomer Reactivity Ratios.
Marcus H. Reis, Cullen L. G. Davidson IV, Frank A. Leibfarth.
Polym. Chem., 2018, 9, 1728-1734

Regioselective C−H Xanthylation as a Platform for Polyolefin Functionalization.
Jill B. Williamson, William L. Czaplyski, Erik J. Alexanian, Frank A. Leibfarth.
Angew. Chem., Volume 130, Issue 21, May 22, 2018, Pages 6369-6373

Chiral Pincer Carbodicarbene Ligands for Enantioselective Rhodium-Catalyzed Hydroarylation of Terminal and Internal 1,3-Dienes with Indoles.
Justin S. Marcum, Courtney C. Roberts, Rajith S. Manan, Tia N. Cervarich, and Simon J. Meek.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139 (44), pp 15580–15583

Approach to the Synthesis of Briarane Diterpenes through a Dianionic Claisen Rearrangement and Ring-Closing Metathesis.
Michael T. Crimmins, Yan Zhang, and Philip S. Williams.
Org. Lett., 2017, 19 (14), pp 3907–3910

High Structure Active Learning Pedagogy for the Teaching of Organic Chemistry: Assessing the Impact on Academic Outcomes.
Michael T. Crimmins and Brooke Midkiff.
J. Chem. Educ., 2017, 94 (4), pp 429–438

Fluorogenic Sensor Platform for the Histone Code Using Receptors from Dynamic Combinatorial Libraries.
Brendan C. Peacor, Christopher M. Ramsay, and Marcey L. Waters.
Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 1422-1428

Direct C–H Cyanation of Arenes via Organic Photoredox Catalysis.
Joshua B. McManus and David A. Nicewicz.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139 (8), pp 2880–2883

Reversing the Regioselectivity of Halofunctionalization Reactions through Cooperative Photoredox and Copper Catalysis.
Jeremy D. Griffin, Cortney L. Cavanaugh, and David A. Nicewicz.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 2097.

Highly Functionalized Tricyclic Oxazinanones via Pairwise Oxidative Dearomatization and N-Hydroxycarbamate Dehydrogenation: Molecular Diversity Inspired by Tetrodotoxin.
Steffen N. Good, Robert J. Sharpe, and Jeffrey S. Johnson.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139 (36), pp 12422–12425