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IIN Frontiers in Nanotechnology Seminar Series – David Michaelis

Professor David Michaelis

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Brigham Young University
Hosted by Karl Scheidt

Synthetic Applications of Enzyme-Inspired Catalysts


Our research program is focused on using nature as an inspiration for the development of novel catalytic tools for organic synthesis.  In the active site of enzymes, multiple metal centers often cooperate to lower the barrier to oxidative and reductive processes, thus enabling efficient catalysis in very challenging organic transformations.  Our group is designing and developing heterobimetallic catalysts where metal-metal interactions and cooperativity can lead to enhanced catalysis and novel transformations.  Our efforts have led to the development of Pd–Ti and Pt–Ti catalysts that display exceptional reactivity in allylic amination and cycloisomerization reactions respectively.  This seminar will describe our current efforts to develop chiral Ti–M complexes for enantioselective catalysis and heterobimetallic M–Ni complexes for nickel catalysis applications. In separate pursuits, we have also developed peptide-based multifunctional catalysts that enable enzyme-like cooperative catalysis.  The small peptide scaffold brings multiple non-natural catalysts into close proximity, enabling faster catalyst turnover, novel selectivity based on substrate binding and proximity, and the development of novel two-catalyst transformations. The development and use of these catalysts to achieve novel reaction rates and selectivity and for new reaction discovery will also be presented.


David Michaelis was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and was an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. As an undergraduate, David performed research with Dr. Paul Savage on the development of organic sensors for cadmium ions and received a B.S. in Chemistry in 2005. David then attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he worked with Tehshik P. Yoon.  David’s graduate research focused on the development of novel oxidation reactions with oxaziridines, including for the copper-catalyzed oxyamination reaction of olefins. While at Wisconsin, David also participated in and was supported by the Chemistry–Biology Interface Training Program (NIH Sponsored) and was the recipient of the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry graduate fellowship in 2008–2009.  David postdoctoral studies with Barry M. Trost at Stanford University, where he was supported by an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship.  At Stanford, David worked on the development of several metal-catalyzed asymmetric methodologies, and on the synthesis of cytotoxic agent peloruside A. David started his independent career at BYU in April of 2013.  His research program focuses on the development of new enzyme-inspired catalysts for organic synthesis. David is the father of 5 children.


IIN Frontiers in Nanotechnology Seminar Series – David Michaelis

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Date & Time:
Thu, January 25, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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