Grad School Post #3

Today’s grad-school feature is Karl Scheidt of Northwestern. Northwestern’s been my dream school to attend since I was in high school; however some deep-seated laziness (and cost-based rationalizing) prevented me from ever filling out the application.

Anyway, in a nutshell, Scheidt’s group explores new methodologies for total synthesis of natural products. How inspiringly unique :-). That doesn’t mean there isn’t any interesting chemistry going on in the group, of course. They recently published a JOC communication describing an enantioselective synthesis of substituted cyclopentenes that proceeds through an N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst. Addition of the carbene to 1 promotes an aldol reaction that leads to the beta-lactone shown, which loses carbon dioxide to form the cyclopentene enantioselectively. A picture is worth a thousand words:



  1. Hey, have you looked at Jack Taunton’s chemical biology group at UCSF? I mentioned this to psi*psi, but bio is not her thing. That department is superb. If I were your age…


  2. You know, I’ve always loved San Fran…not the biggest bio fan, but with the right research I think I could get into it.


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