Melanie Sanford Named 2011 MacArthur Fellow

Melanie Sanford (PhD '01) is a chemist reviving and enhancing approaches to organic synthesis previously set aside because of their technical difficulty. Her research focuses on using metal-based agents, primarily palladium, to catalyze reactions that substitute hydrogen in carbon-hydrogen bonds with other atoms or functional groups. Beginning with a reaction cycle widely regarded as too difficult to control, she developed a mechanism for taming palladium’s activity, making practical its application in the laboratory. Her methods enable modification of specific carbon bonds in complex molecules, while leaving other carbon bonds unchanged. These advances have significant impact for... [MORE]