Research in my group focuses on using readily-available starting materials and designing new catalytic cycles in order to utilize them to generate more complex products. In order to do this, we utilize fundamental organometallic and inorganic chemistry to develop new organic reactions.
Project 1: C–C Coupling with Early Transition Metals - Early transition metals have long been known to perform facile C–H activation but these C–H activated intermediates are often underutilized. Work in my group will be on the development of new C–C coupling reactions utilizing these intermediates.
Project 2: Radical Cross Electrophile Coupling - The group will be working on new methods for cross electrophile coupling to stereoselectively generate alkyl-alkyl bonds. We will develop exciting new catalytic cycles for this transformation through understanding the relationship between fundamental organometallic chemistry to organic synthesis.
Project 3: Aryne Difunctionalization Catalysis - Arynes are potent electrophiles that are widely used in the synthesis of biologically active molecules. Reactions involving these intermediates are often plagued with poor selectivity. We will use transition metal catalysis to control selectivity and expand the scope of possible difunctionalization reactions with arynes.
Prof. Courtney C. Roberts obtained her B.S. in chemistry from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, CA. She then pursued her graduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, becoming the first graduate student in the laboratory of Prof. Simon Meek. During graduate school, Courtney developed rhodium olefin hydrofunctionalization catalysts using a new class of ligands called carbodicarbenes. After completing her Ph.D. in 2016, Courtney became a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Melanie Sanford at the University of Michigan where she explored C–H functionalization reactions using high valent Ni. Courtney began her career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Fall of 2019. The Roberts group focuses on the development of d0 metal catalysts for alkyl–alkyl cross coupling as well as harnessing heterocyclic aryne intermediates for medicinally relevant building blocks and new methods in photoredox catalysis. While at UMN, she has been the recipient of the Amgen Young Investigator Award, the ACS Leadership Development Award, the NSF CAREER Award, and the NIH Maximizing Investigators Research Award.
B.S. Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, 2011
Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Advisor: Professor Simon J. Meek), 2016
Post Doctorate University of Michigan (Professor Melanie Sanford), 2016-2019