The Chemistry Department is pleased to announce the addition of a new faculty member, Dr. Michael Clift, who specializes in Organic Chemistry. Dr. Clift received his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan, his PhD from Northwestern working with Prof. Regan Thomson, and is currently a postdoctoral associate at Princeton with Prof. David MacMillan. He will start his position at KU in Fall 2013.
Research in the Clift group will focus heavily on the development of new methods for asymmetric catalysis. Drawing inspiration from coenzymes used in biological systems, they seek to discover novel synthetic strategies that will enable a variety enantioselective bond functionalization reactions. Specifically, the Clift group is interested in the development of new organocatalytic reaction manifolds that will enable a variety of C−C bond forming events through C−H functionalization. The successful pursuit of these goals is expected to deliver synthetic methods that will facilitate previously challenging or even impossible chemical transformations. In a broader context, this work will ultimately accelerate the construction of biologically relevant natural products and other medicinal agents by providing new means for the strategic disconnection of these valuable synthetic targets.