Defining the Macromolecules of Tomorrow through Synergistic Sustainable Polymer Research

Farihah M. Haque, Jacob S. A. Ishibashi, Claire A. L. Lidston, Huiling Shao, Frank Bates, Alice B. Chang, Geoffrey W. Coates, Christopher J. Cramer, Paul J. Dauenhauer, William R. Dichtel, Christopher J. Ellison, Ethan A. Gormong, Leslie S. Hamachi, Thomas R. Hoye, Jennifer McCambridge, Marc A. Hillmyer*, Mengyuan Jin, Julia A. Kalow, Hee Joong Kim, […]

Appie and Caitlin defend their Ph.D. theses!

Congratulations to Appie Peterson and Caitlin Bouchey for their successful Ph.D. theses defenses! The work in Caitlin’s thesis (“Synthesis and Reactivity of High-Valent Copper Complexes and the Design of Copper Monooxygenase Model Complexes”) was supported by the NIH, while Appie’s (“Structure-Activity Relationships for Aluminum Catalysts in the Ring-Opening Polymerizations of Cyclic Esters”) was supported by […]

Lab updates

As we settle into fall semester, there’s been a few changes. Mahesh has left the lab, and will shortly begin work for Galera Therapeutics; congratulations to him!  Congratulations also to Evan, who will begin working with Eastman in October! We also welcome a new undergraduate student to the group: Juli Yaniz, who will be working […]

Personnel news

We are happy to welcome three new WashU undergraduate students into the group, starting in late May or early June: Sabrina Hu, Dylan Bodner, and Rachel Cohen. Also, in late May Peter Koetting will leave the group to enter begin the Master’s in Education plus Teacher Certification program at Villanova University. Upon completing the program, […]

Sulfur-Containing Analogues of the Reactive [CuOH]2+ Core

Wen Wu, Jacqui Tehranchi De Hont, Riffat Parveen, Bess Vlaisavljevich*, and William B. Tolman*, Inorganic Chemistry 2021, 60, 5217–5223 (  

Congratulations to Hussnain Sajjad!

Hussnain successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis “Renewable Feedstocks Towards a Sustainable Future for Polymers” on Friday, February 26, 2021. We wish him the best as he transitions to the next phase of his career, and thank him for all his contributions to our group!

Structural Characterization of the [CuOR]2+ Core

Mahesh Krishnan, Dimitar Y. Shopov, Caitlin J. Bouchey, Wilson D. Bailey, Riffat Parveen, Bess Vlaisavljevich*, and William B. Tolman*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 3295–3299 (  

Welcome to Jack Klein and Evan Beaumier!

As we get ready to begin the spring 2021 semester, we welcome two new group members, undergraduate chemistry major Jack Klein and NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Evan Beaumier. We’re excited for both of them to begin working in the lab soon!

Ligand Effects on Decarbonylation of Palladium-Acyl Complexes

Tedd C. Wiessner, Samuel Asiedu Fosu, Riffat Parveen, Nigam P. Rath, Bess Vlaisavljevich*, and William B. Tolman*, Organometallics, 2020, 39, 3992-3998 (DOI:    

Welcome to Lucy Schlueter!

Lucy, a third year undergraduate student, has just joined the group, and will be working on a project with Dr. Evanta Kabir. Welcome, Lucy!

Welcome to undergraduate student researchers!

We welcome Connor Wright as a new member of the group, and welcome back Yilenda Dong, Wyatt Green Williams, and Caleb LaBorious. It’s great to have such enthusiastic and talented undergraduate students working with us! To learn more about them, see:

Welcome to new postdoctoral associate Wen Wu!

We are delighted to welcome Wen Wu to the group! He joins us after receiving his Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He’s working on a bioinorganic project focused on copper complexes as models of enzyme active site intermediates.

Farewell and good luck to Dr. Courtney Elwell!

Courtney successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis in June, 2019, and is off to her new job working for Linde PLC (formerly “Praxair”) Tech Center in Tonawanda, NY.  We wish her the best!

A fond farewell to Dr. Wilson Bailey

Wilson has left the lab to take a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Gonzaga University. We wish him the best, and thank him for all of his oustanding contributions to our group.

Wishing the best to Dr. Timothy Zerk

Tim has left the group to move back to Australia and begin a new position in the federal government there. We wish him the best, and thank him for his contributions to our lab!

Welcome to Wyatt Green Williams!

We welcome Wyatt, a WUSTL undergraduate chemistry major who will be working on mechanistic studies of new catalysts for the synthesis of biorenewable polymers.

Welcome to new postdoctoral associate Dimitar Shopov!

Welcome to Dimitar, a new member of the lab who completed his Inorganic Chemistry PhD in 2018 at Yale University under Profs. Robert Crabtree and Gary Brudvig, studying the wonderful high oxidation state-stabilizing properties of pyridine-alkoxide ligands and resultant unique oxo-bridged iridium dimers. He is currently investigating the properties of bio-inspired reactive copper-oxygen species.

Welcome to new postdoctoral associates Tim Zerk and Justin Barry!

As the new laboratory takes shape in Bryan Hall at Washington University in St. Louis, we welcome two new postdoctoral associates, Timothy Zerk and Justin Barry. Tim joins us after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Queensland, Australia, under the mentorship of Profs. Paul Bernhardt and Michael Monteiro (thesis title: “Understanding the mechanisms of […]

Bon Voyage to Sydonie Schimler and Megan Fieser!

Two of our postdoctoral associates are moving on to the next steps in their careers! Dr. Sydonie Schimler is heading to Midland, MI, to work for Dow, and Dr. Megan Fieser is joining the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Southern California. We wish them the best, and are grateful for […]

Congratulations to recent Ph.D.s!

In the last few months two group members successfully defended their Ph.D. theses, Debanjan Dhar and Nicole Gagnon. Debanjan’s thesis is entitled “Properties and Hydrogen Atom Transfer Reactivity of Copper(III)-Hydroxide Complexes”, and Nicole’s is entitled “Synthetic and Spectroscopic Investigation of Mono and Dinuclear Copper-Oxygen Complexes.” Debanjan is joining the laboratory of Prof. Jillian Dempsey at […]

Welcome to new group members Appie Peterson and Tedd Wiessner!

Two new graduate students have joined the group! Appie Peterson is working on new catalysts for the polymerization of cyclic esters, and Tedd Wiessner is working on catalytic conversions of biobased compounds to useful olefins. Both are members of the Center for Sustainable Polymers. Welcome, Appie & Tedd!