ACS Publications Forum: Diversity in Inorganic/Organic Chemistry

Prof. Paul J. Chirik

Princeton University

Editor-in-Chief, Organometallics

Paul Chirik (born in 1973) earned a B.S. degree in 1995 from Virginia Tech, conducting undergraduate research with Professor Joseph Merola studying aqueous iridium chemistry. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in 2000 with Professor John Bercaw at California Institute of Technology with a focus on metallocene-catalyzed olefin polymerization. After a postdoctoral appointment with Professor Christopher Cummins at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he began his independent career in 2001 at Cornell University. In 2011, Professor Chirik and his research group moved to Princeton University, where he was named the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Chemistry. His teaching and research have been recognized with a 2006 Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award, a 2009 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, a 2016 U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, and the 2017 ACS Catalysis Lectureship in Catalysis Science. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Organometallics since 2015. The Chirik group focuses on developing catalysts using base metals such as iron, cobalt, nickel, and molybdenum to discover new reactions that drive more sustainable chemistry. Projects include electronic structure studies, asymmetric alkene hydrogenation, hydrogen isotope exchange, C–H functionalization, and alkene cycloaddition.

Recent selected ACS Publications:

Organometallics: Synthesis and Reactivity of Reduced α-Diimine Nickel Complexes Relevant to Acrylic Acid Synthesis DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.8b00350

Journal of the American Chemical Society: Ultrafast Photophysics of a Dinitrogen-Bridged Molybdenum Complex DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b00890

Inorganic Chemistry: Synthesis and Electronic Structure Diversity of Pyridine(diimine)iron Tetrazene Complexes DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b00140

Prof. Peter Comba

Universitat Heidelberg

ACS Forum Host and Co-organizer

Peter Comba (born in 1953) obtained a diploma in chemistry and in chemical education in 1977 at ETH Zürich and a Ph.D. in 1981 from the University of Neuchâtel, working with Professor Werner Marty on base hydrolysis of cobalt(III) penta­amines. Professor Comba continued his studies with postdoctoral work on transition-metal hexamine cage compounds with Alan Sargeson at Australian National University and NMR studies on titanyl and decavanadate complexes with André Merbach at the University of Lausanne. He established his own research group at the University of Basel in 1986, and he has been Professor at Heidelberg since 1992, serving also as Director of the International Academic Forum Heidelberg. Professor Comba is interested in fundamental transition-metal coordination chemistry, spectroscopy, and theoretical and computational inorganic chemistry. His group’s current projects involve bioinorganic and medicinal inorganic chemistry: oxygen activation by high-valent nonheme iron compounds, Cu(II) chemistry of cyclic pseudo octapeptides in cells, and radiopharmaceutical chemistry; molecular magnetism: theory, magnetism, and spectroscopy of oligonuclear transition metal and lanthanide complexes; and molecular catalysis: CO2 reduction.

Recent selected ACS Publications:

Inorganic Chemistry: Tetrahedral Copper(II) Complexes with a Labile Coordination Site Supported by a Tris-tetramethylguanidinato Ligand DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.7b01154

Journal of the American Chemical Society: Direct Asymmetric Ruthenium-Catalyzed Reductive Amination of Alkyl–Aryl Ketones with Ammonia and Hydrogen DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b10496

Inorganic Chemistry: Synthesis and Coordination Chemistry of Hexadentate Picolinic Acid Based Bispidine Ligands DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.6b01787

Dr. Corinna R. Hess
Technical University of Munich, Germany


Corinna Hess received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago, where she had the opportunity to work in the laboratory of Professor Gregory Hillhouse, who inspired her interest in inorganic chemistry. Professor Hess subsequently pursued doctoral studies in the field of bioinorganic chemistry, supervised by Professor Harry Gray at California Institute of Technology. Following postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Max Planck Institute for Bioinorganic Chemistry, she joined the Chemistry Department at Durham University as a lecturer in 2010. In 2014, she was appointed Assistant Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Technical University of Munich (TUM). Awards. Research in the Hess lab centers on the development of (photo)catalysts for multielectron transformations, including H2 production and O2 activation.

Recent selected ACS Publications:

Inorganic Chemistry: Structural Characterization and Photochemical Properties of Mono- and Bimetallic Cu-Mabiq Complexes DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b00471

Inorganic Chemistry: An Unsymmetric Ligand Framework for Noncoupled Homo- and Heterobimetallic Complexes 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.7b02294

Prof. William B. Tolman

Washington University in St. Louis

Editor-in-Chief, Inorganic Chemistry

William Tolman (born in 1961) is Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Research in the Tolman group encompasses synthetic bioinorganic and organometallic/polymer chemistry, to gain a fundamental understanding of metalloprotein active sites of biological and environmental importance and to prepare catalysts for the polymerization of cyclic esters and for converting biomass feedstocks to useful monomers. Professor Tolman obtained a B.S. degree from Wesleyan University in 1983, where he performed research under the direction of Alan Cutler. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1987 working with Peter Vollhardt at the University of California, Berkeley, and was introduced to bioinorganic chemistry during a postdoctoral stay with Stephen Lippard at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1990, rising through the ranks to become Distinguished McKnight University Professor, before moving to Washington University in 2018. Among his honors are an NSF National Young Investigator Award, a Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award, and the 2017 ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry. Professor Tolman has served as Editor-in-Chief of Inorganic Chemistry since 2013.

Recent selected ACS Publications:

Inorganic Chemistry: Sterically Induced Ligand Framework Distortion Effects on Catalytic Cyclic Ester Polymerizations DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b00250

Journal of the American Chemical Society Mechanistic Insights into the Alternating Copolymerization of Epoxides and Cyclic Anhydrides Using a (Salph)AlCl and Iminium Salt Catalytic System DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b09079

Organometallics: Selective Decarbonylation of Fatty Acid Esters to Linear α-Olefins DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.7b00411