Associate Professor of Chemistry Max Majireck has been awarded a major research grant from the National Science Foundation for approximately $247,000 to develop new types of reagents, materials that are used in chemical reactions that can include the synthesis of pharmaceuticals.
Based on prior discoveries in the Majireck lab, Majireck and his students will be leveraging a unique class of molecules known as N-quaternized ketene N,O-acetals. Such compounds have been historically regarded as being too unstable to isolate, which prevented their use as chemical reagents despite their potential to engage in a wide variety of valuable chemical processes. The Majireck team recently found a way to synthesize stabilized forms of these compounds, and will use this grant to develop them as reagents for the synthesis of biologically active molecules.
Additionally, this grant supports pedagogical development of research-based coursework, with an emphasis on recruiting and training underrepresented students into scientific careers.