Gregory C. Fu

California Institute of Technology


Election Year: 2014
Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Membership Type: Member

Biosketch

Gregory C. Fu is the Altair Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. The primary focus of his laboratory is the development of new reactions for the synthesis of organic molecules. Fu was born in Ohio, and he grew up in Ohio, Missouri, and Virginia. He received a BS degree in 1985 from MIT, where he worked in the laboratory of Prof. K. Barry Sharpless. After earning a PhD from Harvard in 1991 under the guidance of Prof. David A. Evans, Fu spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Robert H. Grubbs at Caltech. In 1993, he returned to MIT, where he served as a member of the faculty from 1993–2012. In 2012, Fu moved to the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. He serves as an associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

The laboratory of Gregory C. Fu is focused on the development of new reagents and methods for the synthesis of organic molecules, with an emphasis on stereoselective catalysis and on gaining an improved understanding of chemical reactivity. The Fu laboratory has developed a variety of tin-catalyzed reactions, designed new families of chiral nucleophilic catalysts and chiral ligands, and expanded the scope of cross-coupling reactions. In the field of cross-coupling chemistry to form carbon–carbon bonds, the laboratory has developed methods that enable the use of important families of readily available reaction partners, such as aryl chlorides and alkyl halides, that had previously been believed to generally be unsuitable for such processes; these efforts have helped to open the door to another dimension of cross-coupling, the enantioconvergent synthesis of organic molecules from racemic mixtures of reaction partners. Most recently, in collaboration with the Peters laboratory at Caltech, the Fu laboratory has developed photoinduced, copper-catalyzed carbon–heteroatom bond-forming processes, including enantioconvergent cross-couplings of alkyl electrophiles.

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