Robert G. Bergman

University of California, Berkeley


Election Year: 1984
Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

Bergman was trained as an organic chemist and spent the first part of his independent career studying reaction mechanisms.  In 1972 he discovered a transformation of ene-diynes that was later identified as a crucial DNA-cleaving reaction in several antibiotics that bind to nucleic acids.  In the mid-l970's Bergman's research broadened to include organometallic chemistry, He is probably best known for his discovery of the first soluble organometallic complexes that undergo intermolecular insertion of transition metals into the carbon-hydrogen bonds of alkanes and the application of this class of  reactions to problems in organic synthesis.

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