Socrates Munoz

Dr. Socrates Munoz

Assistant Professor
location CBC 322
Research Themes

Design and Synthesis of Molecules and Supramolecular Architecturesblank spacerFunctional Materials, Catalysis, and Nanochemistryblank spacerEnergy, Environment, Agriculture, and Sustainability

Lab Website Link phone 785-532-6138 (lab)


Assistant Professor
Process Chemistry Scientist, Provivi Inc., Santa Monica, CA
Postdoctoral Researcher, California Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Southern California
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Southern California
B.S., Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Biology, University of Guadalajara

Research Overview

Synthesis – Catalysis – New Reactions and Methodology
Cross-coupling – Organometallics – Organofluorine Compounds – Green Chemistry

Or research revolves around the intersection of synthetic organic, organometallic chemistry and catalysis. We dedicate special attention to the development of new synthetic methods and reagents to enable the synthesis of small molecules for medicinal applications.

Our research is driven by Da Vinci’s motto “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication”. Thus,we aim to develop novel synthetic methods that are practical, efficient, cost-effective, and ultimately amenable for real life applications.

Exploiting the Awesome Power of Catalysis : In addition to organocatalyzed reactions, our group focuses on developing new synthetic organic transformations catalyzed by earth-abundant metals such as Cu, Ni, Fe as well as other valuable transition metal catalysts (Pd, Rh, Ru, etc.).

Our main research areas are: (i) Organofluorine Chemistry, (ii) Utilization of carboxylic acids as abundant chemical feedstocks in cross-coupling reactions and catalysis (iii) Utilization of sulfur dioxide (SO2) or chemical surrogates in organometallic catalysis and synthesis. Development of asymmetric transformations in all the three areas mentioned above stands as a critical unmet need in the field, and special attention is also devoted to this goal. Our group strives to make significant contributions that address the current limitations by developing novel asymmetric catalytic transformations, thereby enabling the synthetic community and expanding the synthetic chemist’s toolbox.

Selected publications

  • Munoz, S.B .; Dang, H.; Ispizua-Rodriguez, X.; Mathew, T.; Prakash, G.K.S. “Direct Access to Acyl Fluorides from Carboxylic Acids Using a Phosphine/Fluoride Deoxyfluorination Reagent System”Org. Lett. 2019, 21, 1659-1663.
  • Krishnamurti, V.; Munoz, S.B. ; Ispizua-Rodriguez X.; Vickerman, J.; Mathew, T.; Prakash, G.K.S. “C(sp2)–H Trifluoromethylation of enamides using TMSCF 3 : access to trifluoromethylated isoindolinones, isoquinolinones, 2- pyridinones and other heterocycles”– Chem. Commun. 2018, 54, 10574-10577.
  • Munoz, S.B .; Krishnamurti, V.; Barrio, P.; Mathew, T.; Prakash, G.K.S “Direct Difluorination-Hydroxylation, Trifluorination, and C(sp2)−H Fluorination of Enamides”– Org. Lett. 2018, 20, 1042- 1045.
  • Kar, S.; Sen, R.; Kothandaraman, J.; Goeppert, A.; Chowdhury, R.; Munoz, S.B .; Haiges, R.; Prakash, G.K.S.“Mechanistic Insights into Ruthenium-Pincer-Catalyzed Amine Assisted Homogeneous Hydrogenation of CO 2 to Methanol” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 3160-3170.
  • Munoz, S.B .; Ni, C.; Zhang, Z.; Wang, F.; Shao, N.; Mathew, T.; Olah, G.A.; Prakash, G.K.S. “Selective Late-Stage Hydrodefluorination of Trifluoromethylarenes: A Facile Access to Difluoromethylarenes” J. Org. Chem. 2017, 2322–2326.