1. K-State home
  2. »Chemistry
  3. »People

Department of Chemistry

Socrates Munoz   

Dr. Socrates B. Munoz

Assistant Professor Research Themes
emailsocmunoz@ksu.eduDrug Design, Biomolecular Processes, and BiosensingFunctional Materials, Catalysis, and NanochemistryEnergy, Environment, Agriculture, and Sustainability
locationCBC 322 
phone785-532-2727 (office)
785-532-6138 (lab)
Lab Website Link





Assistant Professor
Postdoctoral Scholar, Organometallic Catalysis, California Institute of Technology
     (Mentor: Prof. Greg Fu)
Anton B. Burg Postdoctoral and Teaching Fellow, University of Southern California
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Southern California
     (Mentors: G. K. Surya Prakash and George A. Olah)
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 CatalysisIn 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.

Five 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 TMSCF3: 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 CO2 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.