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K-State Today

October 2, 2023

Osvaldo Gutierrez to present Chemistry Seminar

Submitted by Takashi Ito

Osvaldo Gutierrez, associate professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University, will be the speaker for this week's Chemistry Seminar. Gutierrez will present "The Advent and Recent Developments of Fe-Catalyzed Multicomponent Cross-Coupling Reactions" at 1:05 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, in 4 King Hall. 

Despite advances in high-throughput screening methods leading to a surge in the discovery of catalytic reactions, our knowledge of the molecular-level interactions in the rate- and selectivity-determining steps of catalytic reactions, especially those involving highly unstable and reactive open-shell intermediates, is rudimentary. These knowledge gaps prevent control, suppression or enhancement, of competing reaction channels that can drive development of unprecedented catalytic reactions. In this talk, Gutierrez will focus on our use of high-level quantum mechanical calculations, rigorously calibrated against experimental data, to interrogate the mechanisms and to guide the development of new catalysts and reagents for currently sluggish or unselective reactions. In particular, Gutierrez will focus on our use of combined experimental and computational tools to understand and develop new, asymmetric, three-component iron-catalyzed radical cascade/cross-coupling reactions. 

Gutierrez was born in Mexico and raised in Sacramento, California. He attended Sacramento City College and transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles in 2006, where he worked as an undergraduate at the laboratories of Professor Houk where his research focused on the use of quantum mechanical calculations to study organocatalysis. He obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in 2009 and completed his doctorate in 2012 at the University of California, Davis under the guidance of Professor Tantillo.

From 2012-2016 he worked as a postdoc with Professor Kozlowski at the University of Pennsylvania where he used computational and experimental tools to study transition metal-catalyzed processes. In 2016 he started his independent position at the University of Maryland College Park as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in summer 2021. In fall 2021, he moved to Texas A&M University, where his research combined computational and experimental approaches to advance our understanding of iron- and photo-catalyzed reaction mechanisms.

In addition to research interests, Gutierrez is involved in a series of initiatives to increase diversity in STEM including serving as president of the Alliance for Diversity in Science and Engineering and organizer of the annual Young Researchers Conference and Breaking Barriers Through Chemistry.

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