You are here

David B. Collum

Betty R. Miller Professor

David B. Collum

Educational Background

  • PhD, Columbia University
  • MS, Columbia University
  • MA, Columbia University
  • BS, Cornell University



The Collum group studies how aggregation and solvation dictate the reactivity and selectivity of organolithium compounds commonly used by synthetic chemists in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry. A combination of spectroscopic, kinetic, and computational methods bridge organic, organometallic, and analytical chemistry. 


Physical organic chemistry, organolithium chemistry, organosodium chemistry, kinetics and reaction mechanism


  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Graduate Fields

  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology


The importance of organolithium and organosodium reagents in organic chemistry is indisputable. Reports of the effects of solvents, reaction temperatures, additives, internal coordinating functionalities, electrophile structures, and substituents on product distributions pervade the literature. Nevertheless, complexities resulting from aggregation and solvation render our understanding of the origins of the reactivities and selectivities limited at best. Our group investigates the structural and mechanistic basis of selectivity using a range of spectroscopic, kinetic, and computational methods. A number of projects are in collaboration with pharmaceutical process groups.


Spring 2022