David B. Collum

Betty R. Miller Professor


The Collum group studies how aggregation and solvation dictate the reactivity and selectivity of organolithium and organosodium 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. 

Research Focus

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.


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CHEM Courses - Spring 2024

CHEM Courses - Fall 2024