PSU professor awarded $455K National Science Foundation grant to study chemical reactions
A Portland State University chemistry professor has received a $455,000 National Science Foundation grant to better understand chemical reactions that can be used to synthesize molecules for the pharmaceutical, agriculture and technology industries.
Dave Stuart, an associate professor of chemistry in PSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, received the three-year grant to study hypervalent iodine reagents and hopes to better understand their behavior in solution. Stuart’s research lab has primarily focused on discovering new chemical reactions that are more sustainable and efficient.
“The more we learn about each step of a reaction, we can potentially use that knowledge to design new reactions and therefore, new chemical reactivity,” he said. “The types of molecules that can be made by the reactions that we discover would be relevant to pharmaceutical, agriculture and technology applications. They can be tested as a potential drug or agrochemical.”
Stuart’s collaborations with chemical manufacturers means their findings can be translated into applications by the broader scientific community more quickly. Stuart’s group — made up of four graduate students and two undergraduates — have developed compounds that are commercially available from Tokyo Chemical Industries and OTAVA chemicals, and will be studying those as part of the grant.