WEBSITE(S)| West Research Group | Google Scholar Citation

Research Summary

The synthesis of the game-changing molecules of modern life, from powerful therapeutics to next-generation materials, requires ever-better chemical tools. We are deeply interested in designing new methods of transforming simple starting materials into functional molecules by leveraging unusual mechanisms and creative combinations of reagents.
Design of unprecedented catalytic systems using earth abundant elements is key for enabling the new reactions we hope to deliver to the synthetic community. We will read broadly and cultivate wide chemical interests to inform our approach to catalyst design, taking cues from both nature and chemists.
Great progress has been made in the design and synthesis of powerful therapeutic and diagnostic molecules for oncology; however, it is clear that many compounds we seek to synthesize are impossible using state-of-the-art organic chemistry methods, especially in the fields of late-state molecule diversification and bioconjugation. We will overcome this challenge by delivering first-in-class chemical reactions that enable the diversification of promising bioactive agents via catalytic C–H functionalization and the efficient, site-specific coupling of biomolecules.
A Culture of Innovation is possible only if every member of an organization is able to contribute creatively to its mission. We strive to create an environment that empowers every group member to contribute their unique ideas and supports them in following their scientific interests. Our diversity of backgrounds, motivations, and ideas is our greatest strength and we should make the most of it.


West grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, and comes from the California Institute of Technology, where he served as a Resnick and National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow. As a member of the Resnick Sustainability Institute, he focused on the design of electrocatalytic C-H oxidation reactions that are both highly selective and sustainable for bioactive molecule synthesis. West earned a Bachelor of Chemistry degree from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Chemistry and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Princeton University. 

Research Areas

Organic Synthesis


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