Research in the Yruegas Group is focused on using earth-abundant s- and p-block metals for the development of sustainable catalysts, synthetic methodologies, and new organic materials. Students and post-doctoral researchers in the group will acquire expertise in synthetic chemistry, particularly with air-sensitive manipulations, as well as spectroscopic and crystallographic techniques. With a strong emphasis on organometallic chemistry, the interdisciplinary work within the Yruegas Group will advance the synthesis of innovative pharmaceuticals, optoelectronic devices, and polymers.
Sam Yruegas is a native Texan hailing from Laredo, TX. Dr. Yruegas joined the faculty at Rice University as an Assistant Professor in Chemistry in the summer of 2022 as a CPRIT Scholar and Norman-Hackerman Welch Young Investigator Chair. Dr. Yruegas began her chemistry career at Texas A&M University where she conducted undergraduate research in Professor Oleg V. Ozerov’s group as a Regents’ Scholar studying the solubility of carborane salts of pincer complexes in weakly coordinating solvents. Dr. Yruegas received her B.A. in Chemistry in 2014. Dr. Yruegas received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Baylor University in 2019. Her work in the laboratory of Professor Caleb D. Martin was focused on the development of methodologies targeting the synthesis of highly unusual and unstable bonding motifs centralized around boron. As a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Paul J. Chirik’s group at Princeton University, her work concentrated on developing earth abundant metal-catalyzed processes with nickel, cobalt, and iron to upgrade hindered olefin streams into desirable products with homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts. Dr. Yruegas’ work has been recognized with several awards, namely, the League of Legends Distinguished Alumni Award from J. B. Alexander High School in 2019, the element erbium (Er) on the IUPAC Periodic Table of Younger Chemists in 2019, the American Chemical Society, Division of Inorganic Chemistry Young Investigator Award in 2020, and the CPRIT Recruitment of First-Time Tenure-Track Faculty Members Award in 2022.