2018 David J. Hart Symposium

May 21, 2018
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 11:30am
100 Stillman Hall
John Wood

John Wood - Baylor University


Tuesday, October 30 at 11:30am in Stillman Hall 100

"Recent Progress in the Total Synthesis of Complex Natural Products"

John L. Wood was born on December 4, 1961 in Keokuk Iowa.  He received a B.A. degree from the University of Colorado in 1985 and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 under the direction of Amos B. Smith, III.  In 1991 he moved to Harvard University as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow and continued studying natural products synthesis in the laboratories of Stuart Schreiber.  He joined the faculty at Yale University in 1993 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Full Professor in 1998.  In 2006, Professor Wood joined the faculty at Colorado State University as the Albert I. Meyers Professor of Chemistry and in 2013 moved to Baylor University as the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
The major focus of Professor Wood’s research is synthetic organic chemistry.  Of primary emphasis is the design of innovative solutions to problems in natural product synthesis.  In choosing targets for synthesis, Wood gives equal emphasis to structural complexity and biological activity.  Giving complexity a high priority and pursuing targets with no obvious solution for synthesis ensures innovation in the synthetic design.  Preparing targets of biological interests adds value to the research by providing access to compounds of potential utility to investigations outside the traditional realm of chemistry.  Within this general research paradigm, projects are initially designed to address fundamental questions in chemistry.  As the chemistry matures, the role it can play in producing biologically interesting molecular systems is evaluated. 

Professor Wood received a Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award in 1993, an American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award in 1994, an NSF CAREER award in 1996, an Eli Lilly Young Faculty Award in 1996, a Glaxo-Wellcome Chemistry Scholar Award in 1996, and a Bristol-Myers Squibb Research Award in 1997.  He was the Parke-Davis Distinguished Michigan Lecturer in 1997 and received a Novartis Chemistry Lectureship and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 1997.  He served as the guest editor for the Tetrahedron Symposium in Print on Synthetic Methods V and as a visiting Professor at the University of Auckland.  In 1998 Professor Wood was the recipient of research awards from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Yamanouchi USA foundation, and received the Zeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award.  In 2000 Professor Wood received a Merck Faculty Award and in 2001 he was awarded The Kitasato Intistute’s  Microbial Chemistry Medal.  In 2004 Professor Wood was named as a Cope Scholar by the American Chemical Society and in 2009 has received the Katritzky Award from the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry.  Professor Wood is the Tetrahedron Letters associate editor for the Americas and is on the board of editors for Organic Syntheses. 


The David J. Hart Lectures

Head shot of David HartDavid J. Hart was born in Lansing, Michigan on May 15, 1948. He graduated from Okemos High School in 1966 and attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio from 1966-1967. During the Vietnam War era he was drafted and served as a conscientious objector from 1967-1969. He then returned to undergraduate school at the University of Michigan where he received his BS degree in chemistry in 1972 with support from a Moses Gomberg Fellowship. He received his B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1976 where he studied with William G. Dauben. After two years as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology with David A. Evans, he joined the Department of Chemistry at The Ohio State University in 1978. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1983 and Professor in 1988.

Hart became interested in organic synthesis during his undergraduate days and was particularly influenced by a course he took from Richard Lawton at the University of Michigan. His research has focused on the development of synthetic methods and their application to problems in the field of natural products synthesis. His research group is perhaps best known for their contributions to the field of free radical chemistry, but has also contributed to the development of N-trimethylsilylimines as synthetic intermediates, stereochemical aspects of N-acyliminium ion chemistry, synthetic and mechanistic aspects of ester enolate-imine condensation reactions, and several other topics relevant to the field of organic chemistry. His interest in natural products synthesis has included work on alkaloids, terpenoids, β-lactam antibiotics and carbohydrates.

Early in his career at OSU, Hart was named an Eli Lilly Fellow (1982-1984), Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1983), OSU Distinguished Scholar (1983-1987), and received the Zeneca Award for Excellence in Chemical Research (1986). More recently he received the Columbus ACS Section Award (2000), and the OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award (2001). In 2007 he was named Melvin S. Newman Professor of Chemistry. Hart served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Organic Chemistry (1986-1990) and Organic Syntheses (1992-2000), as a section editor for the Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis (1993-1995), as chairman of the 1991 Gordon Research Conference on Heterocyclic Compounds, and as a member of the NIH Medicinal Chemistry Study Section (1992-1996). He also served for three years as a member of the Executive Committee of the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry (1999-2001) and was the Vice Chair for Graduate Studies at OSU from 2002-2005. He was also a visiting professor at Harvard University (1987), UC Berkeley (1988), the Kyoto Institute of Technology (2000), and was a National Science Council of Taiwan lecturer in 1995.

Hart served as advisor to over 40 PhD students, 25 MS students, 15 postdoctoral fellows, and numerous undergraduate and high school students. He has published over 130 papers presented over 170 invited lectures describing their work.

Hart seems to have a genetic connection to chemistry. His grandfather (David Hart) was an inorganic chemist and his father (Harold Hart) was an organic chemist on the faculty at Michigan State University for 41 years. His mother (Geraldine) is not a chemist, but his older sister (Leslie) teaches general and organic chemistry at Central Connecticut State University. Hart has two more sisters (Ariel and Diana) and they are not chemists, although they both are teachers. Hart has been married to Rose (a mathematics teacher at OSU-Newark) for 17 years, is stepfather to Lyla and Nick (both OSU graduates), and grandfather to Ruben. Hart is a dedicated Detroit Tiger fan and likes to play golf.

Previous Lecturers:

2017 - Barry Trost

2016 - Sarah E. Reisman

2015 - Erik Sorensen