Loyola University Chicago

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Cho, Hee Yeon

Title/s:  Assistant Professor

Office #:  FH-209

Phone: 773.508.3255


External Webpage: http://www.chogroup.org


2013−2015      University of California, Berkeley, CA, Postdoctoral Researcher - Postdoctoral Advisor: Prof. John F. Hartwig

2007−2013      Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, Ph.D., Chemistry - Ph.D. Advisors: Prof. James P. Morken & Prof. Lawrence T. Scott

2004−2007      University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, BS, Chemistry, Highest Honors - Thesis Advisor: Prof. Richard P. Johnson

Research Interests

The primary goals of my research program are to develop novel organic and organometallic reactions, to gain mechanistic insights into these new reactions, and to apply them in medicinal and material chemistry. The following classes of organic reactions will be investigated in my research group.  For more information, please visit our group webpage.

Stereoselective Coupling Reactions.  Catalytic stereoselective carbon−carbon (C−C) and carbon−heteroatom (C−X) bond-forming reactions are of great interest to the field of synthetic organic chemistry. In particular, stereoselective carbene insertion reactions represent some of the most efficient approaches for the construction of new C−C and C−X bonds. My research group will focus on the development of enantioselective carbene insertion reactions into C−X and X−Y (X, Y = heteroatoms) bonds using chiral catalysts. In addition, reactions for the further transformation of the carbene insertion products will be developed and applied in more complex molecule synthesis settings.

Conjugated π-Systems.  Compounds containing five-membered carbocycles ranging from cyclopentadiene to C20 fullerene possess interesting electronic and structural properties. Among such diverse π-conjugated systems, extended π-systems containing a pentalene unit are of special interest. Pentalene derivatives were first synthesized in 1912 and have since been investigated due to their unique structural and electronic properties. These polycyclic conjugated hydrocarbons possess five-membered rings and are expected to play an essential role in molecular electronic devices. My group will develop practical and efficient synthetic methods for the preparation of extended π-conjugated systems containing pentalene units and will study electronic and chemical properties of these pentalene-based molecules.

Activation of C−C Bonds.  The development of carbon−carbon bond-forming reactions has been one of the most extensively studied subjects in organic chemistry. In contrast, C−C bond cleavage reactions have been less intensively investigated. Considering that C−C bond cleavage processes are regularly used in carbohydrate metabolism and the oil industry, the discovery of new methods for C−C bond cleavage has enormous potential. Deeper insights into these processes can lead to direct modification of carbon skeletons, novel disconnections for complex molecule synthesis, and a better understanding of fundamental chemical bonds. In my research program, various aspects of C−C bond activation that occurs via insertion of a metal catalyst will be investigated.

Cho Research Group

‌September 2016


2011−2012      Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award, Boston College

2010−2011      ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Graduate Fellowship (sponsored by Roche)

2009                Raymond L. Rodin Graduate Fellowship, Boston College

Selected Publications

Cho, H. Y.; Morken, J. P. “Catalytic Bismetallative Multicomponent Coupling Reactions: Scope, Mechanisms, and Applications,” Chem. Soc. Rev. 2014, 43, 43684380.

Jackson, E. A.; Xiu, X.; Cho, H. Y.; Scott. L. T. “Probing Mechanisms of ArylAryl Bond Cleavages Under Flash Vacuum Pyrolysis Conditions,” (an invited contribution) Aust. J. Chem. 2014, 67, 1279–1287.

Cho, H. Y.; Ansems, R. B. M.; Scott, L. T. “Site-Selective Covalent Functionalization at Interior Carbon Atoms and on the Rim of Circumtrindene, a C36H12 Open Geodesic Polyarene,” Beil. J. Org. Chem. 2014, 10, 956968.

Scott, L. T.; Cho, H. Y.; Eliseeva, M. N.; Jackson, E. A.; Tanaka, T.; Tanikawa, T. “Aromaticity and Other Conjugate Effects.By Rolf Gleiter and Gebhard Haberhauer,” Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2013. 52, 24032404.

Cho, H. Y.; Yu, Z.; Morken, J. P. “Stereoselective Borylative KetoneDiene Coupling,” Org. Lett. 2011, 13, 52675269.

Cho, H. Y.; Morken, J. P. “Ni-Catalyzed Borylative DieneAldehyde Coupling: The Remarkable Effect of P(SiMe3)3,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 75767577.

Cho, H. Y.; Ajaz, A.; Himali, D.; Waske, P. A.; Johnson, R. P. “Microwave Flash Pyrolysis,” J. Org. Chem. 2009, 74, 41374142.

Cho, H. Y.; Morken, J. P. “Diastereoselective Construction of Functionalized Homoallylic Alcohols by Ni-Catalyzed Diboron-Promoted Coupling of Dienes and Aldehydes,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 16140–16141.