Sheldon Emery Professor of Chemistry
Administrative Contact: Nicole Minotti
Eric Jacobsen joined Harvard University as full professor in 1993, was named the Sheldon Emory Professor of Organic Chemistry in 2001, and has served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology since 2010. He directs a research group of 20 graduate students and postdocs dedicated to discovering useful catalytic reactions, and to applying state-of-the art mechanistic and computational techniques to the analysis of those reactions. Several of the catalysts developed in his labs have found widespread application in industry and academia. These include metal-salen complexes for asymmetric epoxidation, conjugate additions, and hydrolytic kinetic resolution of epoxides; chromium-Schiff base complexes for a wide range of enantioselective pericyclic reactions; and organic hydrogen bond-donor catalysts for activation of neutral and cationic electrophiles. Jacobsen's mechanistic analyses of these systems have helped uncover general principles for catalyst design, including electronic tuning of selectivity, cooperative homo- and hetero-bimetallic catalysis, hydrogen-bond donor asymmetric catalysis, and anion binding catalysis. Before joining Harvard, Jacobsen served on the faculty of the University of Illinois from 1988 to 1993. He earned his B.S. degree at NYU, his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, and carried out postdoctoral studies at MIT.
Cambridge, MA 02138