QOMSBOC 2021 Plenary Speakers


Ryan Shenvi


The Scripps Research Institute

Ryan Shenvi is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. He earned his B.S. from Pennsylvania State University working in the lab of Prof. R. L. Funk. He then moved to California to pursue his Ph.D. in Prof. Phil Baran's lab at The Scripps Research Institute, where he studied the chemical synthesis of marine alkaloids Chartelline C and Cortistatin. After completing his Ph.D. he joined Prof. E.J. Corey’s research group at Harvard University as a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow for 2 years before moving back to The Scripps Research Institute to begin his independent academic career. Shenvi’s group focuses on developing new chemical reactions to reach bioactive natural product space.

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Rebecca Ruck

Executive Director, Small Molecule Process R&D Enabling Technologies


Rebecca Ruck is currently Executive Director of Enabling Technologies at Merck Research Laboratories. Her team works to leverage their expertise in areas such as catalysis, biotechnology, and flow chemistry to enable synthetic routes for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and to develop new methods that will enable continued success in the future. She first joined Merck Research Laboratories, Process Research & Development in 2005 as a Process Chemist after a NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Prof. Robert Bergman’s lab at the University of California, Berkeley. While at Berkeley, she studied zirconium-based organometallic reactions and mechanisms. She completed her A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University and then earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University, where she was a National Science Foundation Fellow studying asymmetric chromium-catalyzed pericyclic reactions in Prof. Eric Jacobsen’s lab.

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David Nagib

Assistant Professor

The Ohio State University

David Nagib is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The Ohio State University. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry at Boston College, where he did his thesis work with Prof. Scott Miller. He went on to earn his Ph.D. with Prof. David MacMillan (2021 Nobel Prize laureate) from Princeton University, where he developed several new trifluoromethylation reactions through the mild generation of CF3 radicals. He also developed radical strategies for applications towards late-stage C-H functionalization. He continued developing new C-H activation strategies while in the lab of Prof. F. Dean Toste at the University of California, Berkeley as a Ruth L. Kirschstein NIH Postdoctoral Scholar. He then joined the faculty of The Ohio State University as an Assistant Professor in 2014 and was recently promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2020. Nagib’s lab researches radical-mediated C-H and C-O functionalization.

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Christina White


University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Christina White was born in Athens, Greece where she grew up until the age of five. She earned her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Smith College, where she did her thesis work with Prof. Stuart Rosenfeld in the area of host-guest chemistry. After a brief period in the biology graduate program at Johns Hopkins University, she began her doctoral studies in chemistry in Prof. Gary Posner’s lab. While in this group she initiated the hybrid Vitamin D3 analog program in his group. After completion of her Ph.D. she joined Prof. Eric Jacobsen’s lab at Harvard University as a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow where she developed the first synthetically useful methane monooxygenase (MMO) mimic system for catalytic epoxidations with hydrogen peroxide. She began her independent academic career at Harvard University and then moved to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she is currently a Professor of Chemistry. White’s research lab focuses on the development of highly selective C-H functionalization methods for streamlining the process of complex molecule synthesis.