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Inorganic Chemistry Symposium honors John Ellis

An Inorganic Chemistry Symposium, honoring and celebrating the 70th birthday of Professor John Ellis, is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, in the Kate and Michael Bárány Conference Room, 117/119 Smith Hall.

The symposium features welcomes by Professor Ilja Siepmann from the Department of Chemistry, and Professor Paul Fischer, a chemistry professor at Macalester. Seminars include: Professor Ellis, Recent Developments in Low-Valent Transition Metal Chemistry; Graduate Student Christopher Roberts from the University of Minnesota, Low-Valent Chemistry of Niobium and Copper; Professor Eugenius Urnezius from the University of Portland, Binucleating Ligands based on Phosphine-appended Hydroquinones; Professor Fischer, The Pursuit of New Olefin Epoxidation Catalysts and a Few Chemical Detours; and Professor Misha Barybin from the University of Kansas, Azulene-based Organometallics: New Platforms for Charge Delocalization and Transport at the Nanoscale.

All of the speakers have ties to Ellis. Barybin earned his doctorate at the University of Minnesota in 1999, under the tutelage of Ellis. Fischer earned his bachelor's degree in 1993 and doctorate in chemistry in 1998 from the University of Minnesota, conducting both undergraduate and graduate research under Ellis' tutelage. Urnezius was a post doctorate researcher in Ellis' lab. Roberts currently is being advised by Ellis.

Ellis has been a professor in the Department of Chemistry since 1971. He earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Southern California, and his doctorate in chemistry form the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His recent awards and recognition include the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Senior Scientist Research Award; National Science Foundation Award For Special Creativity; Editorial Board, Inorganic Syntheses; F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry (inaugural national award of the American Chemical Society); Davison Lectureship, inaugural invited speaker, Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Research interests of Ellis' group have focused on investigation of the relatively unexplored chemistry of the elements with the objective of creating new and/or useful molecules of fundamental interest. His group views the entire periodic table as our playground and delight in the discovery of previously unknown classes of compounds containing elements in rare or unprecedented oxidation states and/or ligand environments; i.e., “textbook molecules.” One special emphasis in current research involves studies on the reactions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon or polyarene radical anions with transition metal precursors as a unique route to new types of pure or homoleptic polyarenemetal species, especially anionic ones.

Click here to download a PDF of the symposium flyer.