University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

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Joseph Topczewski joins department as assistant professor

Joseph Topczewski, Ph.D., is joining the Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor, starting in July 2015. Since 2013, Topczewski has been a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, working with Professor Melanie Sanford. He also was a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Iowa, working with Professors Hien Nguyen and Daniel Quinn. Topczewski earned his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Iowa under the tutelage of Professor David Wiemer. He received his bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Parkside.

As a graduate student, Topczewski completed the total synthesis of several anti-proliferative natural products after developing a cascade cyclization to enable the synthesis. Subsequent medicinal chemistry efforts elaborated a structure activity profile. As a post-doctoral scholar, Topczewski focused on developing efficient catalytic methods to enable key bond formations central to biologically active molecules. These efforts included C-F (aryl and alkyl) bond formations with the PET radioisotope 18F and the distal C-H activation of piperidines. 

At the University of Minnesota, Topczewski is interested in designing and understanding inherently green reactions to enable sustainable synthesis. His research will focus on developing direct catalytic methods of molecules of proven value, developing renewable approached to feedstock chemicals, and in quantifying improvements in these processes with sustainability metrics.