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Students Ellen Berkeley (CMC’18) and Tim Gallagher (CMC’19) win best presentation and poster at the SoCal Undergraduate Chemistry Research Symposium

Ellen Berkeley (CMC’18) and Tim Gallagher (CMC’19) won Best Presentation and Best Poster at the SoCal Undergraduate Chemistry Research Symposium on 7/21/17. Their presentation was titled: “Development of an Enantioselective Allenoate Claisen Rearrangement.” Morgan Shattuck (CMC’11, Drew Vinson (CMC’12), Rachael Hamilton (Scripps ’16), and Iain Laufer (CMC’17) were coauthors. Abstract: The allenoate Claisen rearrangement is a type of [3,3] sigmatropic rearrangement. Previous researchers have demonstrated that this reaction likely proceeds via a Zimmerman-Traxler chair-like transition state, resulting in the highly diastereoselective formation of the reaction products. However, the development of an asymmetric variant of this reaction has proven elusive. Capitalizing on an observation reported by Pinho e Melo and coworkers in 2010, recent work in our laboratory has shown that the allenoate Claisen reaction can be made asymmetric via the use of a chiral amine as an auxiliary, which can be removed via hydrolysis using either adventitious or added water upon reaction completion. After a series of solvent and catalyst screens, it was determined that the best results were achieved using 10 mol% of silicated-tosic acid as the reaction catalyst in a 1:1 mixture of nitromethane/dichloromethane as the reaction solvent, affording up to >98% yield and 92% ee of the desired allenoate Claisen product after 24 hours. This reaction methodology has several attractive features: the chiral amine can be recovered via a simple extraction, and the catalyst readily removed via filtration. This reaction represents the first example of an enantioselective allenoate Claisen reaction. Results reported herein have focused on expanding the substrate scope of this reaction, particularly with substrates resulting in the diastereoselective preparation of chiral reaction products.