Professor French’s Research

My main interest lies in the chemistry of chiral hypervalent iodine reagents.  We are interesting in making chiral benziodanes as shown in the figure below, and using these reagents to perform asymmetric addition reactions to monosubstituted alkenes and enolizable ketones.  In 2008, in collaboration with Professor Thomas Wirth, at Cardiff University, in Wales, we demonstrated the first catalytic asymmetric reaction using chirally appendaged aryl iodides. Our recent research focus has bee to screen new chiral aryl iodides as suitable catalysts for these transformations and to investigate both inter- and intramolecur variants of these reactions.

My research group is comprised of Albion College undergraduates, typically chemistry majors.  Students typically join my group after they have completed, or while completing organic chemistry.  Many apply for and receive FURSCA funding to support their resaerch efforts during the school year and a few spent a summer working in my lab full time, again, with FURSCA funding (see research updates on this blog).  When funding is available, my students have the opportunity to spend a summer working in Wales, working in the graduate labs of Prof. Dr. Thomas, at Cardiff University.

I also take entering First-year students though the Student Research Partners Program.  These students work in my lab with senior students and myself for 6-8 hours per week.  They receive an $800 stipend each semester during their first year. this stipend is renewable for the second year, if appropriate.