Designing Asymmetric Catalysis - Cascade Reaction for Polyketide Synthesis
On October 29, 2009 Dr. Hisashi Yamamoto, came to Andrews University from The University of Chicago where he first started working in 2002 as a Distinguished Service Professor. In 1977 Yamamoto became an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Hawaii. Then in 1980 he moved ot Nagoya University where he became Professor in 1983. His specific position at The University of Chicago is Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor.
Today's topic was focused on acid catalysis and the synthesis of these catalysis. Yamamoto made it very clear that in order for the organic reactions to take place that a person needs to use strong acid catalysts to get the synthesis to react. A catalyst is a something that you would add to a solution to get the reaction. More specifically it lowers the activation energy of the solution so that the reaction will take place. Yamamoto's goal was to create a cascade reaction where there are no side reactions and a very reactive catalyst so that the process is extremely fast and efficient. So in order to do this Yamamoto created a Super Bronsted Acid which allowed him to make these reactions take place by eliminating 15 steps to the procedure making the abilities to do the reaction more often and with more ease. This super Bronsted Acid Catalyst was first created by the Lithium battery company.
Over all it was a very informative talk. However, I found it hard to understand what he had to say often due to his accent. The other thing that I noticed was that he seemed to speak extremely quiet so at times I found myself not listening because I couldn't really hear what he was saying. On a more positive note he is extremely knowledgable about the topic he presented and was also very polite and kind during the question and answer period. I also felt like he did not completely answer the questions that were asked of him directly. I felt like he was "beating around the bush" or avoiding the questions a little. He gave good information about other topics while answering but it did not seem like he actually answered the questions.