What do pharmaceuticals, plastics, mobile phone displays, and all living things on earth have in common? They are all possible because of organic chemistry!
Chemistry professor Matthias Brewer presents his lecture "Organic Chemistry: Scary to Some, but Indispensable to All" April 19 at 4 p.m. in Waterman Memorial Lounge.
The importance of organic chemistry to modern society is undeniable. Over the years, the ability of chemists to prepare carbon-based molecules (synthetic organic chemistry) has matured significantly, which has allowed researchers to create lifesaving medicines and advanced materials. This talk will introduce a lay audience to the discipline of organic chemistry, summarize some important advancements of synthetic organic chemistry over the years, and describe professor Brewer’s research group’s contributions to this field.
Matthias Brewer’s love for organic chemistry began at UVM while conducting undergraduate research with Prof. Paul Krapcho on the synthesis and evaluation of anti-cancer agents. After graduation, Brewer worked for one year at a biotechnology company (Leukosite), before enrolling in graduate studies in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he worked with prof. Daniel H. Rich.
Upon receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2002, he joined Prof. Larry E. Overman’s research group at the University of California-Irvine as an NIH postdoctoral fellow. Brewer returned to UVM as an assistant professor in 2005. He was promoted to associate professor in 2011, and to full professor in 2016. His research focuses on developing new synthetic organic methods, and applying those methods to the synthesis of compounds found in nature.
The College of Arts and Sciences Full Professor Lecture Series was designed to recognize faculty newly promoted to full professor rank. This is the final lecture in this year’s series.