DNA-photocleaver.gifWelcome to the Alabugin group at FSU!

New reactions for organic synthesis, biochemistry and materials science

Welcome to the A-Group Group members Publications News Research


Research Updates:

So how would you convert a benzene ring into a pyrene? If you are curious, take a look at the latest paper of Rahul Kawade here. Congratulations to Rahul who took this project from an idea to a new method. Many thanks to Prof. Hanson (FSU) for the photophysical insights!

Can one find a conceptually new C-H amination approach? How about arranging for a meeting of two reactive intermediates: an N-anion and a C-radical? Sounds improbable? Take a look at the first first-author paper by Quintin Elliott Testing the limits of radical-anionic CH-amination: a 10-million-fold decrease in basicity opens a new path to hydroxyisoindolines via a mixed C-N/C-O forming cascade published in Chemical Science. Congratulations, Quintin!

Sometimes a PhD project is a mechanistic maze. Congratulations to Edgar Gonzalez-Rodriguez who added another alkyne origami to his collection. Edgar showed how two peri-annulations can converge on polyaromatic cores, Gabriel Gomes disentangled another complex reaction mechanism, and Professor Hanson helped us to understand how breaking pyrene symmetry changes its photophysics! Check it out here.

Review by Trevor Harris on strain and stereoelectronics in cycloalkyne click chemistry became one of the most downloaded articles published in Mendeleev Communications in 2019. Check it out here.


How to "concentrate" antiaromaticity in a smaller region of a large conjugated polyaromatic structure? If you can answer this question, you can run "oxidative" cyclizations under reductive conditions! Turns out that one can add a pentagon and two negative charges into a decacyclic "graphene" subunit without deviation from planarity. Cool things happen when a remarkable experimentalist and a talented theoretician come on board! Thank you, Marina Petrukhina (Albany) and Renana Gershoni-Poranne (EtH Zurich)! Check it out here.

If you want to know how to twist and lock a benzene ring with a photon, take a look at this work with Henrik Ottosson (Uppsala University) and Joakim Bergman (AstraZeneca, Gothenburg). Check it out here.

How far can we push the limits in removing stereoelectronic protection for unstable intermediates? And what is in the black box? The three new factors that combine to save the non-strained Criegee intermediates from Baeyer-Villiger rearrangement were revealed in a collaborative work between chemists from Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry who opened the black box in Moscow and Leah Kuhn who disentangled the stereoelectronic web inside the box in Florida! Check out the paper here.

One can do metathesis without ruthenium catalysts! If you want to know how, take a look at a collaborative paper with our esteemed FSU colleague Professor Jack Saltiel. To make it even better, the paper is also a tribute to Josef Michl. Check it out here.

Tired of building organic molecules with C-C bonds? Read about O-O-rich polycyclic structures, "peroxide island of stability", stereoelectronic frustration, inverse alpha-effect in our collaborative work with Prof. Terent'ev (Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry) here and leave your thoughts on Twitter.

A fun collaboration with Professor Wu (University of Houston) gave us a chance to learn the new secrets of a classic molecule! Check it out!

Would you believe that one can get an X-ray snapshot of molecular oxygen assisting in converting a protein into a bright fluorescent chromophore? Take a look at the collaborative effort with Dafydd Jones (Cardiff University, Wales) and Alexander Nemukhin (Moscow State University). A fun fact - this collaboration started on Twitter! Check out the paper here

Collaborative work with Professor Tomkinson (U. Strathclyde, Scotland) for those who likes organic chemistry of oxygen. The main message is that not all peroxide groups are created equal - some are much better as oxygen-transfer reagents in organocatalytic sulfoxidation. Free access here.

These and other publications by the group can be found here.


Congratulations Gabe!

We congratulate Gabriel dos Passos Gomes who received Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, the top postdoctoral award in Canada! In addition to his many awards at FSU including the CAS SciFinder Future Leaders selection, the FSU Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award, ACS Chemical Computing Group Excellence Award, and IBM PhD Scholarship, Gabe's time at FSU is documented in 37 peer-reviewed papers! Learn more about Gabe and his current research at University of Toronto at https://gabegomes.com

Congratulations Kerry!

We were proud to learn that 2021 ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry was awarded to Kerry Gilmore (PhD, 2012) and his coworkers Peter Seeberger and Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern. Kerry's time at FSU is documented here. We also welcome Kerry back to the US after his stint in Germany and wish him many new discoveries at his new position at the University of Connecticut: https://chemistry.uconn.edu/person/kerry-gilmore/. You can read about one of his projects here.

Congratulations Brian!

Congratulations to Professor Brian Gold (PhD, 2016) on his discovery of Unique, Yet Typical Oxyanion Holes in Aspartic Proteases. Learn more about Brian's research here.

Congratulations Paul!

Paul Peterson (PhD, 2013) was awarded the LANL's Program Development Award for his work in forming collaborations with two national labs and two universities and building three research programs all in his first year as a staff scientist.

Congratulations Chris!

Chris Evoniuk (PhD, 2018) is back to his home town of Portland, Oregon to start his position at Intel. Chris has received numerous development divisional awards while working with his team for developing/optimizing processes to improve overall process yield and reducing costs. He reports that he looks forward to an exciting career at Intel, even though he misses the good'ole days of chemistry in the Alabugin lab.

Good Luck Trevor!

Trevor Harris (PhD, 2017) has officially accepted the Chemist position with the FDA. Good luck with the move to Maryland!

Congratulations Rahul!

Congratulations to Dr. Rahul Kawade (PD, 2020) on starting his new research journey with Syngene International!

London is Calling

Congratulations to Edgar Gonzalez-Rodriguez who guided his PhD committee and audience through this maze on route to double and triple peri-annulations. After defending his PhD, Edgar moved to Imperial College London and The Francis Crick Institute for his postdoctoral studies in the chemical glycobiology with Ben Schumann. Learn more here.

Other News:

Award Season

L. Kuhn was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for 2021. This award will fund her research for the next three years and will allow her to continue exploring stereoelectronic effects computationally.

P. Mehaffy received the FSU 2021 IDEA grant.

A. Palazoo received the 2021 FSU Zeina and Joe Schlenoff Award.


FSU published an article reflecting on the Dr. Alabugin's ACS Cope Scholar Award. Read it here.

Dr. Alabugin presented a lecture on Stereoelectronic Effects for a graduate organic chemistry class at Stanford University.

How to Review a Paper

How do you write a referee report that is appreciated by the editors and the authors? What are the specific points that should be considered when analyzing parts of the paper? How do you structure your report? See all of that in "How to Review a Paper" written by Dr. Alabugin here.

2019 Outstanding Reviewers

Dr. Alabugin was recognized as one of Chemical Science 2019 Outstanding Reviewers. Read about it here.

Gabe's Next Great Impossible

Gabriel dos Passos Gomes tells what his "next great impossible" is here.

I.A. received an invitation to speak at the 2021 James Flack Norris Award Symposium, to be held at the Spring ACS Virtual Meeting.

Undergraduate News

Best of luck to Miguel Abdo (BSc, 2019) at his new biocatalysis process development position at Pfizer.

Good luck to Morgan Scala (BSc, 2020) at her internship at Bioenergy group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and graduate school applications.

Congratulations to Alexandria Palazzo who was accepted into the ACS Scholars Program, which provides a scholarship to just 350 students each year. Alex is a fourth-year undergraduate earning her degree in Chemistry. She will be pursuing Organic Chemistry in graduate school.

Patricia Mehaffy excels in introducing memes in organic chemistry:


Dr. Alabugin has become the first FSU faculty member to win the American Chemical Society's Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award! See what excites Dr. Alabugin in his C&E News interview here.

Contact us:

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL 32306-4390

E-mail: alabugin at chem.fsu.edu

Office: (850)644-5795

Fax: (850)644-8281

Our work is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Designed and updated by Leah Kuhn.
Copyright 2015 Igor Alabugin / The Alabugin Group, FSU