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Kelly Kim

Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry
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California Institute of Technology
Chemistry and Music
Yale University

Current Research

Research in my group focuses on the synthesis of organic molecules of biological and environmental relevance and the development of new synthetically applicable organic reaction methods.  We are especially interested in the preparation of compound libraries facilitated by strategic synthetic design, efforts that generate complex molecules for further study while offering rich training opportunities for undergraduate student researchers.  To this end, we have prepared 2,N3-disubstituted 4-quinazolinones for assessment as potential leads for therapeutic development against Chagas disease in partnership with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), which has contributed valuable insights into the reactivity of the privileged quinazolinone scaffold.  In another collaboration, we have synthesized various organic transformation products to aid in the identification and quantification of environmental pollutants such as spirorenone, which arises from dehydrogenation of synthetic progestins used in oral contraceptives, and 6PPD-quinone derivatives arising from oxidation of additives in everyday rubber materials.  Together, these investigations have inspired further study of complex molecule reactivity and synthesis facilitated by development of new organic reactions. 

CV / Resume
Selected Publications
  1. Kim, K. E.; Comber, J. R.; Pursel, A. J.; Hobby, G. C.; McCormick, C. J.; Fisher, M. F.; Marasa, K.; Perry, B. Modular and divergent synthesis of 2,N3-disubstituted 4-quinazolinones facilitated by regioselective N-alkylation. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2024, 22, 4940–4949.
  2. Zhao, H. N.; Hu, X.; Gonzalez, M.; Rideout, C. A.; Hobby, G. C.; Fisher, M. F.; McCormick, C. J.; Dodd, M. C.; Kim, K. E.; Tian, Z.; Kolodziej, E. P. Screening p-Phenylenediamine Antioxidants, Their Transformation Products, and Industrial Chemical Additives in Crumb Rubber and Elastomeric Consumer Products. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2023, 57, 2779–2791.
  3. Reimann, C. E.; Kim, K. E.; Rand, A. W.; Moghadam, F. A.; Stoltz, B. M. What is a cross-coupling? An argument for a universal definition. Tetrahedron 2023, 130, 133176.
  4. Zhao, H.; Tian, Z.; Kim, K. E.; Wang, R.; Lam, K.; Kolodziej, E. P. Biotransformation of Current-Use Progestin Dienogest and Drospirenone in Laboratory-Scale Activated Sludge Systems Forms High-Yield Products with Altered Endocrine Activity. Environ. Sci. Tech. 2021, 55, 13869–13880.
  5. Kim, K. E.; Kim, A. N.; McCormick, C. J.; Stoltz, B. M. Late-Stage Diversification: a Motivating Force in Organic Synthesis. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021 143, 16890–16901.
  6. Kim, K. E.; Sakazaki, Y.; Stoltz, B. M. Synthesis of non-natural cyanthiwigin–gagunin hybrids through late-stage diversification of the cyanthiwigin natural product core. Tetrahedron 2020, 76, 130755.