We work continually to develop ever more efficient and selective processes. Minor modifications to compounds can drastically alter their properties and biological efficacy. Our methods are applied to the synthesis of targets for testing. As organic and organometallic catalysts often enable complementary transformations, the catalyst best adapted to reach a target is chosen.

Green Catalysis of New Reactions for Direct Access to Products of Interest:



Pasted Graphic 2

Some of the ongoing projects in the Larsen Group:

Copper Catalysis for the Direct Synthesis of Hindered Organic Amines
from simple commercially available starting materials


New ligands for coinage metal catalysis


10) Meyet, C. M; Larsen, C. H. “One Step Catalytic Synthesis of Alkyl-substituted Quinolines” submitted
9) Pierce, C. J.; Yoo, H.; Larsen, C. H. “A Unique Route to Tetrasubstituted Propargylic Amines by Catalytic Markovnikov Hydroamination–Alkynylation.” Adv. Synth. Cat. 2013, 355, 3586-3590. DOI: 10.1002/adsc.201300937.
8) Pierce, C. J.; Nguyen, M.; Larsen, C. H. “Copper/Titanium Catalysis Forms Fully Substituted Carbon Centers from the Direct Coupling of Acyclic Ketones, Amines, and Alkynes.”
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 12289-12292. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201206674
7) Pierce, C. J.; Larsen, C. H. “Copper(II) Catalysis Provides Cyclohexanone-derived Propargylamines Free of Solvent or Excess Starting Materials: Sole By-product Is Water.” Green Chem. 2012, 14, 2672-2676. DOI: 10.1039/c2gc35713e
6) Meyet, C. E.; Pierce, C. J.; Larsen, C. H. “Base- and Ligand-free Copper(II)-catalysis for the Three-Component Coupling of Aldehydes, Alkynes, and Nitrogen Sources,”
Org. Lett. 2012, 14, 964-967. DOI: 10.1021/ol2029492
5) Martín, R.; Larsen, C. H.; Cuenca, A.; Buchwald, S. L. “Cu-Catalyzed Tandem C–N Bond Formation for the Synthesis of Pyrroles and Heteroarylpyrroles,”
Org. Lett. 2007, 9, 3379-3382.
4) Larsen, C. H.; Anderson, K. W.; Tundel R. E.; Buchwald, S. L. “Palladium-Catalyzed Heck Alkynylation of Benzyl Chlorides,”
Synlett 2006, 2941-2946. Special Issue dedicated to Richard J. Heck
3) Huang, Y.; Walji, A. M.; Larsen, C. H.; MacMillan, D. W. C. “Enantioselective Organo-Cascade Catalysis,”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 15051-15053. Science (AAAS) “Editor’s Choice” for Chemistry
2) Larsen, C. H.; Ridgway, B. H.; Shaw, J. T.; Smith, D. M.; Woerpel, K. A. “Selective
C-Glycosylation Reactions of Ribose Derivative: Electronic Effects of Five-Membered Ring Oxocarbenium Ions,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 10879-10884.
1) Larsen, C. H.; Ridgway, B. H.; Shaw, J. T.; Woerpel, K. A. “A Stereoelectronic Model to Explain the Highly Stereoselective Reactions of Nucleophiles with Five-Membered Ring Oxocarbenium Ions,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 12208-12209.