With cross appointments at The University of Texas at Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center, Vlad Gevorgyan moved to Texas with the goal of creating connections between the schools by fostering collaborations among a broad range of scientists, including synthetic chemists and biologists, to advance new knowledge.
At UT Dallas he is developing a center of excellence for reaction discovery and high-throughput synthesis. The “big idea” he says is to create new synthetic methodology to easily convert widely available compounds into the building blocks for new materials and new treatments for disease.
“Basically, we focus on synthetic organic methodology research, looking for new ways to put molecules together for new purposes,” Dr. Gevorgyan said.
One key interest is performing transition metal catalysis with visible light – an important new area of research – with the goal of creating durable and inexpensive transformations. Using visible light, he, was able to redirect the well-established two-electron chemistry of palladium into the realm of one electron chemistry.
“Welch’s very generous support allows us to invest in high-risk, high-reward endeavors in their early stages,” Dr. Gevorgyan added. “I still get a thrill from the excitement of discovery and find it especially rewarding to see the students in my lab bring those discoveries to life.”