University of California, Riverside

Department of Chemistry




Catharine Larsen
Associate Professor of Chemistry


University of California, Irvine - B.S.
California Institute of Technology - Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Postdoc. Researcher

Office: 430 Chemical Sciences
Phone O/L: (951) 827-4964/4065
Research Area: Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry
Group Site


Development and Application of New Catalytic Methods for Direct, Green Syntheses of Highly-Substituted Amine Building Blocks as Potential Therapeutics


     As we will always be limited to the bonds we have the methodology to construct and to the stereochemistry we have the catalysts to control, we chemists must continue to develop ever more useful and efficient processes, keeping in mind that it takes a thorough understanding of the basics of chemistry to envision innovative steps and pathways to our goals. Minor modifications to compounds can drastically increase or decrease their biological efficacy and availability, increasing the demand for rapid access to unique molecules for academic and industrial applications.


     Our investigations in synthetic chemistry uncover new catalytic reactions for direct, green syntheses of highly-substituted amine building blocks. Simple commercially-available starting materials are converted into nitrogen-containg compounds ranging from heteroaromatics to tetrasubstituted alpha-amino carbon centers. As organometallic catalysts and organocatalysts often enable complementary transformations, both can be used to develop mechanistically distinct reactions that produce functionally diverse compounds with applications in natural product synthesis, pharmaceutical chemistry, and materials science.


Apologies: Group Site issues are being fixed.


Two areas: Tetrasubstituted Carbon Centers and Heteroaromatics

Selected Publications


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Chemistry
Chemical Sciences
501 Big Springs Road

Tel: (951) 827-3789 (Chair's Assistant)
Fax: (951) 827-2435 (confidential)