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Inorganic Seminar Series: Christine Thomas (The Ohio State University) – Via Zoom

October 15, 2020 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

To attend the seminar, please email Elon Ison at

Christine Thomas
Christine Thomas, Fox Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Ohio State University

Incorporating Metal-Ligand and Metal-Metal Cooperativity into First Row Transition Metal Complexes with Applications in Catalysis


The formation and cleavage of chemical bonds in catalytic reactions relies on accessible two-electron redox processes that are often challenging for base metals such as first row and early transition metals. Metal-ligand and metal-metal cooperativity provide a potential solution to this challenge by enabling heterolytic bond cleavage processes and/or facilitating redox processes. Both strategies will be discussed, showcasing the many ways that metal-ligand and bimetallic cooperativity can operate and the methods by which cooperativity can be built into catalyst design. A tridentate pincer ligand featuring a reactive N-heterocyclic phosphido fragment is found to be both redox active and an active participant in bond activation across the metal-phosphide bond, with catalytic applications in alkene hydroboration. A tetradentate bis(amido)bis(phosphide) ligand has been coordinated to iron and it has been shown that the resulting complex can activate two σ bonds across the two iron-amide bonds in the molecule without requiring a change in the formal metal oxidation state. In the context of metal-metal cooperativity, phosphinoamide-linked early/late heterobimetallic frameworks have been shown to support metal-metal multiple bonds and facilitate redox processes across a broad range of metal-metal combinations and the resulting
complexes have been shown to activate small molecules and catalyze organic transformations.


Christine Thomas received her B.S. in chemistry from Lafayette College (Easton, PA) in 2001, where she worked with Professor Chip Nataro.

She received her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry in 2006 at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA) under the direction of Professor Jonas C. Peters. Her graduate research focused on a wide range of synthetic projects related to inorganic and organometallic chemistry and catalysis.

Christine went on to pursue postdoctoral work in experimental/computational bioinorganic chemistry under the direction of Professors Marcetta Y. Darensbourg and Michael B. Hall at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX).

In 2008, Christine began her career as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Brandeis University (Waltham, MA).

Christine was selected for DOE’s Early Career Research Program in 2010, was named a 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, and received an NSF CAREER award in 2012.

She was selected as a 2012 Organometallics Fellow, was named a 2013/2014 Chemical Communications Emerging Investigator and was selected for the 2015 Dalton Transactions Lectureship.

She was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2014.

Christine’s dedication to teaching was recognized by the 2012 Michael L. Walzer ’56 Award for Excellence in Teaching at Brandeis University. At Brandeis University, Christine was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in May 2013 and to full Professor in July 2016.

Christine joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The Ohio State University in January 2018 as the Fox Professor of Chemistry. She has been on the Editorial Advisory Board of Chemical Communications since 2012, is on the Board of Directors of Inorganic Syntheses, and has been serving as an Associate Editor of Dalton Transactions since 2014. Christine was Chair of the 2018 Gordon Research Conference on Organometallic Chemistry, and is currently serving as 2019 Chair-Elect of the Organometallic Chemistry subdivision of the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry. Christine is currently the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Ohio State University.

Check out the Thomas Laboratory.



October 15, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Elon Ison
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