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Organic Chemistry Seminar Series: Sidney Wilkerson-Hill
October 20, 2022 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
About the Seminar:
The goal of the Hill group is to develop new reactions to obtain pyrethroids, small molecules used to combat vectors for malaria (e.g., Anopheles gambiae). We are particularly interested in identifying new small molecule pyrethroids with enhanced photostability, reduced off target toxicological properties to beneficial pollinators (honey bees), and reduced insect resistance profiles. To accomplish these goals, my research group is developing new routes to orphaned cyclopropanes, a structural motif found in all pyrethroids, by using 1) Biomimicry and frustrated Lewis acid-base pairs (FLP’s), 2) Reagent-based approaches toward natural product families; and 3) Chemotype-centric approaches using unstabilized carbenes. These methods to obtain orphaned cyclopropanes also provide the basis for the discovery of new drugs through rational structure activity relationship studies at the 1,1-dialkyl position – a traditionally understudied portion of chemical space.
About the Speaker:
Sidney is currently an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department at UNC Chapel Hill where his research focuses on methods to obtain orphaned cyclopropanes.
Sidney Hill was born in Kinston, North Carolina and began his undergraduate studies at North Carolina State University in 2006. He obtained a B.S. in Polymer and Color Chemistry through the College of Textiles, a B.S. in Chemistry through the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences in 2010. In 2015, Sidney received his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Richmond Sarpong from the University of California, Berkeley where his research focused on using transition metal-catalyzed cycloisomerization reactions to access natural product scaffolds. Then, he was a UNCF-Merck postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Huw Davies at Emory University in Atlanta, GA where his research focused on developing novel reactions using N-sulfonyltriazoles and rhodium tetracarboxylate catalysts for C–H functionalization reactions.
During his graduate studies. Sidney was also involved in diversity initiatives such as the Berkeley Science Network, and California Alliance programs to address disparities facing minorities pursuing careers in the physical sciences. Since starting at UNC, he has received the ACS Herman Frasch Foundation grant, the ACS Organic Letters Lectureship, and the Thieme Journal Award.