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Photo of Lee, Daesung

Daesung Lee

Professor and Directors of Graduate Studies

Director of Graduate Studies



3220C SELW, MC 111

Office Phone:

(312) 996-5189

Related Sites:


Our research involves new synthetic method development and their application to the synthesis of structurally novel and biologically active natural products. Metal-catalyzed reactions to merge alkenes and alkynes to construct multiply unsaturated molecular structures are one of the major research interests. Aryne formation from tri- and tetraynes followed by exploiting their reactivity to develop novel transformation is another active area of our research. The reaction between lithiated trimethylsilyldiazomethane and unsaturated carbonyl compound followed by proteolytic cleavage of N–N bond constitutes a formal 1,2-aminocyanation, which is under investigation for the construction of amino quaternary carbon-containing molecules including amathspiramides and massadine.

Selected Publications

  1. Ivan Volchkov and Daesung Lee “Asymmetric Total Synthesis of (–)-Amphidinolide V through Effective Combinations of Transition Metal and Organocatalysis” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013135, 5324–5327.
  2. Sang Young Yun, Kung-Pern Wang, Nam-Kyu Lee, Phani Mamidipalli and Daesung Lee “Alkane C–H Activation by Aryne Intermediates with a Silver Catalyst” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013135, 4668–4671.
  3. Nam-Kyu Lee, Sang Young Yun, Phani Mamidipalli, Ryan M. Salzman and Daesung Lee, Tao Zhou, and Yuanzhi Xia “Hydroarylation of Arynes Catalyzed by Silver for Biaryl Synthesis” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014136, 4363–4368.
  4. Rajdip Karmakar, Sang Young Yun, Jiajia Chen, Yuanzhi Xia and Daesung Lee “Benzannulation of Triynes to Generate Functionalized Arenes via Spontaneous Incorporation of Nucleophiles” Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 201554, 6582–6586.
  5. Matthew J. O’Connor, Chunrui Sun, Xinyu Guan, Venkata R. Sabbasani, and Daesung Lee “Sequential 1,4-/1,2-Addition of Lithiumtrimethylsilydiazomethane onto Cyclic Enones to Induce C–C Fragmentation and N–Li Insertion” Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 2222–2225.


BSc and MSc, Seoul National University, 1988 and 1990
PhD, Stanford University, 1998
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 1998–2000
Fellow of the A. P. Sloan Foundation, 2004–2006