In this talk I will discuss our groups efforts to use electron diffraction to solve problems in organic chemistry. We will specifically discuss applications in natural products science, including the structural re-assignment of well-known natural products and the discovery of new natural products. We will also discuss applications in the structural determination of organometallic complexes, reactive intermediates, and functional materials. A brief survey of opportunities for future discoveries and advances will also be discussed.
Prof. Nelson earned a B.S. in Chemistry from University of California at Berkeley in 2005 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2013. After postdoctoral training at University of California at Berkeley, Prof. Nelson joined the UCLA faculty in 2015. In 2021 he joined Caltech's Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Prof. Nelson's research program is focused on the development of enabling technologies for chemical synthesis. His group focuses on this goal through two primary avenues of research. 1) In their structural chemistry subgroup they develop new electron microscopy techniques that enable the characterization of complex molecules, often unattainable using traditional methods. 2) Their synthetic subgroup focuses on the development of new chemical reactions that will enable the efficient and rapid synthesis of bioactive compounds.