Department of Chemistry



Scott Nelson



Chevron Science Center, 219 Parkman Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Research Overview

Developing new reaction technology for the rapid and efficient construction of therapeutically relevant compounds forms the cornerstone of our research program. Reaction development efforts focus primarily on devising metal-based catalytic protocols for executing stereoselective bond constructions. Our principle objective is the rapid and economical preparation of optically active small-molecule building blocks that relate directly to the complex stereochemical and structural motifs embedded in natural product target molecules.


  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Award for Synthetic Chemistry (2001)
  • Eli Lilly & Co., Award for Synthetic Organic Chemistry (2002)
  • Chancellorís Distinguished Research Award (2002)


“Catalytic Asymmetric Aldol Equivalents in the Enantioselective Synthesis of the Apoptolidin C Aglycone,” Vargo TR, Hale JS, Nelson SG, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, Vol. 49, 2010, Pages 8678-8681
“Catalytic Asymmetric Claisen Rearrangement of Unactivated Allyl Vinyl Ethers,” Geherty ME, Dura RD, Nelson SG, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 132, 2010, Pages 11875-11877
“Catalytic Asymmetric Synthesis of Complex Polypropionates: Lewis Base Catalyzed Aldol Equivalents in the Synthesis of Erythronolide B,” Chandra B, Fu DZ, Nelson SG, ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION, Vol. 49, 2010, Pages 2591-2594
“High-Content Analysis of Cancer-Cell-Specific Apoptosis and Inhibition of in Vivo Angiogenesis by Synthetic (-)-Pironetin and Analogs,” Vogt A, McPherson PA, Shen XQ, Balachandran R, Zhu GY, Raccor BS, Nelson SG, Tsang M, Day BW, CHEMICAL BIOLOGY & DRUG DESIGN, Vol. 74, 2009, Pages 358-368
“Automated Image-Based Phenotypic Analysis in Zebrafish Embryos,” Vogt A, Cholewinski A, Shen XQ, Nelson SG, Lazo, JS, Tsang M, Hukriede NA, DEVELOPMENTAL DYNAMICS, Vol. 238, 2009, Pages 656-663
“Pd(II)-catalyzed aliphatic Claisen rearrangements of acyclic allyl vinyl ethers,” Kerrigan NJ, Bungard CJ, Nelson SG, TETRAHEDRON, Vol. 64, 2008, Pages 6863-6869
“[4+2] cycloadditions of N-alkenyl iminium ions: Structurally complex heterocycles from a three-component Diels-Alder reaction sequence,” Sarkar N, Banerjee A, Nelson SG, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, Vol. 130, 2008, Pages 9222
“Stereoselective olefin isomerization leading to asymmetric quaternary carbon construction,” Wang K, Bungard CJ, Nelson SG, ORGANIC LETTERS, Vol. 9, 2007, Pages 2325-2328
“Au(I)-catalyzed annulation of enantioenriched allenes in the enantioselective total synthesis of (-)-rhazinilam,” Liu ZS, Wasmuth AS, Nelson SG, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, Vol. 128, 2006, Pages 10352-10353
“Strategies for expanding structural diversity available from olefin isomerization - Claisen rearrangement reactions,” Stevens BD, Bungard CJ, Nelson SG, JOURNAL OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, Vol. 71, 2006, Pages 6397-6402
“Catalytic asymmetric assembly of stereodefined propionate units: An enantioselective total synthesis of (-)-pironetin,” Shen XQ, Wasmuth AS, Zhao JP, Zhu C, Nelson SG, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, Vol. 128, 2006, Pages 7438-7439