Chemists from around the world form new center to reinvent how chemicals are made

NSF’s Center for Selective C-H Functionalization hopes to trim the cost and environmental impact of pharmaceuticals, agrichemicals and smart materials

Up until now, chemists who want to design breakthrough drugs, formulate better agrichemicals and develop new smart materials have designed their products using long-established laboratory methods. But, that’s about to change.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), organic chemist Huw Davies and his colleagues at Emory University have brought together an all-star team, including research faculty and students from universities around the U.S. and the world, to create the Center for Selective C-H Functionalization (CCHF). Their goal is to reinvent how chemicals are made!

C–H Functionalization has the potential to impact the way in which researchers construct all organic molecules and, hence, the chemistry that underpins much of modern medicine and manufacturing. By removing the field’s reliance on functional groups, complex organic molecules can be made in a streamlined, cost-effective and environmentally benign fashion.

The CCHF is one of the NSF-funded Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI), which are focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. CCIs are producing transformative research that is leading to innovation and attracting broad scientific and public interest.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1205646, CCI Center in Selective C-H Functionalization.