Aaron L. Odom

Organometallic/Inorganic Synthesis and Transition Metal Catalysis in Organic Synthesis


414 CEM


Research webpage

Primary Research Area

Inorganic (In)

Other Area(s) of Interest

Organic (Or)

Organometallic (Om)


(Research Description PDF)

Developing sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches to products is one of the major challenges facing chemists. Some important developing methodologies for producing target compounds in fewer steps with less waste are catalyzed multicomponent coupling reactions, which allow access to structurally complex compounds in a single step.

In one project, our group is developing titanium-catalyzed multicomponent coupling procedures to make nitrogen-based heterocycles either in a single pot or in a single step. Titanium catalysis is advantageous in that the metal is both abundant and nontoxic.

In the exploding diagram at right are some of the procedures developed for heterocyclic synthesis. These new protocols are applied to natural product synthesis and investigated for their biological activity. For example, with the Tepe group, we have discovered a new class proteasome inhibitors based on the quinoline core structure with potential applications in inflammatory disease and cancers like multiple myeloma.

To evaluate ligands for early transition metal catalysis, like in the project above, we have developed a chromium(VI), d0-system that is very synthetically versatile, NCr(NPri2)2X, where X is the ligand under scrutiny. Using this system, we parameterize ligands based on their sterics and electronics. The experimental results for a large selection of anionic ligands have been published and are shown below. Ligands are evaluated sterically using either %Vbur or Solid G. An illustration from the %Vbur analysis for the X = Cl compound is shown below, where the ligand’s effect on the primary coordination sphere is estimated.

These new parameters, dubbed Ligand Donor Parameters (LDP), have been correlated with spectroscopic and reactivity data from a variety of systems and will hopefully be a useful tool for chemists when optimizing and designing high valent catalysts.

In these projects, and others, we are attempting to widen and optimize the applications of transition metals, and we are investigating new possibilities for applications in human health and other areas.

Selected Publications

Titanium-Catalyzed Multicomponent Couplings: Efficient One-Pot Syntheses of Nitrogen Heterocycles, Odom, A. L.; McDaniel, T., J. Acc. Chem. Res. 2015, 48, 2822-33.

A Single Complex with Chromium-Nitrogen Single, Double, and Triple Bonds: Synthesis, Structure and Reactivity, Beaumier, E. P.; Billow, B. S.; Singh, A. K.; Biros, S. M.; Odom, A. L., Chem. Sci. 2016, 7, 2532-2536.

A 4-Coordinate Ru(II) Imido: Unusual Geometry, Synthesis, and Reactivity, Singh, A. K.; Levine, B. G.; Staples, R. J.; Odom, A. L., Chem. Commun. 2013, 49, 10799-801.

Titanium-Catalyzed, One-Pot Synthesis of 2-Amino-3-Cyanopyridines, Dissanayake, A. A.; Odom, A. L., Adv. Synth. Cat. 2014, 356, 1811-1822.

Effective Donor Abilities of E-t-Bu and EPh (E = O, S, Se, Te) to a High Valent Transition Metal, Bemowski, R. D.; Singh, A. K.; Bajorek, B. J.; DePorre, Y.; Odom, A. L., Dalton Trans. 2014, 43, 12299-305.

Substituted Quinolines as Noncovalent Proteasome Inhibitors, McDaniel, T. J.; Lansdell, T. A.; Dissanayake, A. A.; Azevedo, L.; Claes, J.; Odom, A. L.; Tepe, J. J., Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry 2016, 24, 2441-2450.


B.S., 1993, Texas Tech Univ.

Ph.D., 1997, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 1998-1999, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


2004 - 2006 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
2001 - 2004 Young Investigator Award Office of Naval Research
2001 - 2002 Member American Chemical Society (Michigan State University Local Section)
2000 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
1999 Early Career Scientist and Engineer Award Department of Energy (Defense Programs)
1997 Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1995 - 1996 Texaco Fellow Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1993 Bachelor of Science Texas Tech University
1991 - 1993 Hoercht-Celanese Academic Scholarship