William D. Wulff

Synthetic Organic Chemistry


530A CEM


Research webpage

Primary Research Area

Organic (Or)

Other Area(s) of Interest

Organometallic (Om)


(Research Description PDF)

Wulff Group Research is concentrated in the area of organic synthesis and catalysis. We are motivated by the pursuit of novel approaches in synthetic organic chemistry involving design and development of new asymmetric organocatalysis, organometallic chemistry, mechanistic studies and total synthesis of natural products.

Research Field Highlights

1) New Enantioselective Organocatalysis

2) Fischer Carbene Chemistry

3) Mechanistic Investigations on Organocatalysis

4) Total Synthesis of Natural Products

Selected Publications

A General Synthesis of Sphinganines via a Multi-Component Catalytic Asymmetric Aziridination, Mukherjee, M.; Zhou, Y.; Gupta, A. K.; Guan, Y.; Wulff, W. D., Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2014, 1386-1390.

Three Component Asymmetric Catalytic Ugi Reaction – Concinnity from Diversity via Substrate Mediated Catalyst Assembly, Zhao, W.; Huang, L.; Guan, Y.; Wulff, W. D. Angew. Chem. Int Ed. 2014, 53, 3436-3441.

Catalytic Asymmetric α-Iminol Rearrangement – New Chiral Platforms, Zhang, X.; Staples, R. J.; Rheingold, A. L., Wulff, W. D. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 13971-13974.

β-Amino Esters from the Reductive Ring Opening of Aziridine-2-Carboxylates, Zhao, W.; Lu, Z.; Wulff, W. D. J. Org. Chem. 2014, 79, 10068-10080.

Self-Assembly of a Library of Polyborate Chiral Anions for Asymmetric Catalysis, Desai, A. A.; Vetticatt, M. J.; Guan, Y.; Odom, A. L.; Majumder, S.; Wulff, W. D. Tetrahedron Lett. 2015, 56, 3481.

Catalytic Synthesis of 2H-Chromenes, Majumder, N.; Paul, N. D.; Mandal, S.; de Bruin, B.; Wulff, W. D., ACS Catalysis 2015, 5, 2329-2366.

The Nature of Meso- and Pyro-borate Pre-catalysts to the VANOL and VAPOL BOROX catalysts, Zhao, W.; Yin, X.; Gupta, A. K.; Zhang, X.; Wulff, W. D., Synlett 2015, 26, 1606-1614.

2,2ˇ-Diphenyl-[3,3ˇ-bi-phenanthrene]- 4,4ˇ-diol and 3,3ˇ-diphenyl-[2,2ˇ- binaph­thalene]-1,1ˇ-diol, First Update:, Yin, X.; Wulff, W. D., Electronic Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis, Online posting date: December, 2015.


B.S., 1971, Univ. of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Ph.D., 1979, Iowa State Univ.

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, 1979-80, Princeton Univ.


2013 CNS Distinguished Faculty Award
1999 Professor Michigan State University
1998 Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science
1992 - 1999 Professor The University of Chicago
1986 - 1992 Associate Professor The University of Chicago
1986 - 1987 Young Scholar Award Eli Lilly
1980 Assistant Professor The University of Chicago
1979 - 1980 Postdoctoral Fellowship National Institutes of Health
1979 Ph.D. Iowa State University
1979 - 1980 Postdoctoral Fellow Princeton University with Professor M.F. Semmelhack
1979 - 1980 NIH Postdoctoral Fellow National Institutes of Health
1974 - 1979 Research Assistant Iowa State University with Professor T.J. Barton
1972 - 1974 Laboratory Technician Saint Agnes Hospital (Baltimore, Maryland)
1972 - 1974 Laboratory Technician 1st United States Army Medical Laboratory (Fort Meade, Maryland)
1972 Microwave radio repair United States Army Signal Corps (Fort Monmouth, New Jersey)
1971 Bachelor of Science University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
1968 - 1971 Research Assistant University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with Professor L.G. Schnack
Member American Chemical Society
Member Chemical Society (London)