Shuming Chen

  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Areas of Study


  • BA, Grinnell College, 2011
  • PhD, Yale University, 2016

Modern computational chemistry has enabled chemists to obtain atomic-level insights, especially reactive intermediates, and transition state structures that are difficult to study by other means. Our lab seeks to generate fundamental mechanistic understanding, and use it to design new chemical reagents with improved efficacy and selectivity. 

Gao, L.; Su, C.; Du, X.; Wang, R.; Chen, S.; Zhou, Y.; Liu, C.; Tian, R.; Xie, K.; Chen, S.; Guo, Q.; Guo, L.; Hano, Y.; Shimazaki, M.; Minami, A.; Oikawa, H.; Huang, N.; Houk, K. N.; Huang, L.; Dai, J.; Lei, X. ‘‘FAD-Dependent Enzyme-Catalysed Intermolecular [4+2] Cycloaddition in Natural Product Biosynthesis.’’ Nat. Chem. In Press.

Zhou, Z.*; Chen, S.*; Hong, Y.; Winterling, E.; Tan, Y.; Hemming, M.; Harms, K.; Houk, K. N.; Meggers, E. ‘‘Non-C2-Symmetric Chiral-at-Ruthenium Catalyst for Highly Efficient Enantioselective Intramolecular C(sp3)–H Amidation.’’ J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 19048. 

Chen, S.; Chan, A. Y.; Walker, M. M.; Ellman, J. A.; Houk, K. N. ‘‘π–Facial Selectivities in Hydride Reductions of Hindered Endocyclic Iminium Ions.’’ J. Org. Chem. 2019, 84, 273.

Chen, S.; Yu, P.; Houk, K. N. ‘‘Ambimodal Dipolar/Diels–Alder Cycloaddition Transition States Involving Proton Transfers.’’ J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 18124.

Chen, S.; Zheng, Y.; Cui, T.; Meggers, E.; Houk, K. N. ‘‘Arylketone π–Conjugation Controls Enantioselectivity in Asymmetric Alkynylations Catalyzed by Centrochiral Ruthenium Complexes.’’ J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 5146.

Chen, S.; Bacauanu, V.; Knecht, T.; Mercado, B. Q.; Bergman, R. G.; Ellman, J. A. ‘‘New Regio- and Stereoselective Cascades via Unstabilized Azomethine Ylide Cycloadditions for the Synthesis of Highly Substituted Tropane and Indolizidine Frameworks.’’ J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 12664

Duttwyler, S.; Chen, S.; Takase, M. K.; Wiberg, K. B.; Bergman, R. G.; Ellman, J. A. ‘‘Proton Acidity Controls Selectivity in Nonaromatic Nitrogen Heterocycle Synthesis.’’ Science 2013, 339, 678

Fall 2021

Structure and Reactivity in Chemistry — CHEM 101

Spring 2022

Principles of Organic Chemistry — CHEM 205


Shuming Chen publishes two research articles with Anthony Gao '21

August 20, 2021

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shuming Chen and Anthony Gao '21 published two research articles on transition-metal catalysis: "Mechanism and Selectivities in Ru-Catalyzed Anti-Markovnikov Formal Hydroalkylation of 1,3-Dienes and Enynes: A Computational Study" in the Journal of Organic Chemistry; and "Catalytic α-Deracemization of Ketones Enabled by Photoredox Deprotonation and Enantioselective Protonation" in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The latter work was published in collaboration with Professor Eric Meggers' research group at the University of Marburg, Germany.