Shuming Chen

  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Areas of Study

Education

  • 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. 

Oberlin undergraduate student coauthors are underlined:

• Ji, P.; Davies, C. C.; Gao, F.; Chen, J.; Meng, X.; Houk, K. N.*; Chen, S.*; Wang, W.* Selective Skeletal Editing of Polycyclic Arenes Using Organophotoredox Dearomative Functionalization. Nat. Comm.2022, 13, 4565.

• Han, F.; Choi, P. H.; Ye, C.-X.; Grell, Y.; Xie, X.; Ivlev, S. I.; Chen, S.*; Meggers, E.* Cyclometalated Chiral-at-Ruthenium Catalyst for Enantioselective Ring-Closing C(sp3)–H Carbene Insertion to Access Chiral Flavanones. ACS Catal. 2022, 12, 10304.

• Kazerouni, A. M.; Brandes, D. S.; Davies, C. C.; Cotter, L. F.; Mayer, J. M.*; Chen, S.*; Ellman, J. A.* Visible Light-Mediated, Highly Diastereoselective Epimerization of Lactams from the Most Accessible to the More Stable Stereoisomer. ACS Catal.2022, 12, 7798.

• Lv, L.*; Qian, H.; Crowell, A. B.; Chen, S.*; Li, Z*. Pd/NHC-Controlled Regiodivergent Defluorinative Allylation of gem-Difluorocyclopropanes with Allylboronates. ACS Catal. 2022, 12, 6495.

Gao, A. Z.; Chen, S.* Mechanism and Selectivities in Ru-Catalyzed Anti-Markovnikov Formal Hydroalkylation of 1,3-Dienes and Enynes: A Computational Study. J. Org. Chem. 2021, 86, 11895.

• Zhang, C.; Gao, A. Z.; Nie, X.; Ye, C.-X.; Ivlev, S. I.; Chen, S.*; Meggers, E.* Catalytic α-Deracemization of Ketones Enabled by Photoredox Deprotonation and Enantioselective Protonation. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2021, 143, 13393.

Notes

Shuming Chen Coauthored Articles Published

January 31, 2024

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shuming Chen has recently published two new articles along with Oberlin student coauthors. "Ni-Catalyzed 1,1- and 1,3-Aminoboration of Unactivated Alkenes" has appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society with coauthors including Gabriel Negrao de Morais ’25 and collaborators at Indiana University. "C5 methylation confers accessibility, stability and selectivity to picrotoxinin" was published in Nature Communications with coauthors including Anna Crowell ’23 and collaborators from Scripps Research and Corteva Agriscience.

Shuming Chen Recent Coauthored Articles Published

December 6, 2023

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shuming Chen has recently published three articles with Oberlin student coauthors. “Chemoselective Quinoline and Isoquinoline Reduction by Energy Transfer Catalysis Enabled Hydrogen Atom Transfer” was published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition with Kyogo Nagashima ’24 and collaborators from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. “Pd/IPrBIDEA-Catalyzed Hydrodefluorination of gem-Difluorocyclopropanes: Regioselective Synthesis of Terminal Fluoroalkenes,” appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society with Zachary Cheng ’25 and collaborators from Renmin University of China. Most recently, “Nitrene-Mediated Enantioselective Intramolecular Olefin Oxyamination to Access Chiral γ-Aminomethyl-γ-Lactones,” was published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. with Clayton Ritter ’23 and collaborators in Marburg, Germany.

Shuming Chen Recent Papers Published

May 23, 2023

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shuming Chen has recently published two papers. "Expedited synthesis of α-amino acids by single-step enantioselective α-amination of carboxylic acids" appeared in Nature Synthesis. Coauthors include Drew Dansby ’24 and collaborators from Marburg, Germany.  "Chemo-, Stereo- and Regioselective Fluoroallylation/Annulation of Hydrazones with gem-Difluorocyclopropanes via Tunable Palladium/NHC Catalysis" was published in Angewandte Chemie. Coauthors on this article include Hieu Nguyen ’25 and collaborators from Renmin University of China.

 

Shuming Chen Awarded Grant from the American Chemical Society

November 16, 2022

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shuming Chen has been awarded a $55,000 grant by the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for her project, "Probing Complex Post-Transition State Bifurcations in Reactions Between Boroles and Unsaturated Hydrocarbons". Professor Chen and her undergraduate research students will use both experimental and computational approaches to study mechanisms in this family of organic reactions.

Shuming Chen publishes Article in ACS Catalysis

September 7, 2022

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shuming Chen recently published an article in ACS Catalysis, "Cyclometalated Chiral-at-Ruthenium Catalyst for Enantioselective Ring-Closing C(sp3)–H Carbene Insertion to Access Chiral Flavanones." Co-authors include Peter Choi '23 and collaborators in Marburg, Germany.

Shuming Chen Paper Published in "Nature Communications"

August 16, 2022

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shuming Chen recently published a paper in Nature Communications, "Selective skeletal editing of polycyclic arenes using organophotoredox dearomative functionalization." Co-authors on the article include Cassie Davies ’24 and collaborators from UCLA and the University of Arizona.

Shuming Chen Co-Authors Research in 'Nature Chemistry' Journal

April 7, 2022

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shuming Chen co-authored a research article in Nature Chemistry with Professor Eric Meggers' research group at the University of Marburg, Germany. This collaborative experimental and computational study reveals that non-covalent interactions, such as π–π stacking, hold the key to stereocontrol (control over three-dimensional shapes of molecules) in a novel synthesis of chiral α-amino acids catalyzed by ruthenium and iron complexes.

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.