Biographical Sketch


B.A. Chemistry, Carleton College, 1988
Ph.D. Chemistry, Stanford University, 1993
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 1993-1995

Academic Positions
Assistant Professor, McGill University, 1995-2001
Associate Professor, McGill University, 2001-2009
Dawson Scholar, McGill University, 2005-present
Full Professor, McGill University, 2010-present

Bruce Arndtsen was born in Minnesota in 1966.  He did his undergraduate studies at Carleton College (B.A. in Chemistry, 1988).  He received a Ph.D. in Chemistry (1993) at Stanford University, under the direction of Prof. Lisa McElwee-White.  His thesis research probed the synthesis and reactivity of low valent metal-nitrene complexes.  He was a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Robert Bergman at the University of California, Berkeley from 1993-1995, working in the area of iridium mediated alkane C-H bond activation.  In 1995, he accepted his faculty position at McGill University, was promoted to associate professor in 2001 followed by full professor in 2010, and in 2005 was named a Dawson Scholar at McGill University.

Research in his group focuses on the discovery and mechanistic understanding of new approaches to chemical synthesis by transition metal catalysis.  Their work has demonstrated that transition metal-based reactions can be used to design efficient, one step syntheses of a range of important core structures directly from available building blocks, as an alternative to classic multistep protocols.  His group has also developed the general concept of using ion pairing with chiral anions as an alternative to chiral ligands in asymmetric transition metal catalysis.  In addition, they have shown that a-amino acids and peptides can be synthesized by metal catalysis directly from simple imines and carbon monoxide, and developed mechanistic insights into each of these metal catalyzed processes. 

Professor Arndtsen is the recipient of a DuPont Aid in Education Award (2000), and one of only a handful in Canada to be awarded an NSERC Accelerator Grant for Exceptional New Opportunities (2004).  He was his department’s nominee for a Leo Yaffe Teaching award in 1998, and in 2005 was named a William Dawson Scholar at McGill University (a Canadian Research Chair equivalent, Tier II).