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Scholarly Interest Report
Laszlo Kurti
Associate Professor
Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • B.A. Chemistry (1998) Lajos Kossuth University (now University of Debrecen), Debrecen, Hungary
  • Ph.D. Organic Chemistry (2006) University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • M.A. Organic Chemistry (2001) University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
Primary Department
   Department of Chemistry
 Laszlo Kurti Website
Research Areas
 The Kürti group focuses on the development of powerful new methods for the expedient enantioselective assembly of highly functionalized biaryls, heterocycles and carbocycles.

Research Statement


Synthetic organic chemistry is the critical foundation for the medical application of many complex organic molecules (i.e., natural products or drug molecules); it is the only way to produce these complex molecules in sufficient quantities for studies or clinical and commercial use. Moreover, synthetic chemistry enables the design and the preparation of novel drug molecules that can be used to study fundamental biological pathways or change the course of various diseases.

More than three quarters of known organic molecules and the overwhelming majority of currently used drug molecules contain heterocycles, yet the number of highly efficient methods to prepare these types of compounds is surprisingly low. I plan to address this deficiency in my research program, which will have a dual focus. On the one hand, my group will develop novel catalytic enantioselective transformations and apply these reactions for the rapid assembly of various heterocycles and carbocycles. Secondly, these hetero- and carbocyclic motifs are present in numerous natural products with potent biological activities, therefore we will have the opportunity to design and quickly prepare a large number of derivatives and screen them in a variety of assays to identify new drug leads. These newly developed methods will also allow the enantioselective preparation of other highly functionalized compounds that may be utilized for the catalysis of dozens of organic transformations.

My research program does not only seek to develop new and powerful transformations in organic chemistry and enable the synthesis of biologically relevant compounds to aid drug discovery, but it also provides an excellent platform for the education and training of both undergraduate and graduate students. The strongly interdisciplinary environment in the BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) at Rice University allows my research group to pursue these goals and find many opportunities for fruitful collaboration

Selected Publications
 Refereed articles

1. Padmanabha V. Kattamuri, Jun Yin, Surached Siriwongsup, Doo-Hyun Kwon, Daniel H. Ess*, Qun Li, Guigen Li*,, Muhammed Yousufuddin, Paul F. Richardson, Scott C. Sutton and Kürti, László "“Practical Singly and Doubly Electrophilic Aminating Agents: A New, More Sustainable Platform for Carbon-Nitrogen Bond-Formation." J. Am. Chem. Soc., 139 (2017) : 11184-11196.


Gao, H.; Zhou, Z.; Kwon, D.-H.; Coombs, J.; Jones, S.; Behnke N. E.; Ess, D. H.; Kürti, L. "Rapid Heteroatom-Transfer to Arylmetals Utilizing Multifunctional Reagents Scaffolds." Nature Chemistry, 9 (2017) : 681-688.


Ma, Z.; Zhou, Z. and Kürti, L. "Direct and Stereospecific Synthesis of N-H and N-Alkyl Aziridines from Unactivated Olefins Using Hydroxylamine O-Sulfonic Acids." Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 56 (2017) : 9986-9890.


Zhou Z.; Ma Z.; Behnke N.E.; Gao H.; Kurti, L. "Non-Deprotonative Primary and Secondary Amination of (Hetero)Arylmetals." Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139 (2017) : 115-118.


Gao, H.; Xu, Q.-L.; Keene, C.; Yousufuddin, M.; Ess, D. H.; Kürti, L. "Practical Organocatalytic Synthesis of Functionalized Non-C2-Symmetrical Atropisomeric Biaryls." Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 55 (2016) : 566-571.


Paudyal M.; Adebesin A.; Burt S.; Ess D.; Ma Z.; Kürti L.; Falck J. "Dirhodium-catalyzed C-H arene amination using hydroxylamines." SCIENCE, 353 (2016) : 1144-1147.


Wang J.-Z.; Zhou J.; Xu C.; Sun H.; Kürti L.; Xu Q.-L. "Symmetry in Cascade Chirality-Transfer Processes: A Catalytic Atroposelective Direct Arylation Approach to BINOL Derivatives." Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138 (2016) : 5202-5205.


Kürti, László "Streamlining Amine Synthesis." , 348 (2015) : 864-865.

 Invited Talks

"18th Tetrahedron Symposium (Keynote Speaker)." Budapest, Hungary. (June 27-30, 2017)


"18th Tetrahedron Symposium Asia Edition (Keynote Speaker)." Melbourne, Australia. (July 23-27, 2017)


"52nd Mexican Chemical Congress & 36th National Mexican Chemistry Education Congress (Plenary Lecturer)." Puerto Vallarta Jalisco, Mexico. (September 26-29, 2017)


"A*Star-ICES (Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences at the Biopolis)." Singapore. (January 11, 2017)


"Aalto University." Helsinki, Finland. (April 13, 2017)


"AbbVie (Medicinal Chemistry)." Chicago, IL. (February 24, 2017)


"Duke University." Durham, NC. (March 28, 2017)


"Emory University." Atlanta, GA. (February 15, 2017)


"ICIQ (The Institute of Chemical Research in Catalonia)." Tarragona, Spain. (April 18, 2017)


"Institute of Chemistry & Biomedical Sciences (ICBMS), Nanjing Univ." Nanjing, China. (July 13, 2017)


"Institute of Organic Chemistry RWTH Aachen University." Aachen, Germany. (April 21, 2017)


"International Symposium on Resource Chemistry (ISRC 2017)." Shanghai, China. (May 15-16, 2017)


"Max–Planck–Institut (MPI) für Kohlenforschung." Mülheim, Germany. (April 25, 2017)


"Merck Research Laboratories (Process Chemistry)." Rahway, NJ. (March 16, 2017)


"Nanyang Technological University." Singapore. (January 9, 2017)


"National University of Singapore." Singapore. (January 10, 2017)


"North Carolina State University." Raleigh, NC. (March 27, 2017)


"Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC)." Shanghai, China. (May 17, 2017)


"Shanghai Lilly (LCRDC)." Shanghai, China. (May 17, 2017)


"Southwestern Research Institute." San Antonio, TX. (October, 2017)


"Technical University of Berlin." Berlin, Germany. (May 2, 2017)


"University of Cologne." Cologne, Germany. (April 24, 2017)


"University of Leipzig." Leipzig, Germany. (May 3, 2017)


"University of Magdeburg." Magdeburg, Germany. (April 28, 2017)


"University of Marburg." Marburg, Germany. (April 20, 2017)


"University of Strasbourg, Institute of Chemistry CNRS." Strasbourg, France. (May 5, 2017)


"University of Göttingen." Göttingen, Germany. (April 27, 2017)


"University of Münster." Münster, Germany. (April 26, 2017)


"23rd IUPAC Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry." Sydney, Australia. (07/03/2016-07/08/2016)


"ACS Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference." Portland, OR. (06/14/2016- 06/16/2016)


"Bristol-Myers-Squibb (BMS) Symposium at the University of Michigan." Ann Arbor, MI. (05/31/2016)


"International Symposium on Resource Chemistry." International Joint Laboratory of Resource Chemistry, Shanghai, China. (01/14/2016- 01/15/2016)


"The 3rd International Symposium on Natural Product Synthesis and Innovative Process Methods (NPSPM) for Drug Manufacture." Peking University, Beijing, China. (10/14/2016-10/16/2016)


10th International Congress of Pharmaceutical Sciences (CIFARP; http://www.cifarp.com.br) – Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, September 5-9, 2015 (Host: Prof. Flavio da Silva Emery)


50th Anniversary Symposium of the Dept of Chem at the Center for Advanced Studies and Research of the National Polytechnic Institute (Cinvestav) – Mexico City, Mexico, September, 2015 (Host: Prof. J.A.L. Montelongo)


Blue Danube Conference on Heterocyclic Chemistry – Balatonalmádi, Hungary, June 14-18, 2015


Blue Danube Conference on Heterocyclic Chemistry – Balatonalmádi, Hungary, June 14-18, 2015


Heterocyclic Chemistry Gordon Conference – Salve Regina University, RI, June 21-25, 2015


Nanjing University – Nanjing, China, August 3, 2015 (Host: Prof. Guigen Li)


PACIFICHEM – Applications of C-H Functionalization – Honolulu, HI, December 15-19, 2015 (Organizers: Profs. P. Vachal, Zhang-Jie Shi, Chao-Jun Li, Huw Davies, Kenichiro Itami, Helen Lebel)


PACIFICHEM – Organocatalysis Symposium – Honolulu, HI, December 15-19, 2015 (Organizers: Profs. M. Terada & J. Antilla)


Shanghai Normal University – Shanghai, China, July 30, 2015 (Host: Prof. Hexing Li)


Wuxi Apptec – Wuhan, China, August 4, 2015 (Host: Dr. Rongfeng Gao)

 Seminar Speaker

"Australian National University (ANU)." Canberra, Australia. (07/01/2016)


"Eötvös Lóránd University (ELTE) Seminar." Budapest, Hungary. (07/18/2016)


"Monash University Seminar." Melbourne, Australia. (06/29/2016)


"Nanjing Tech University Seminar." Nanjing, China. (12/14/2016)


"Nanjing University Seminar." Nanjing, China. (07/21/2016)


"Novel Direct Arylation and Amination Reactions." University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ. (09/01/2016)


"Novel Direct Arylation and Amination Reactions: Rapid Synthesis of Functionalized Biaryls, Arylamines and Heterocycles." University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. (08/26/2016)


"Oregon State University Seminar." Corvallis, OR. (05/12/2016)


"Practical Direct Electrophilic Amination of Olefins and Aromatic Systems." Texas State University, San Marcos, TX. (11/21/2016)

Editorial Positions
 Other, Science. (2016 - 2016)

 Other, Organic Letters. (2016 - 2016)

 Other, Nature Communications. (2016 - 2016)

 Other, Nature Chemistry. (2016 - 2016)

 Other, Angewandte Chemie. (2016 - 2016)

 Other, Journal of Organic Chemistry (JOC). (2016 - 2016)

 Other, John Wiley & Sons. (2016 - 2016)

 Other, Elsevier Science. (2016 - 2016)

 Other, Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). (2016 - 2016)

Awards, Prizes, & Fellowships
 NSF CAREER Award, NSF (2015-2020)

 Biotage Young Principle Investigator Award, Biotage