Brian Keay

Professor Emeritus

Department of Chemistry


University of Waterloo, 1983

B.Sc. Hons. Co-op

University of Waterloo, 1979

Contact information

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Research and teaching

Research interests

Research interests include the development of new chiral ligands, catalysts, and reagents for asymmetric transformations.  These new transformations are used as the key step(s) towards the synthesis of natural products exhibiting interesting biological activity.  In particular, the asymmetric palladium-catalyzed polyene cyclization is being investigated.  This reaction forms two or more rings with the simultaneous creation of stereogenic centres.  Asymmetric Heck reactions are being studied using a variety of heterocycles.  New C2-symmetric heteroaromatic biaryls are being designed and synthesized which contain a variety of functional groups that can act as ligands with metals (Pd, Ni, Ti, etc.) and Lewis acids (B, Al, Zn, Sn, etc.).   Current synthetic targets include the halenaquinone, vridin, drimane sequiterpenes, chiral spiro 1,3-amino-alcohol systems, and 3,3'-disubstituted BINAP derivatives.