Dr. Robert Comito:
I am an organic and organometallic chemist, with a background in complex molecule and polymer synthesis. A native New Jersean, I attended college at Rutgers University. During these years I performed undergraduate research in organic chemistry, in the laboratory of Professor Spencer Knapp and at Merck through the Future Talent Program. For my PhD, I joined the laboratory of Professor David MacMillan at Princeton University, to research asymmetric catalysis and organic synthesis. My doctoral studies focused on stereoselective carbon-carbon bond forming reactions using organocatalysis and copper catalysis. These studies provided a selective method for the synthesis of asymmetrically substituted heterocycles and contributed to a collective total synthesis of the polypyrroloindoline natural products. After my PhD, I joined the laboratory of Professor Mircea Dincă at MIT, to study organometallic catalysis in metal-organic frameworks. Through this work, I prepared single-site heterogeneous catalysts for selective olefin oligomerization and polymerization. For my independent career, I will continue to apply catalysis toward problems in complex molecule and polymer synthesis.