The study of organometallic chemistry, an area that bridges inorganic and organic disciplines, has found remarkable utility in many diverse applications. Organometallic compounds themselves, which consist of metals bonded to organic groups, can teach us a great deal about fundamental bonding properties. The effect that binding an organic group to a metal has on that organic fragment’s reactivity can be exploited in developing new catalysts for organic reactions. When it is difficult to study the reaction of a molecule on a metal surface in a heterogeneous catalyst system, it may be possible to infer how the reaction is taking place by studying suitably designed organometallic compounds as models. In our group, we try to take advantage of many of these properties of organometallic systems to study fundamental reaction chemistry, to design novel catalyst systems, and to use organometallic compounds as precursors to more complex materials. The following are highlights of some of our research areas.

Breaking B-H, C-H, N-H, and O-H Bonds with Iridium

In many commercial catalyst systems, the addition of H2 to a metal followed by transfer to an unsaturated organic molecule is an important step. It would be a powerful addition to the arsenal of chemical reactions if catalysts could be developed that could add not only H-H but also B-H, C-H, N-H, and O-H to organic unsaturates. We have been exploring the fundamental chemistry of iridium with the goal of developing such catalysts. The first step toward realizing this goal was to find suitable iridium complexes that could add these bonds. In every case, we have demonstrated that we could indeed carry out such additions with the example of a C-H addition shown below.

Click HERE to view the crystal structure of the product.

The next step in this process is to find out what unusual chemistry the B, C, N, and O groups will have when bonded to the iridium. We are just scratching the surface of this work, but the potential for new and exciting chemistry is shown by the further reaction of the furan iridium complex.

Click HERE to view the crystal structure of the product.

A very exciting feature of this reaction is that an insertion into a metal-carbon bond has taken place in preference to insertion into a metal-hydrogen bond.

Metal Amino Acid Chemistry

Professor of Chemistry and Faculty of Health Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Education: Ph.D MIT ’78, B.S. Carnegie-Mellon ’74.

Teaching Philosophy

In 1978, fresh from a Ph.D. program in Chemistry, I joined the research laboratories at Exxon Research and Engineering Company in New Jersey. The facilities were great, the people were wonderful and the resources were what you would expect from the largest company in the world. My chemical research went extremely well and I developed a sound reputation as a researcher in catalyst chemistry. But, over nine years, there was something very much lacking and it was something that I could not easily define nor exactly articulate. Finally, that lacking solidified and I came to realize that a desire to be a teacher, especially of young minds, was strong and very much unfulfilled. I embarked upon a search for an academic position that would allow me to continue my chemical research but would also allow me be a teacher. So, in 1987, I joined the faculty of the department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech.

So, when I joined Virginia Tech, my teaching philosophy was a fairly clinical one born from shaping messages to managers: understand the level of the student and present a message that can be clearly understood by that group. Then, with each new semester, each new class, each new student, there were new things to learn and new experiences to be had. Over the course of time at Virginia Tech, I tried new things, some of which worked and some of which were abysmal failures. But the same drive that drew me to the university, also drew me to continue to experiment and push the boundaries. I was an early adopter of a lot of different technologies in the classroom as part of my search to find the best way to shape those young minds entrusted to me. I learned that technology is a useful tool, but still only a tool, not a great thing in and of itself. PowerPoint was a wonderful way of organizing and presenting information. It was also a great way to overload the students and cover material way too fast for student comprehension. In all these endeavors, I learned and shared what I learned through presentations and publications. I was honored that one of these publication was chosen by Microsoft and placed on a DVD of best practices at that time.

What I would call my purely clinical view of teaching took a very different turn after my own children (4 of them) became of college age beginning about ten years ago. All of them went to different schools so I saw things from a very different and, frankly, a very visceral point of view. My philosophy, while developing in an evolutionary way over my first 15 years, took a revolutionary leap: teach your students as you would want your own children to be taught. That involves a lot more than just delivering a “clear message”. It brings in the need to be patient, to try and understand all of the things that may be going on in the student’s life. It is easy to believe that the “good students” will get the material and for those who don’t, well, they clearly didn’t have what it takes. It involves trying as much as possible to work with individual students, to find their needs and to work with the student to address them. This is not easy to do with classes of 200-500 students and it requires a large time commitment outside the lecture hall, but it IS possible. When I viewed the students as I would want my own children to be viewed, then things “clicked”. The time spent outside of the classroom was not a bother, but a real joy. Counseling sessions with the students who performed poorly on exams was no longer a perfunctory email telling them to get into shape, but times to get to know my students at a deeper level, often being able to construct successful strategies for them to succeed.

Even though I have been at it for over twenty-five years now my philosophy of teaching is still evolving. If I were to be so lucky (and so unusual) as to be teaching twenty-five years from now, maybe by then, I will have gotten it (almost) right.

References

I am very much a technology geek, but I also recognize that technology is just another tool to be used and it is not the panacea that will solve all problems associated with teaching and learning. In fact, when used poorly or improperly, technology can be a huge barrier to effective teaching. A little over ten years ago, about ten years into my teaching career, I was an early adopter of the internet and the web. Those activities seem extremely primitive by today’s standards, but for the time they were on the cutting edge and the lessons learned are still applicable today. If you are interested in reading about those “archaic” uses of technology, you can visit the Technology Source Archives at:  http://horizon.unc.edu/projects/monograph/CD/Science_Mathematics/Merola.html

This article was included in a special CD distributed by Microsoft entitled “Technology Tools for Today’s Campuses”. The CD is out of print, but the contents can be found here: http://horizon.unc.edu/projects/monograph/CD/
My specific article is at: http://horizon.unc.edu/projects/monograph/CD/Science_Mathematics/Merola.asp

An important dimension of teaching that all scientists should embrace is communicating science to the general public so that the “mystery” shrouding scientific research is dispelled. To that end, I have made myself available to answer questions of a chemical nature for broad audiences. For Scientific American “Ask the Experts”, I have contributed the following four articles:

Since 1997, I have been a regular, invited contributor to the AAAS Radio Program “Science Update”. Over this period, I have had 24 different interviews that have aired on this nationally syndicated program. For sample contributions, see the following:

You can listen to the program by clicking on the “listen” button. In many of the programs the narrator refers to me as their “favorite chemist.”

Dr. Joseph Merola's Google Scholar:
https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=lfugPyUAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Top Publications

Hobart, D.B.; Patel, V.G.; Pendergrass, H.; Florio, J.; Merola, J.S. Self-assembly motifs of water in crystals of palladium β-amino acid complexes influenced by methyl substitution on the amino acid backbone. Crystals 2019, 9, 1–12. DOI: 10.3390/cryst9110590

DuChane, C.M.; Karpin, G.W.; Ehrich, M.; Falkinham, J.O.; Merola, J.S. Iridium piano stool complexes with activity against S. aureus and MRSA: it is past time to truly think outside of the box. Medchemcomm 2019, 10, 1391–1398.  DOI:  10.1039/C9MD00140A

DuChane, C. M., Brown, L. C., Dozier, V. S., & Merola, J. S. (2017). Synthesis, Characterization, and Antimicrobial Activity of Rh III and Ir III β-Diketonato Piano-Stool Compounds. Organometallics, acs.organomet.7b00742. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.organomet.7b00742

Brown, L. C.; Ressegue, E.; Merola, J. S. Rapid Access to Derivatized, Dimeric, Ring-Substituted Dichloro(cyclopentadienyl)rhodium(III) and Iridium(III) Complexes. Organometallics 2016, 35, 4014–4022.

Ladipo, F. T.; Merola, J. S. Addition of N-H Bonds to Iridium: Synthesis and Characterization of N-Ir-H Complexes and the Observation That an Iridium N-Bonded Indole Ring Becomes Activated for Michael Addition to Alkynes. Polyhedron 2015, 90.

Morris, D.M.; McGeagh, M.; De Pena, D.; Merola, J.S. Extending the range of pentasubstituted cyclopentadienyl compounds: The synthesis of a series of tetramethyl(alkyl or aryl)cyclopentadienes (Cp*(R)), their iridium complexes and their catalytic activity for asymmetric transfer hydrogenation. Polyhedron 2014, 84, 120-135.  (Invited paper for special edition in honor of John Bercaw.)

Hobart, D. B., Jr.; Berg, M. A. G.; Merola, J. S. Bis-glycinato complexes of palladium(II): Synthesis, structural determination, and hydrogen bonding interactions. Inorg. Chim. Acta 2014, 423, 21-30.

Merola, J. S.; Knorr, J. R., Synthesis and reaction chemistry of boryliridium hydride complexes formed by oxidative addition of catecholborane to iridium(I): Lessons for metal-catalyzed hydroboration. J. Organomet. Chem. 2014, 750, 86-97.

Merola, J. S.; Franks, M. A., The basicity of [tris-(trimethylphosphine) (cyclooctadiene)iridium(I)]. J. Organomet. Chem. 2013, 723, 49-55.

Karpin, G. W.; Merola, J. S.; Falkinham, J. O., Transition metal-α-amino acid complexes with antibiotic activity against Mycobacterium spp. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2013, 57 (7), 3434-3436.

Merola, J. S.; Husebo, T. L.; Selnau, H. E., Dinuclear iridium complexes with unsupported Ir-Cl-Ir bridges. Inorg. Chim. Acta 2012, 390, 33-36.

Merola, J. S.; Husebo, T. L.; Matthews, K. E., Aqueous Organometallic Chemistry of mer-Ir(H)2(PMe3)3X Complexes. Organometallics 2012, 31 (10), 3920-3929.

Grieb, A. L.; Merola, J. S., Reactions of [Ir(COD)(PMe3)3]Cl with heteroaromatic compounds: Formation of an iridathiacycle, an iridaselenacycle and iridaazathiacycles. J. Organomet. Chem. 2012, 713, 163-168.

Berg, M. A. G.; Ritchie, M. K.; Merola, J. S., Synthesis and crystal structures of 3-alkyl-2,4-pentanedionates and 3-phenyl-2,4-pentanedionate of palladium. Polyhedron 2012, 38 (1), 126-130.

Roy, C. P.; Huff, L. A.; Barker, N. A.; Berg, M. A. G.; Merola, J. S., Iridium(III) hydrido amino acid compounds: Chiral complexes and a helical extended lattice. J. Organomet. Chem. 2006, 691 (10), 2270-2276.

Selnau, H. E.; Merola, J. S., Reactions of iridium complex [Ir(COD)(PMe3)3]Cl with benzene, pyridine, furan, and thiophene: carbon-hydrogen cleavage vs. ring opening. Organometallics 1993, 12 (5), 1583-91.

Selnau, H. E.; Merola, J. S., The chemistry of iridium hydride mer-(Me3P)3Ir(H) (2-furyl)(Cl): preferential reaction of an alkyne with an iridium-carbon bond in the presence of an iridium-hydrogen bond. Organometallics 1993, 12 (10), 3800-1.

Le, T. X.; Merola, J. S., Synthesis and reaction chemistry of water-soluble mer- (Me3P)3Ir(H)(H)Cl: activation by water of alkyne insertion into an iridium-hydrogen bond. Organometallics 1993, 12 (10), 3798-9.

Ladipo, F. T.; Merola, J. S., Synthesis, structural characterization, and reactivity of the (η2-benzoato)iridium(III) hydride complex [mer-(Me3P)3Ir(η2– O2CC6H5)(H)][PF6]. Inorg. Chem. 1993, 32 (23), 5201-5.

Ladipo, F. T.; Kooti, M.; Merola, J. S., Oxidative addition of oxygen-hydrogen bonds to iridium(I): synthesis and characterization of (phenolato)- and (carboxylato)iridium(III) hydride complexes. Inorg. Chem. 1993, 32 (9), 1681-8.

Frazier, J. F.; Merola, J. S., Synthesis and structure of five-coordinate tris- phosphine cyclooctadiene iridium complexes. Polyhedron 1992, 11 (22), 2917-27.

Selnau, H. E.; Merola, J. S., Coupling of a vinyl ligand and a vinylidene ligand at an iridium center: generation of an unusual iridium(III) butadienyl complex stabilized by a δ-agostic C-H-Ir interaction. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1991, 113 (10), 4008-9.

Arhancet, J. P.; Davis, M. E.; Merola, J. S.; Hanson, B. E., Supported aqueous- phase catalysts. J. Catal. 1990, 121 (2), 327-39.

Merola, J. S.; Kacmarcik, R. T., Synthesis and reaction chemistry of (η5– indenyl)(cyclooctadiene)iridium: migration of indenyl from iridium to cyclooctadiene. Organometallics 1989, 8 (3), 778-84.

Merola, J. S.; Kacmarcik, R. T.; Van Engen, D., The η5 to η3 conversion in indenyliridium complexes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1986, 108 (2), 329-31.


Refereed Publications

Since joining Virginia Tech as Faculty

Hobart; Merola; Rogers; Saghal; Mitchell; Florio; Merola Synthesis, Structure, and Catalytic Reactivity of Pd(II) Complexes of Proline and Proline Homologs. Catalysts 2019, 9, 515.

DuChane, C.M.; Brown, L.C.; Dozier, V.S.; Merola, J.S. Synthesis, Characterization, and Antimicrobial Activity of Rh III and Ir III β-Diketonato Piano-Stool Compounds. Organometallics 2018, 37, 530–538.

Brown, L.; Marron, D.; Smith, C.; Merola, J. Crystal structure of the tetramethyl(phenethyl)cyclopentadienylmolybdenumtri-carbonyl dimer. Acta Crystallogr. Sect. E Crystallogr. Commun. 2018, 74, 1017–1020.

Brown, L.C.; DuChane, C.M.; Merola, J.S. Merola Trichloridotris(tetrahydrothiophene-κ S )iridium(III): preparation and comparison with other mer -trichloridotris(tetrahydrothiophene-κ S )metal complexes. Acta Crystallogr. Sect. E Crystallogr. Commun. 2016, 72, 1305–1309.

Morris, D. M.; Merola, J. S.; Parkin, S. Serendipitous Preparation of Fac-(Acetonitrile-κN) trichlorido[(1,2,5,6-G)-Cycloocta-1,5-Diene]-iridium(III). Acta Crystallogr. Sect. E Struct. Reports Online 2015, 71.

Karpin, G. W.; Morris, D. M.; Ngo, M. T.; Merola, J. S.; Falkinham Iii, J. O. Transition Metal Diamine Complexes with Antimicrobial Activity against Staphylococcus Aureus and Methicillin-Resistant S. Aureus (MRSA). Medchemcomm 2015, 6.

Merola, J. S.; Franks, M. A.; Parkin, S. Crystal Structures of Fac-Trichloridotris(trimethyl-Phosphane-κP)rhodium(III) Monohydrate and Fac-Trichloridotris(trimethylphosphane-κP)rhodium(III) Methanol Hemisolvate: Rhodium Structures That Are Isotypic with Their Iridium Analogs. Acta Crystallogr. Sect. E Struct. Reports Online 2015, 71.

Merola, J. S.; Slebodnick, C.; Houser, C. Crystal Structure of Di-μ-Chlorido-Bis[dichloridobis(methanol-κO)iridium(III)] Dihydrate: A Surprisingly Simple chloridoiridium(III) Dinuclear Complex with Methanol Ligands. Acta Crystallogr. Sect. E Crystallogr. Commun. 2015, 71.

Morris, D.M.; McGeagh, M.; De Peña, D.; Merola, J.S. Extending the range of pentasubstituted cyclopentadienyl compounds: The synthesis of a series of tetramethyl(alkyl or aryl)cyclopentadienes (Cp∗R), their iridium complexes and their catalytic activity for asymmetric transfer hydrogenation. Polyhedron 2014, 84, 120–135.

Berg, M. A.; Davidson, J.; Merola, J. S., Trimethylphosphonium trans-tetrachloridobis(trimethylphosphane-κP)iridate(III). Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Struct. Rep. Online 2014, 70 (3), m103.

Merola, J.; Husebo, T. L., μ-Oxido-bis[hydridotris(trimethylphosphane-κP)iridium(III)](Ir-Ir) bis(tetrafluoridoborate) dihydrate. Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Struct. Rep. Online 2014, 70 (4), m122-m123.

Merola, J. S.; Roy, C. P., Reaction between [Ir(COD)(PMe3)3]Cl and 2-aminopent-4-enoic acid: Tridentate N, O and C bonding. J. Organomet. Chem. 2014, 757, 51-56.

Merola, J. S.; Slebodnick, C.; Berg, M.; Ritchie, M. K., mer-Hydridotris(trimethylphosphane-κP)(d-valinato-κ2 N,O)iridium hexafluoridophosphate dichloromethane 0.675-solvate. Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Struct. Rep. Online 2014, 70 (3), m82.

Merola, J. S.; Ladipo, F. T., Alkyne reactions with trimethylphosphine complexes of iridium: Lessons for the catalysis of vinyl ester formation and alkyne dimerization. Polyhedron 2014, 70, 125-132.

Merola, J. S.; Roy, C. P., Hydrido(prolinato-κ2 N,O)tris(trimethylphosphane-κP)iridium(III) hexafluoridophosphate. Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Struct. Rep. Online 2014, 70 (2), m73-m74.

Merola, J. S., N 1,N 2-Dimethylethane-1,2-diaminium dichloride. Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Struct. Rep. Online 2014, 70 (2), o216.

Merola, J.S.; Grieb, A.W. Crystal structure of chlorido(η2-phenyl isothiocyanate-κ2 C,S)-mer-tris(trimethylphosphane-κP)iridium(I). Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E Struct. Rep. Online 2014, 70, 352–354.

Roy, C. P.; Boyer, P. M.; Merola, J. S., Aquabis(4-methylbenzenesulfonato-κO) (η5-pentamethylcyclopentadienyl)rhodium(III) monohydrate. Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Struct. Rep. Online 2013, 69 (5), m259-m260.

Merola, J. S.; Ngo, M.; Karpin, G. W., Bis[bis(pentamethylcyclopentadienyl)cobalt(III)] tetrachloridocobaltate(II) dichloromethane disolvate. Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Struct. Rep. Online 2013, 69 (9), m504.

Merola, J. S.; Morris, D.; De Weerd, N., Di-μ2-chlorido-bis[chlorido(η5-2,3,4,5- tetramethyl-1-propylcyclopentadienyl)iridium(III)]. Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Struct. Rep. Online 2013, 69 (3), m176.

Merola, J. S.; Franks, M. A.; Frazier, J. F., Synthesis, reactivity and crystal structures of various solvates of fac-tris(trimethylphosphine)trichloroiridium. Polyhedron 2013, 54, 67-73.

Merola, J. S., Bis(η2-ethylene)(η5-indenyl)iridium(I). Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Struct. Rep. Online 2013, 69 (10), m547.

Hobart, D. B., Jr.; Merola, J. S., (S)-α-Benzyl-prolinium cis-[(S)-α-benzyl- prolinato]dichloridopalladium(II). Acta Crystallogr Sect E Struct Rep Online 2013, 69 (Pt 5), m261-2.

Hobart, D. B., Jr.; Merola, J. S., (2S,4R)-4-Fluoropyrrolidinium-2-carboxylate. Acta Crystallogr., Sect. E: Struct. Rep. Online 2012, 68 (8), o2490.

Gibson, H. W.; Wang, H.; Slebodnick, C.; Merola, J.; Kassel, W. S.; Rheingold, A. L., Isomeric 2,6-Pyridino-Cryptands Based on Dibenzo-24-crown-8. J. Org. Chem. 2007, 72 (9), 3381-3393.

Gibson, H. W.; Berg, M. A. G.; Dickson, J. C.; Lecavalier, P. R.; Wang, H.; Merola, J. S., Diastereomeric Reissert compounds of isoquinoline and 6,7- dimethoxy-3,4-dihydroisoquinoline in stereoselective synthesis. J Org Chem 2007, 72 (15), 5759-70.

Williams, R. B.; Norris, A.; Slebodnick, C.; Merola, J.; Miller, J. S.; Andriantsiferana, R.; Rasamison, V. E.; Kingston, D. G. I., Cytotoxic Sesquiterpene Lactones from Vernonia pachyclada from the Madagascar Rainforest. J. Nat. Prod. 2005, 68 (9), 1371-1374.

Tyree, W. S.; Slebodnick, C.; Spencer, M. C.; Wang, G.; Merola, J. S.; Yee, G. T., Structure-property correlations in a family of decamethylmetallocenium charge- transfer salt magnets using dialkyl dicyanofumarates as the one-electron acceptors: Ferromagnetism versus metamagnetism. Polyhedron 2005, 24 (16-17), 2133-2140.

Dandekar, S. A.; Greenwood, S. N.; Greenwood, T. D.; Mabic, S.; Merola, J. S.; Tanko, J. M.; Wolfe, J. F., Synthesis of succinimido[3,4-b]indane and 1,2,3,4,5,6- hexahydro-1,5-methano-3-benzazocine-2,4-dione by sequential alkylation and intramolecular arylation of enolates derived from N,N,N’,N-tetramethylbutanediamides and N,N,N’,N’-tetramethylpentanediamides. J. Org. Chem. 1999, 64 (5), 1543-1553.

Bryant, W. S.; Guzei, I. A.; Rheingold, A. L.; Merola, J. S.; Gibson, H. W., A Study of the Complexation of Bis(m-Phenylene) Crown Ethers and Secondary Ammonium Ions. J. Org. Chem. 1998, 63 (22), 7634-7639.

Merola, J. S., Organic chemistry at an iridium center: unusual bond-making and bond-breaking reactions. Curr. Org. Chem. 1997, 1 (3), 235-248.

Kooti, M.; Merola, J. S., Synthesis and characterization of aminocarboxylate iridium(III) complexes. Iran. J. Chem. Chem. Eng. 1997, 16 (1), 4-7.

Nagvekar, D. S.; Delaviz, Y.; Prasad, A.; Merola, J. S.; Marand, H.; Gibson, H. W., Synthesis and Properties of Cholesteryl Esters Bearing 32- and 16-Membered Crown Ethers. J. Org. Chem. 1996, 61 (4), 1211-18.

Boyer, P. M.; Roy, C. P.; Bielski, J. M.; Merola, J. S., Pentamethylcyclopentadienylrhodium bis-carboxylates: monohapto carboxylate coordination, dihapto carboxylate coordination, and water coordination to CpRh. Inorg. Chim. Acta 1996, 245 (1), 7-15.

Merola, J. S.; Husebo, T. L.; Matthews, K. E.; Franks, M. A.; Pafford, R.; Chirik, P., Aqueous chemistry and catalytic activity of organometallic iridium complexes. NATO ASI Ser., Ser. 3 1995, 5 (Aqueous Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis), 33-45.

Hudlicky, T.; Butora, G.; Fearnley, S. P.; Gum, A. G.; Persichini, P. J., III; Stabile, M. R.; Merola, J. S., Intramolecular Diels-Alder reactions of the furan diene (IMDAF); rapid construction of highly functionalized isoquinoline skeletons. J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1 1995,  (19), 2393-8.

Delaviz, Y.; Merola, J. S.; Berg, M. A. G.; Gibson, H. W., Syntheses, X-ray Structures, Complexation and Thermal Stability Studies of Bis(5-carbomethoxy-1,3- phenylene)-(3x + 2)-crown-x Compounds. J. Org. Chem. 1995, 60 (3), 516-522.

Le, T. X.; Selnau, H. E.; Merola, J. S., An unusual trimerization reaction of an alkyne on iridium. J. Organomet. Chem. 1994, 468 (1-2), 257-64.

Hudlicky, T.; Mandel, M.; Rouden, J.; Lee, R. S.; Bachmann, B.; Dudding, T.; Yost, K. J.; Merola, J. S., Microbial oxidation of aromatics in enantiocontrolled synthesis. Part 1. Expedient and general asymmetric synthesis of inositols and carbohydrates via an unusual oxidation of a polarized diene with potassium permanganate. J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1 1994,  (12), 1553-67.

Frazier, J. F.; Anderson, F. E.; Clark, R.; Merola, J. S., Addition of carbanions to tris(trimethylphosphine)(cyclooctadiene)iridium(I) chloride: three different modes of reaction depending on the nature of the carbanion. Inorg. Chim. Acta 1994, 222 (1-2), 135-43.

Bheda, M. C.; Merola, J. S.; Woodward, W. A.; Vasudevan, V. J.; Gibson, H. W., Crystal structures of 30-crown-10 and its tetrahydrate. J. Org. Chem. 1994, 59 (7), 1694-702.

Smith, G. D.; Hanson, B. E.; Merola, J. S.; Waller, F. J., Palladium methoxide and carbomethoxy complexes: synthesis and molecular structure of (bipy)Pd(CO2CH3)2. Organometallics 1993, 12 (2), 568-70.

Merola, J. S.; Grieb, A.; Ladipo, F. T.; Selnau, H. E., Reactions of heterocyclic aromatic compounds with [Ir(COD)(PMe3)3]Cl: carbon-hydrogen bond cleavage, nitrogen-hydrogen bond cleavage and ring-opening reactions. Prepr. – Am. Chem. Soc., Div. Pet. Chem. 1993, 38 (3), 674-8.

Becker, D. A.; Anderson, F. E., III; McKibben, B. P.; Merola, J. S.; Glass, T. E., Oxocycloalkenyl isoxazolium anhydrobases: synthesis and reactivity studies. Synlett 1993,  (11), 866-8.

Shen, Y. X.; Engen, P. T.; Berg, M. A. G.; Merola, J. S.; Gibson, H. W., Difunctional paraquat dications (viologens) and their crown complexes: a new class of rotaxane monomers. Macromolecules 1992, 25 (10), 2786-8.

Hudlicky, T.; Boros, E. E.; Olivo, H. F.; Merola, J. S., Stereoselective dimerizations of arene-cis-diol acetonides derived from the oxidation of halobenzenes by Pseudomonas putida: absolute configuration of the adducts by x- ray crystallography. J. Org. Chem. 1992, 57 (3), 1026-8.

Jois, Y. H. R.; Berg, M. A. G.; Merola, J. S.; Gibson, H. W., X-ray crystal structure and reactions of 2-cyano-1,3-dibenzoyl-2,3-dihydrobenzimidazole, a novel Reissert compound. Tetrahedron Lett. 1991, 32 (26), 2997-3000.

Huan, G.; Johnson, J. W.; Jacobson, A. J.; Merola, J. S., Hydrothermal synthesis and single-crystal structural characterization of vanadium oxo bipyridine complex, (VO(VO3)6(VO(C10H8N2)2)2. J. Solid State Chem. 1991, 91 (2), 385-9.

Huan, G.; Johnson, J. W.; Jacobson, A. J.; Goshorn, D. P.; Merola, J. S., Hydrothermal synthesis, single-crystal structure, and magnetic properties of vanadyl selenite hydrate (VOSeO3·H2O). Chem. Mater. 1991, 3 (3), 539-41.

Grim, S. O.; Kettler, P. B.; Merola, J. S., Polydentate ligands containing phosphorus XV. The synthesis and structure of η4-1,5-cyclooctadiene-η2– tris(diphenylthiophosphinoyl)methanidoiridium(I), (COD)Ir(TrisS3). Inorg. Chim. Acta 1991, 185 (1), 57-61.

Ladipo, F. T.; Merola, J. S., Oxidative addition of nitrogen-hydrogen bonds to iridium: synthesis and structure of (heterocyclic amine) iridium hydride complexes. Inorg. Chem. 1990, 29 (21), 4172-3.

Knorr, J. R.; Merola, J. S., Synthesis and structure of a [(1,2- phenylenedioxy)boryl]iridium hydride complex: a model system for studying catalytic hydroboration. Organometallics 1990, 9 (12), 3008-10.

Hudlicky, M.; Merola, J. S., New stereospecific syntheses and x-ray diffraction structures of (-)-D-erythro- and (+)-L-threo-4-fluoroglutamic acid. Tetrahedron Lett. 1990, 31 (51), 7403-6.

Huan, G.; Johnson, J. W.; Jacobson, A. J.; Merola, J. S., Hydrothermal synthesis and single-crystal structural characterization of vanadium phenylarsonate V2O4(C6H5AsO3H)·H2O. Chem. Mater. 1990, 2 (6), 719-23.

Huan, G.; Johnson, J. W.; Jacobson, A. J.; Merola, J. S., Hydrothermal synthesis and single-crystal structural characterization of vanadyl methylenediphosphonate ((VO)2[CH2(PO3)2]) tetrahydrate. J. Solid State Chem. 1990, 89 (1), 220-5.

Eichhorn, B. W.; Haushalter, R. C.; Merola, J. S., Synthesis, structure, and properties of hexacarbonyl(η’-ditellurido)telluridodiferrate(2-) containing the unusual μ21-Te22– ligand. Inorg. Chem. 1990, 29 (4), 728-31.

Drumright, R. E.; Mas, R. H.; Merola, J. S.; Tanko, J. M., Interplay between conjugative and steric effects in cyclopropylarenes. J. Org. Chem. 1990, 55 (13), 4098-102.

Bergmeister, J. J., III; Hanson, B. E.; Merola, J. S., Molecular structure of aquatricarbonyldichlororuthenium·diglyme: hydrogen bonding of diglyme to coordinated water. Inorg. Chem. 1990, 29 (23), 4831-3.

Merola, J. S.; Campo, K. S.; Gentile, R. A.; Modrick, M. A., Crystal structure of [Cp2Ti(THF)2] [Co(CO)4]: variation of O-Ti-O angles in the same crystal. Inorg. Chim. Acta 1989, 165 (1), 87-90.

Merola, J. S.; Campo, K. S.; Gentile, R. A., Synthesis and reactivity of titanium cobalt complexes with Ti-O-C-Co bridges. Inorg. Chem. 1989, 28 (15), 2950-4.

Merola, J. S., Carbon-hydrogen addition followed by alkyne insertion into the metal-hydrogen bond of an iridium complex. Organometallics 1989, 8 (12), 2975-7.

Arhancet, J. P.; Davis, M. E.; Merola, J. S.; Hanson, B. E., Hydroformylation by supported aqueous-phase catalysis: a new class of heterogeneous catalysts. Nature (London) 1989, 339 (6224), 454-5.

Sewchok, M. G.; Haushalter, R. C.; Merola, J. S., Synthesis and structures of porphyrin complexes of scandium: ClSc(TTP)·2(C10H7Cl) and O[Sc(TTP)]2·6THF. Inorg. Chim. Acta 1988, 144 (1), 47-51.

Dr. Joseph Merola, Principal Investigator

Professor of Chemistry and Faculty of Health Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute State University. Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Education: Ph.D MIT ’78, B.S. Carnegie-Mellon ’74.


Christine Duchane, Post-doctoral Researcher


Chad Bernier, Ph.D Candidate


Bill Clarke, Research Assistant


Alumni

The success of the Merola research program rests solely on the shoulders of the students who have been a part of the group:  summer students, undergraduate research students and graduate students.  Here are highlights from some of the students who have passed through the group and what they are doing now.


Graduate Students

Chad Bernier
Loren Brown
Christine Duchane
David Hobart
George Carpin
Michael Berg
Shannon R. Chiles
Robert Clark
Beth Dodson
Joy Frazier
Marion A. Franks
Arthur Grieb
Carl Heltzel
David Hobart
Lisa Huff
George Karpin
Joseph Knorr
Folami T. Ladipo
Trang Le
Kelly Matthews
David Morris
Robert Pafford
Christopher P. Roy
Hank Selnau


Undergraduate Students

Bill Clarke
Cole Martin
Andy An
Zoe Stuart
Savannah Phillips
Justin Martinez
Gina Asche
Nick Barker
Joel Bielski
Pauline M. Boyer
Paul J. Chirik
Debra Driscoll
Julie Hoher
Margaret S. Richards
Mel Ritchie
Ellen Slusher
Gita Srinivasan
Gina Yanochko
Alex Collado
Caitlin Masterman
Alex Mai
Mike Peysakhovich
Tefsit Bekele
Tsion Bililign
Steve Yun


Summer Visitors

John Clancy (IAESTE intern)
Rebecca Randall (IAESTE intern)


Visiting Scientists

M. Kooti (Iran)


Technicians

Bill Bradbury
Frank E. Anderson III