Catalytic Chemical Synthesis without Precious Metals
Anton graduated from Caltech with a PhD in chemistry. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, he obtained a BS in chemistry with a concentration in synthetic organic chemistry from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. As an undergraduate, his research was aimed at the development of new chemical methods for the construction of complex molecules at Queen’s University as well as at Merck & Co. His undergraduate thesis under Prof. Victor Snieckus concluded in the discovery of a new chemical reaction for making pharmaceutical compounds and natural products in a safe and highly efficient manner.
Anton’s Caltech research combined the use of synthetic organic chemistry and knowledge of fundamental chemical reactivity to develop radically novel sustainable protocols for chemical synthesis. Drawing inspiration from nature, Anton discovered that a safe, clean, and simple potassium salt had superior performance to precious metals like gold and platinum in catalyzing challenging chemical reactions. He and his team from the Grubbs lab hope to apply the new found knowledge to revolutionize chemical manufacturing in multi-billion dollar industries such as advanced materials, pharmaceuticals, medical diagnostics, and crop protection.
In 2014, Anton won the Dow-SISCA Grand Prize for the project, "Non-Precious Metal Catalysts for a Sustainable Chemistry Industry" and in 2015, he was awarded the Demetriades-Tsafka-Kokkalis Prize in Entrepreneurship
Adviser: Robert H. Grubbs