Mathew Vetticatt's research program utilizes a mechanism-based approach to the rational design of novel reactions in asymmetric organocatalysis (enantioselective catalysis by small organic molecules). Selectivity in asymmetric organocatalysis is often governed by subtle catalyst-substrate interactions. Vetticatt's research group investigates these interactions using a combined experimental and theoretical approach. They employ physical organic probes, such as experimental/theoretical kinetic isotope effects and transition state analysis, as design tools in their studies. They are especially interested in understanding the role of non-conventional hydrogen-bonding interactions such as CH⋅⋅⋅O interactions in determining selectivity in organocatalysis.
Vetticatt's group is also involved in collaborative projects with a number of other synthetic methodology research groups. These collaborations are designed to accelerate methodology development by minimizing the time between reaction discovery and its mechanistic description. Yet another area of focus in their group is mechanistic enzymology and computer-aided drug design. They collaborate with enzymologists to determine the transition state structure of enzymatic reactions and use that information as a blueprint for the rational design of powerful transition state analog inhibitors.
- BA, Institute of Chemical Technology, India
- PhD, Texas A&M University