Dr. Brandon Vara

Postdoctoral Researcher


  University of Pennsylvania, 2016-present
Postdoctoral Researcher with Professor Gary A. Molander

Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, 2015
"Enantioselective Reaction Development using Chiral Bifunctional Brønsted Acid/Base Organocatalysis and Their Application to Target Molecule Synthesis" with Prof. Jeffrey N. Johnston

B.S. James Madison University, 2010
with Prof. Kevin Minbiole
Current Research:
    Photoredox Cross-Coupling

  • 1,4-Dihydropyridines as Alkyl Radical Precursors: Introducing the Aldehyde Feedstock to Nickel/Photoredox Dual Catalysis Gutiérrez-Bonet, A.; Tellis, J.C.; Matsui, J.K.; Vara, B.A.; Molander, G.A ACS Catal., 2016, 6, 8004.
  • C(sp3)-C(sp2) Cross-Coupling of Alkylsilicates with Borylated Aryl Bromides – An Iterative Platform to Alkylated Aryl- and Heteroaryl Boronates Vara, B.A.; Jouffroy, M.; Molander, G.A Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 530.
  • Enantioselective Construction of β-Amino α-Fluoro Nitroalkanes and their Conversion to β-Fluoro Amines Using a Traceless Activating Group Strategy Vara, B. A.; Johnston, J. N. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138, 13794.
  • Enantioselective Small Molecule Synthesis by Carbon Dioxide-Fixation using a Dual Brønsted Acid/Base Organocatalyst Vara, B. A.; Struble, T. J.; Wang, W.; Dobish, M. C.; Johnston, J. N.J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 7302.
  • Adaptation of a Small Molecule Hydrogen Bond-Donor Catalyst to an Enantioselective Hetero-Diels-Alder Reaction Hypothesized for Brevianamide Biosynthesis Sprague, D. J.; Nugent, B. M.; Yoder, R. A.; Vara, B. A.; Johnston, J. N.Org. Lett., 2014, 17, 880.
  • Organocatalytic, Diastereo- and Enantioselective Synthesis of Nonsymetric cis-Stilbene Diamines: A Platform for the Preparation of Single Enantiomer cis-Imidazolines for Protein-Protein Inhibition Vara, B. A.; Mayasundari, A.; Tellis, J. C.; Danneman, M. W.; Arredondo, V.; Davis, T. A.; Min, J.; Finch, K.; Guy, R. K.; Johnston, J. N.J. Org. Chem., 2014, 79, 6913.