David Nagib

David A Nagib
Harold and Betty Miller Professor of Organic Chemistry, and
College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor
Boston College
B.S. with Honors, 2006 
Advisor: Scott J. Miller

Princeton University
Ph.D. in Chemistry, 2011
Advisor: David W.C. MacMillan

University of California, Berkeley
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, 2014
Advisor: F. Dean Toste

David grew up near Philadelphia, PA as the eldest of four siblings in an Egyptian family with a strong love for teaching and education. In 2006, he earned a B.S. in Chemistry at Boston College, where he was awarded the university’s Scholar of the College prize for his thesis work with Prof. Scott Miller entailing the synthesis of small peptide catalysts that mimic enzymes to desymmetrize meso-diols. In 2011, he earned his Ph.D. with Prof. David MacMillan at Princeton University, developing several new trifluoromethylation reactions by pioneering catalytic strategies for the mild generation of CF3 radicals. During his graduate studies, David was the first to employ an Ir photocatalyst in organic synthesis, and he combined it with organocatalytic activation to develop the first catalytic, enantioselective trifluoromethylation of carbonyls. He also applied this radical strategy to the synthesis of medicinally important organofluorines via C-H functionalization of medicines such as lipitor and ibuprofen. As a Ruth L. Kirschstein NIH Postdoctoral Scholar with Prof. F. Dean Toste at the University of California, Berkeley, David continued developing new C-H activation strategies by harnessing selective, oxidative gold mechanisms to enable unique C-C and C-N bond-forming reactivity. In collaboration with Prof. Omar Yaghi, he also illustrated the catalytic utility of post-synthetically modified MOF (metal-organic framework) materials as size-specific heterogeneous catalyst architectures.

David joined the faculty of The Ohio State University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2014. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2020 and Professor in 2022. He is currently the inaugural Harold and Betty Miller Professor of Organic Chemistry, as well as a College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His team’s research on radical-mediated C-H and C-O functionalization has been recognized with awards by the ACS, NIH, NSF, Lilly, Merck, and the Sloan Foundation. David is a frequent scientific reviewer for the NSF, and serves on standing review panels of the ACS and NIH. When not working alongside his awesome labmates, David enjoys running along the Scioto River, checking out Columbus‘ vibrant foodie scene, and planning future world travels with his wife and two young children.

Recent Awards and Honors

2022 Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium, National Academy of Sciences
2022 Organic Reactions Lecturer, University of Florida
2022 Merck Outstanding Chemists of Color Award
2021 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society (ACS)
2021 Woodward Colloquium, Harvard University
2021 Philadelphia Organic Chemists’ Club Student Choice Lecturer (POCC)
2020 Eli Lilly Young Investigator Award
2020 JOC Outstanding Article of the Year (JOC)
2020 Fagnou Lecturer, University of Ottawa
2019 Sloan Research Fellow, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (Sloan)
2019 ACS Young Investigators Symposium, ACS National Meeting
2019 Chem Breakthrough Research collection
2019 Chem Sci Editor’s Choice collection (Chem Sci)
2019 Chem Comm Emerging Investigator (Chem Comm)
2018 JACS Young Investigator Collection (ACS Select)
2018 NOBCChE Master Scientist Award, National Org of Black Chemists & Chem Engineers
2017 NSF CAREER Early Career Development Award, National Science Foundation
2017 Thieme Chemistry Journals Award
2016 NIH MIRA Outstanding Investigator Award, National Institutes of Health
2016 OSU Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor Award (Finalist)
2015 ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award, American Chemical Society
2012 NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institutes of Health

Get to know David …

Six questions for a scientist, Spring 2020

In the news …

Explaining the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Fall 2021 (& The Podcast Version, starts at 16:10)
Turning alcohol into key ingredients for new medicines, Summer 2020
Alcohol and amino acids, Ohio 24/7 Now, Summer 2020
A way to make new medicines, Summer 2020
Meet the JOC 2020 Outstanding Article of the Year award recipient, Spring 2020
Want to understand organic chemistry? Think Legos., Winter 2019
A simpler way to make some medicines, Fall 2019
David Nagib named 2019 Sloan Research Fellow, Spring 2019
Masked aldehyde makes mild radical reaction possible, C&E News, Fall 2018
A new way to create molecules for drug development, Fall 2018
College of Arts and Sciences: Research highlights, Spring 2018
Building Better Medicine, Spring 2017
Honors and recognition: NSF CAREER Award, Spring 2017
Chemist’s New NIH MIRA Grant a Game-Changer for Drug Discovery, Sep 2016