"My research laboratory focuses on the design of environmentally benign catalysts to address important challenges in synthetic organic chemistry and materials science. Transition-metal organometallic catalysts provide an interesting platform for study given the variety of selective transformations that they can accomplish by the subtle tuning of their coordination environments. One goal in my research is inspired by an aspect of green chemistry known as atom economy. This involves efficiently transforming readily available reagents into valuable products while producing a minimum amount of chemical waste byproducts. A strong emphasis is placed on using mechanistic insight to drive future reaction discovery and development."
Years at Knox: 2011 to present
Ph.D., Chemistry, 2007, University of California-Berkeley.
B.A., Chemistry, 2001, Knox College, summa cum laude.
Reaction mechanism, homogeneous catalysis, organometallics, electronic structure, green chemistry.
"Synthesis, Electronic Structure, and Alkene Hydrosilylation Activity of Terpyridine and Bis(imino)pyridine Iron Dialkyl Complexes." Tondreau, A. M.; Atienza, C. C. H.; Darmon, J. M.; Milsmann, C.; Hoyt, H. M.; Weller, K. J.; Nye, S. A.; Lewis, K. M.; Boyer, J.; Delis, J. G. P.; Lobkovsky, E.; Chirik, P. J. Organometallics 31 (2012): 4886-4893.
"Synthesis and Electronic Structure of Cationic, Neutral, and Anionic Bis(imino)pyridine Iron Alkyl Complexes: Evaluation of Redox Activity in Single-Component Ethylene Polymerization Catalysts." Tondreau, A. M.; Milsmann, C.; Patrick, A. D.; Hoyt, H. M.; Lobkovsky, E.; Wieghardt, K.; Chirik, P. J. Journal of the American Chemical Society 132 (2010): 15046-15059.
"Synthesis, structural characterization, and quantitative basicity studies of lithium zirconimidate complexes." Chiu, M. C.; Hoyt, H. M.; Michael, F. M.; van Halbeek, H. Bergman, R. G. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 47 (2008): 6073-6076.
"Kinetic control and multiple mechanisms for C-H bond activation with Zr=N complexes." Hoyt, H. M.; Bergman, R. G. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 46 (2007): 5580-5582.
"Mechanistic study of the Staudinger Ligation." Lin, F.; Hoyt, H. M.; van Halbeek, H.; Bergman, R. G.; Bertozzi, C. R. Journal of the American Chemical Society 127 (2005): 2686-2695.
"C-H bond activation of hydrocarbons by an imidozirconocene complex." Hoyt, H. M.; Michael, F. E.; Bergman, R. G. Journal of the American Chemical Society 126 (2004): 1018-1019.
"Single-component bis(imino)pyridine iron catalyzed olefin polymerization." With Chirik, P.J. INOR-707, 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 20, 2008.
"Selectivity of hydrocarbon C-H bond activation with imidozirconocene complexes." With Bergman, R. G. Poster, Gordon Research Conference in Organometallic Chemistry, Newport, Rhode Island, July 2006.
"Tuning hydrocarbon C-H bond activation with imidozirconocene complexes." With Michael, F. E.; Bergman, R. G. Poster, INOR-197, 229th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Diego, California, March 2005.
"Hydrocarbon C-H bond activation by an imidozirconocene Complex." With Michael F.E. and Bergman, R.G., INOR-945, 227th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Anaheim, California, April 1, 2004.
Campus & Community Involvement
Member, American Chemical Society
Member, Phi Beta Kappa
What Students Say
"It is not difficult to recognize that Helen Hoyt truly enjoys being a chemistry professor. As a professor and research supervisor, Helen is very approachable and always willing to help her students in different ways : planning Knox academic career, providing tips on how to conquer Knox based on her experiences, and being an additional resource. To those students she sees with good chemistry potential and strong interest, she challenges them well with constant encouragement and acknowledges them of their good efforts. Overall, she is concerned for her students well being and respects them as smart independent individuals and scientists."
-Marika Takemura, Chemistry Major
Music and writing students collaborated and performed with renowned bassist and composer Ben Allison, as jazz fans got a live, free preview of Allison's new album, during Knox's inaugural Mirza Jazz Residency.
Knox's Team X-Ray places second among 15 liberal arts colleges that competed in an intense regional contest involving programming teams from colleges and universities in five states.
Finals and term projects can be more than tests and papers, as Knox College faculty make engaging assignments and exams -- including design your own superhero -- to evaluate student academic achievements.