Structure Activity Relationships in Homogeneous Catalysis

Meeting Program – September 2017

Thomas Colacot
Thomas Colacot
Technical Fellow & Global R & D Manager
Johnson Matthey


Abstract – Homogeneous catalysis is a molecular phenomenon, where the structure of the catalyst plays a significant role on the activity and selectivity of a catalytic reaction. Three cases studies will be discussed during the talk to explain the phenomena. The topics are

  1. High purity palladium acetate vs commercial in organic synthesis
  2. Ir pre catalysts for C-H activated borylation
  3. Generation of L1Pd(0) catalysts for advanced cross coupling.


  • Book: New Trends in Cross Coupling: Theory and Applications, ed. Thomas J. Colacot, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-84973-896-5
  • Carin C. C. Johansson Seechurn, Thomas Sperger, Theresa. G. Scrase, Franziska. Schoenebeck and Thomas. J. Colacot*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017 (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b01110). This work was featured in the April 5 th issue of C & EN. Please see:
  • William A. Carole and Thomas J. Colacot* Chem. Eur. J, 2016, 22, 7686 (with journal cover graphics – this work was featured in C & EN. page 20, May 2 nd, 2016)
  • Peter G. Gildner, Andrew DeAngelis, and Thomas J. Colacot*, Org. Lett., 2016, 18 (6), 1442–1445 DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.6b0037
  • William A. Carole, Jonathan Bradley, Misbah Sarwar and Thomas J. Colacot* Org. Lett., 2015, 17 (21), 5472–5475. DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett. 5b02835
  • Thomas. J. Colacot, Angew Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 54, 15611-15612.
  • Peter G. Gildner and Thomas J. Colacot* Organometallics, 2015, 34 (23), 5497–5508. DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.5b00567
  • Andrew J. DeAngelis , Peter G. Gildner , Ruishan Chow , and Thomas J. Colacot* J. Org. Chem., 2015, 80 (13), pp 6794–6813, DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.5b01005
  • Carin C. C. Johansson Seechurn, Vilvanathan Sivakumar, Deepak Satoskar and Thomas J. Colacot*, Organometallics, 2014, 33, 3514−3522.

Biography – Dr. Thomas J. Colacot received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from IIT Madras in 1989, following a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Kerala in 1981 and 1983, respectively. After his doctoral and post-doctoral studies in the US, Dr. Colacot went on to pursue an education in management, acquiring an MBA from Pennsylvania State University in 2005, while working at Johnson Matthey. Before joining Johnson Matthey in 1995, Dr. Colacot had also worked as a Research Associate Southern Methodist University (TX, USA) on a project funded by Advanced Technology Program, as an Assistant Professor at Florida A&M University, and as a Post-Doctoral/Teaching Fellow at University of Alabama. Having climbed up the ranks from Development Associate (bench chemist), Dr. Colacot is currently the Technical Fellow at Johnson Matthey, USA, the highest technical rank for a scientist with reports from different parts of the world.

As a researcher, Dr. Colacot has focused on many areas of homogenous catalysis, particularly becoming proficient in palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling. He also has extensive experience in organometallic and organic syntheses, and in process chemistry. His work is reflected in several patents to his name, more than one hundred peer-reviewed publications, and numerous invited lectures and seminars spanning India, USA, China, and Europe. His recently edited book: New Trends in Cross Coupling: Theory and Applications by the Royal Society of Chemistry is widely used in academia and industry. Through his work, Dr. Colacot is credited with being a leading influence in developing exceptional catalytic systems for the advancement of metal-catalyzed synthetic organic chemistry for real world applications such as drug development, OLED’s/liquid crystals and agriculture. His emphasis in designing catalysts and catalytic processes has been on their applicability in industrial settings, particularly pertaining to agriculture, electronics and medicine. He is the finest example of a link between academia and industry.

Dr. Colacot’s contributions to the field have resulted in many awards and accolades, amongst them the recent prestigious IIT Madras 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Technology Innovations and Chemical Research Society of India (2016 CRSI) Medal for outstanding contributions in Organometallics and Homogeneous Catalysis. He is the first Indian to be awarded the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Award in Industrial Chemistry in 2015. He also received the 2015 IPMI Henry Alfred Award (2015) from the International Precious Metal Institute, sponsored by the BASF. In 2014 he received the Indian American Kerala Culture and Civic Center Award for his outstanding contributions in Applied Sciences. In addition, he received Royal Society of Chemistry 2012 Applied Catalysis Award and Medal. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK.