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William B Tolman

Al and Mary Agnes McQuinn Distinguished Chair and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences Leadership

  • Education
  • PhD, Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
    B.A., Chemistry, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

  • Research Interests
  • Inorganic and Bioinorganic chemistry, polymerization catalysis, copper protein active sites in enzymes, catalytic feedstock conversions, and sustainable polymer syntheses
After a postdoctoral stint at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Tolman was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota (1990), and rose through the ranks to Distinguished McKnight University Professor. During this period he served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry (2009-2017). In 2018 he moved to Washington University in St. Louis, where he was William Greenleaf Eliot Professor of Chemistry, Vice Dean for Research & Entrepreneurship in Arts & Sciences, and a Faculty Fellow in Wayman Crow Residential College. He began his current position in July, 2022. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society, and has published > 235 peer-reviewed articles that have been cited more than 26,000 times. He served as Associate Editor (2009-2012) and as Editor-in-Chief of the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry (2013-2022).

University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota (2022-present)
Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri (2018-2022)
University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities, Minnesota (1990—2018)

Involvement of a Formally Cu(III) Nitrite Complex in PCET and Nitration of Phenols. Caitlin J. Bouchey and William B. Tolman*, Inorganic Chemistry, 2022, 61, 2662-2668 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.1c03790).

Defining the Macromolecules of Tomorrow through Synergistic Sustainable Polymer Research. Farihah M. Haque, Jacob S. A. Ishibashi, Claire A. L. Lidston, Huiling Shao, Frank Bates, Alice B. Chang, Geoffrey W. Coates, Christopher J. Cramer, Paul J. Dauenhauer, William R. Dichtel, Christopher J. Ellison, Ethan A. Gormong, Leslie S. Hamachi, Thomas R. Hoye, Jennifer McCambridge, Marc A. Hillmyer*, Mengyuan Jin, Julia A. Kalow, Hee Joong Kim, Gaurav Kumar, Christopher J. LaSalle, Stephanie Liffland, Bryce M. Lipinski, Yutong Pang, Riffat Parveen, Xiayu Peng, Yanay Popowski, Emily A. Prebihalo, Yernaidu Reddi, Theresa Reineke, Laura Seifert, Daylan T. Sheppard, Jeremy L. Swartz, William B. Tolman, Bess Vlaisavljevich, Jane Wissinger, and Shu Xu, Chem. Rev. 2022, ASAP (DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.1c00173).

Ring Opening Polymerization of β-Acetoxy-δ-methylvalerolactone, a Triacetic Acid Lactone Derivative. Hussnain Sajjad, Emily A. Prebihalo, Theresa Reineke*, William B. Tolman*, Polymer Chem. 2021, 12, 6724-6730 (DOI: 10.1039/d1py00561h).

Regioregular Polymers from Biobased (R)-1,3-Butylenecarbonate. Christopher A. DeRosa, Anna M. Luke, Kendra Anderson, Theresa M. Reineke, William B. Tolman, Frank S. Bates,* and Marc Hillmyer*, Macromolecules, 2021, 54, 54, 13, 5974–5984 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c00828).

Using a Monocopper-Superoxo Complex to Prepare Multicopper-Peroxo Species Relevant to Proposed Enzyme Intermediate. Xinzhe Zhong, Caitlin J. Bouchey, Evanta Kabir, and William B. Tolman*, J. Inorg. Biochem. 2021, 222, 111498 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2021.111498).

Structural Basis for the Different Mechanical Behaviors of Two Chemically Analogous, Carbohydrate-derived Thermosets. C. Maggie Lau, Sung-Soo Kim, Leon M. Lillie, William B. Tolman, Theresa M. Reineke, and Christopher J. Ellison, ACS Macro Letters, 2021, 10, 609–615 (DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.1c00041).

Sulfur-Containing Analogs of the Reactive [CuOH]2+ Core. Wen Wu, Jacqui (Tehranchi) de Hont, Riffat Parveen, Bess Vlaisavljevich,* and William B. Tolman*, Inorganic Chemistry 2021, 60, 5217–5223 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.1c00216).

Structural Characterization of the [CuOR]2+ Core. V. Mahesh Krishnan, Dimitar Y. Shopov, Caitlin J. Bouchey, Wilson D. Bailey, and William B. Tolman*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 3295–3299 (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c13470).

Degradable Polyanhydride Networks Derived from Itaconic Acid. Hussnain Sajjad, Leon M. Lillie, C. Maggie Lau, Christopher J. Ellison*, William B. Tolman*, and Theresa M. Reineke*, Polymer Chemistry, 2021, 12, 608-617 (DOI: 10.1039/d0py01388a).

Ligand Effects on Decarbonylation of Palladium-Acyl Complexes. Tedd C. Wiessner, Samuel Asiedu Fosu, Riffat Parveen, Nigam P. Rath, Bess Vlaisavljevich,* and William B. Tolman*, Organometallics 2020, 39, 3992-3998 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.0c00584).

Mechanistic insight into initiation and regioselectivity in the copolymerization of epoxides and anhydrides by Al complexes. Yanay Popowski, Juan J. Moreno, Asa W. Nichols, Shelby L. Hooe, Caitlin J. Bouchey, Nigam P. Rath, Charles W. Machan*, and William B. Tolman*, Chem. Commun. 2020, 56, 14027–14030 (DOI: 10.1039/d0cc05652a).

Block Copolymer Pressure Sensitive Adhesives Derived From Fatty Acids and Triacetic Acid Lactone. Hussnain Sajjad, William B. Tolman*, Theresa Reineke*. ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2020, accepted for publication. ACS Appl. Polym. Mater. 2020, 2, 2719–2728. (DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.0c00317).

Mechanism of Stereocontrol in Polymerization of rac-Lactide by Aluminum Complexes Supported by Indolide-Imine Ligands. Anna M. Luke, Appie Peterson, Sina Chiniforoush, Mukunda Mandal, Yanay Popowski, Hussnain Sajjad, Caitlin J. Bouchey, Dimitar Y. Shopov, Brendan J. Graziano, Letiticia J. Yao, Christopher J. Cramer,* Theresa M. Reineke,* and William B. Tolman*, Macromolecules, 2020, 53, 1809-1818 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.0c00092).

Next generation polymers: isosorbide as a sustainable alternative. Derek J. Saxon, Anna M. Luke, Hussnain Sajjad, William B. Tolman*, and Theresa M. Reineke*, Progress in Polymer Science, 2020, 101, 101196 (DOE: 10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2019.101196).

Carboxylate Structural Effects on the Properties and PCET Reactivity of [CuO2CR]2+ Cores. Courtney E. Elwell, Mukunda Mandal, Lawrence Que, Jr., Christopher J. Cramer,* William B. Tolman*, Inorganic Chemistry 2019, 58, 15872-15879 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b02293).

Degradable Thermoset Fibers from Carbohydrate-Derived Diols via Thiol-ene Photopolymerization. Sung-Soo Kim, C. Maggie Lau, Leon M. Lillie,
William B. Tolman, Theresa M. Reineke,* and Christopher J. Ellison*, ACS Applied Polymer Materials 2019, 1, 2933-2942 (DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.9b00647).

Mechanisms for Hydrogen Atom Abstraction by Mononuclear Copper(III) Cores: HAT or cPCET? Mukunda Mandal, Courtney E. Elwell, Caitlin J. Bouchey, Timothy J. Zerk, William B. Tolman,* and Christopher J. Cramer,* Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2019, 141, 17236-17244 (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b08109).

Low Reorganization Energy for Electron Self-Exchange by a Formally Copper(III,II) Redox Couple. Timothy J. Zerk, Caroline T. Saouma, James M. Mayer* and William B. Tolman*, Inorganic Chemistry, 2019, 58, 14151-14158 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b02185).

Valence-to-Core X-ray Emission Spectroscopy as a Probe of O-O Bond Activation in Cu2O2 complexes. George E. Cutsail III, Nicole L. Gagnon, Andrew D. Spaeth, William B. Tolman, and Serena DeBeer, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2019, 58, 9114-9119 (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201903749)

Mechanistic dichotomy in proton-coupled electron-transfer reactions of phenols with a copper superoxide complex. Wilson D. Bailey, Debanjan Dhar, Anna C. Cramblitt, and William B. Tolman*, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2019, 41, 5470–5480 (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b00466).

Revisiting the synthesis and nucleophilic reactivity of an anionic copper superoxide complex. Wilson D. Bailey, Nicole L. Gagnon, Courtney E. Elwell, Anna C. Cramblitt, Caitlin J. Bouchey, and William B. Tolman*, Inorganic Chemistry, 2019, 58, 4706–4711 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b00090).

Computational Prediction and Experimental Verification of ε-Caprolactone Ring-Opening Polymerization Activity by an Aluminum Complex of an Indolide/Schiff-base Ligand. Mukunda Mandal, Anna M. Luke, Büşra Dereli, Courtney E. Elwell, Theresa M. Reineke, William B. Tolman,* and Christopher J. Cramer*, ACS Catalysis, 2019, 9, 885–889 (DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.8b04540).

Copper Complexes of Multidentate Carboxamide Ligands. Courtney E. Elwell, Benjamin D. Neisen, and William B. Tolman, (invited paper for issue honoring Rabi Mukherjee), Inorganica Chimica Acta 2019, 485, 131-139. (DOI: 10.1016/j.ica.2018.10.011).

  • Searle Scholars Award
  • NSF National Young Investigator Award
  • Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award
  • Research Award from the Alexandor von Humboldt Foundation
  • American Chemical Society Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (2017)
  • Charles E. Bowers Teaching Award, College of Science & Engineering, University of Minnesota
  • Distinguished McKnight University Professorship, University of Minnesota