PhD, Inorganic Chemistry, 2003, University of Washington
BS, Chemistry, 1998, Western Washington University
Jake D. Soper is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prof. Soper’s research program is a hybrid of organometallic and inorganic coordination chemistry, at the forefront of an emerging area that uses redox-active ligand complexes for redox control in bond activation and functionalization reactions. His research focuses on the development of new homogeneous catalysts for selective transformations of small molecules, with particular emphasis on multielectron reactions relevant to organic synthesis and energy conversion and storage. Recent research accomplishments include the rational design of Earth-abundant metal catalysts to functionally mimic palladium in coupling catalysis cycles and the demonstration of redox-active ligand-meditated radical control in catalytic dioxygen activation and oxygen atom transfer reactions. This research has appeared in top peer-reviewed chemistry journals, including the Journal of the American Chemical Society and Inorganic Chemistry. Prof. Soper has also been an invited contributor to special issues of the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry on Cooperative & Redox Non-Innocent Ligands in Directing Organometallic Chemistry and an Inorganic Chemistry Forum on Redox-Active Ligands, consisting of “papers from leading scientists on a multidisciplinary topic of growing interest. His recent development of redox-active ligand-mediated cobalt cross coupling catalysis was hailed as a “breakthrough in the field” in a 2011 Highlights feature in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
Prof. Soper earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from Western Washington University in 1998 and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Washington in 2003. His graduate research was performed under the direction of Prof. James M. Mayer. He was subsequently an NIH Ruth L. Kirchstein Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratories of Prof. Daniel G. Nocera at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2009 his independent research was honored with an NSF CAREER award and a DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA). During his tenure at Georgia Tech, he has been invited to speak at 30 universities and 12 conferences, including four Gordon Research Conferences. He was the corresponding organizer of a symposium on modern redox-active ligand chemistry that was presented at the International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, Pacifichem 2010. He created and directs the Georgia Tech–Westlake HS Energy Challenge Program, for which he received the 2010 Georgia Tech Faculty Award for Academic Outreach.