Anthony Chianese

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Anthony Chianese

Professor of Chemistry

Department/Office Information

305 Wynn Hall
  • MTF 1:30pm - 2:30pm (305 Wynn Hall)

I grew up in Bethlehem, Connecticut, and went on to obtain a BA in 2001 from Drew University, conducting research with Barbara Petrack. After my graduate studies at Yale University under the direction of Robert Crabtree, I  earned my PhD in chemistry in 2005. After one year as an NRC postdoctoral research associate with Mike Gagné, I accepted a position as Assistant Professor here at Colgate in 2006. I was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012.

My research focuses on homogeneous catalysis by transition-metal complexes. In the Chianese group, undergraduate students learn techniques for organic and inorganic synthesis, including the handling of air-sensitive compounds. We rely on multinuclear NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography to characterize new products, and students gain direct experience with these methods. Many students in the group have had the opportunity to co-author publications in peer-reviewed journals, and to present their work at American Chemical Society National Meetings.

My publications on Google Scholar

Publications as Corresponding Author, Colgate University, Undergraduate Coauthors in Bold


  1. Pham, J.; Jarczyk, C. E.; Reynolds, E. F.; Kelly, S. E.; Kim, T.; He, T.; Keith, J. M.;* Chianese, A. R.* "The Key Role of the Latent N-H Group in Milstein's Catalyst for Ester Hydrogenation," Chem. Sci., 2021, 12, 8477-8492.
  2. He, T.; Buttner, J. C.; Reynolds, E. F.; Pham, J.; Malek, J. C.; Keith, J. M.;* Chianese, A. R.* "Dehydroalkylative Activation of CNN- and PNN-Pincer Ruthenium Catalysts for Ester Hydrogenation," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2019, 141, 17404-17413.
  3. Le, L.; Liu, J.; He, T.; Malek, J. C.; Cervarich, T. N.; Buttner, J. C.; Pham, J.; Keith, J. M.;* Chianese, A. R. "Unexpected CNN-to-CC Ligand Rearrangement in Pincer–Ruthenium Precatalysts Leads to a Base-Free Catalyst for Ester Hydrogenation," Organometallics, 2019, 38, 3311-3321. Front cover.
  4. Le, L.; Liu, J.; He, T.; Kim, D.; Lindley, E. J.; Cervarich, T. N.; Malek, J. C.; Pham, J.; Buck, M. R.; Chianese, A. R.* "Structure-Function Relationship in Ester Hydrogenation Catalyzed by Ruthenium CNN-Pincer Complexes," Organometallics, 2018, 37, 3286-3297.  
  5. Kim, D.; Le, L.; Drance, M. J.; Jensen, K. H.; Bogdanovski, K.; Cervarich, T. N.; Barnard, M. G.; Pudalov, N. J.; Knapp, S. M. M.; Chianese, A. R.* "Ester Hydrogenation Catalyzed by CNN-Pincer Complexes of Ruthenium," Organometallics, 2016, 35, 982-989.
  6. Knapp, S. M. M.; Shaner, S. E.; Kim, D.; Shopov, D. Y.; Tendler, J. A.; Pudalov, D. M.; Chianese, A. R.* "Mechanistic Studies of Alkene Isomerization Catalyzed by CCC-Pincer Complexes of Iridium," Organometallics, 2014, 33, 473-484.
  7. Chianese, A. R.;* Drance, M. J.; Jensen, K. H.; McCollom, S. P.; Yusufova, N.; Shaner, S. E.; Shopov, D. Y.; Tendler, J. A. "Acceptorless Alkane Dehydrogenation Catalyzed by Iridium CCC-Pincer Complexes," Organometallics, 2014, 33, 457-464.
  8. Chianese, A. R.;* Shaner, S. E.; Tendler, J. A.; Pudalov, D. M.; Shopov, D. Y.; Kim, D.; Rogers, S. L.; Mo, A. "Iridium Complexes of Bulky CCC-Pincer N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands: Steric Control of Coordination Number and Catalytic Alkene Isomerization," Organometallics, 2012, 31, 7359-7367.
  9. Chianese, A. R.;* Mo, A.; Lampland, N. L.; Swartz, R. L.; and Bremer, P. T. "Iridium Complexes of CCC-Pincer N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands: Synthesis and Catalytic C-H Functionalization," Organometallics, 2010, 29, 3019-3026.
  10. Chianese, A. R.;* Rogers, S. L.; Al-Gattas, H. "Palladium-Catalyzed Synthesis of Carbazoles from N-(2-Halophenyl)-2,6-diisopropylphenylanilines via C–C Cleavage," Tetrahedron Lett., 2010, 51, 2241-2243.
  11. Chianese, A. R.;* Bremer, P. T.; Wong, C.; Reynes, R. J. "Rigid, Sterically Diverse N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Pyridine Chelates: Synthesis, Mild Palladation, and Palladium-Catalyzed Allylic Substitution," Organometallics, 2009, 28, 5244-5252.
  12. Chianese, A. R.;* Mo, A.; Datta, D. "Flexible, Bowl-Shaped N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands: Substrate Specificity in Iridium-Catalyzed Ketone Hydrosilylation," Organometallics, 2009, 28, 465-472.
  13. Chianese, A. R.*; Lee, S. J.; Gagné, M. R. "Electrophilic Activation of Alkenes by Platinum(II): So Much More Than a Slow Version of Palladium(II)," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2007, 46, 4042-4059; Angew. Chem., 2007, 119, 4118-4136.

Publication in Collaboration, Colgate University, Undergraduate Coauthors in Bold

  1. Yan, H.; Wong, C.; Chianese, A. R.; Luo, J.; Wang, L.; Yin, J.; Zhong, C. J.* "Dendritic Arenethiol-Based Capping Strategy for Engineering Size and Surface Reactivity of Gold Nanoparticles," Chem. Mater., 2010, 22, 5918-5928.

Publication as Postdoctoral Fellow, UNC Chapel Hill

  1. Tarselli, M. A.; Chianese, A. R.; Gagné, M. R.* "Gold(I)-Catalyzed Asymmetric Cycloisomerization of Ene-allenes into Vinyl-cyclohexenes," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2007, 6670-6673.

Publications as Ph.D. Student, Yale University

  1. Leung, C. H.; Chianese, A. R.; Crabtree, R. H.* "A Chelating Rhodium N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complex by Transmetallation from a Silver-NHC Intermediate," Inorg. Synth., 2010, 35, 84-87.
  2. Voutchkova, A. M.; Appelhans, L. N.; Chianese, A. R.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Disubstituted Imidazolium-2-Carboxylates as Efficient Precursors to N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes of Ru, Rh, Ir and Pd," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127, 17624-17625.
  3. Li, X. W.; Chianese, A. R.; Vogel, T.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Intramolecular Alkyne Hydroalkoxylation and Hydroamination Catalyzed by Iridium Hydrides," Organic Letters 2005, 7, 5437-5440.
  4. Appelhans, L. N.; Zuccaccia, D.; Kovacevic, A.; Chianese, A. R.; Miecznikowski, J. R.; Macchioni, A.; Clot, E.; Eisenstein, O.*; Crabtree, R. H.* "An Anion-Dependent Switch in Selectivity Results from a Change of C-H Activation Mechanism in the Reaction of an Imidazolium Salt With IrH5(PPh3)2," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 16299-16311.
  5. Chianese, A. R.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Axially Chiral Bidentate N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands Derived from BINAM: Rhodium and Iridium Complexes in Asymmetric Ketone Hydrosilylation," Organometallics 2005, 24, 4432-4436.
  6. Chianese, A. R.; Zeglis, B. M.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Unexpected Oxidative C-C Cleavage in the Metallation of 2-Substituted Imidazolium Salts to Give N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes," Chem. Commun. 2004, 2176-2177.
  7. Chianese, A. R.; Kovacevic, A.; Zeglis, B. M.; Faller, J. W.*; Crabtree, R. H.* "Abnormal C5-Bound N-Heterocyclic Carbenes: Extremely Strong Electron Donor Ligands and their Iridium(I) and Iridium(III) Complexes," Organometallics 2004, 23, 2461-2468.
  8. Mata, J. A.; Chianese, A. R.; Miecznikowski, J. R.; Poyatos, M.; Peris, E.; Faller, J. W.*; Crabtree, R. H.* "Reactivity Differences in the Syntheses of Chelating N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes of Rhodium are Ascribed to Ligand Anisotropy," Organometallics 2004, 23, 1253-1263.
  9. Chianese, A. R.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Pincer and Chelate N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes of Rh, Ir, and Pd: Synthetic Routes, Dynamics, Catalysis, Abnormal Binding, and Counterion Effects," In Activation and Functionalization of C-H Bonds; Goldberg, K. I., Goldman, A. S., Eds.; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2004; Vol. 885, pp 169-183.
  10. Chianese, A. R.; Li, X. W.; Janzen, M. C.; Faller, J. W.; Crabtree, R. H.* "Rhodium and Iridium Complexes of N-Heterocyclic Carbenes via Transmetalation: Structure and Dynamics," Organometallics 2003, 22, 1663-1667.

Note: (*) denotes corresponding author (primary investigator)

External Funding, as PI

  • NSF #CHE-1954924, $335,631; 2020-2023. “RUI: Mechanistic Studies of Ruthenium-Catalyzed Ester Hydrogenation”
  • NSF #CHE-1665144, $294,593; 2017-2020. “RUI: Development of a Non-Cooperative Ruthenium Catalyst for Ester Hydrogenation”
  • NSF #CHE-1362501, $225,000; 2014-2018. “RUI: Bifunctional Catalysts for the Hydrogenation and Dehydrogenation of Polar Bonds”
  • NSF #CHE-1057792, $219,000; 2011-2014. “RUI: Alkane Dehydrogenation Catalyzed by CCC-Pincer Complexes of Iridium”
  • American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund #46754-GB3, $40,000; 2007-2010. “Bowl-Shaped Ligands for Secondary-Sphere Control of Selectivity in Homogeneous Catalysis"
  • Research Corporation Cottrell College Science Award #7106, $42,750; 2007-2010. "Visor N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands: An Approach to Secondary-Sphere Regulation of Selectivity in Homogeneous Catalysis"

External Funding, as co-PI

  • Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, Beckman Scholars Program - Colgate University, $104,000, 2019-2022, Faculty mentor
  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation #CHE-1726308, $345,783, 2017-2020. “MRI: Acquisition of an NMR console, multinuclear probe, and autosampler to advance research and undergraduate research training”
  • Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, Beckman Scholars Program - Colgate University, $104,000, 2016-2019, Faculty mentor
  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation #CHE-0819686, $410,700; 2008-2011, Co-PI. "MRI: Acquisition of a Gemini R Ultra X-ray Diffractometer for Structural Biology and Chemistry”
  • CHEM 101: General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 102: General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 212: Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM 263: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 264: Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 381: Practical Quantitative Analysis
  • CHEM 387: Structure and Analysis: Small-Molecule X-Ray Crystallography
  • CHEM 415: Organometallic Chemistry
  • CORE 102/FSEM 122: Molecules, Energy, and the Environment