Zachary K. Wickens


Harvard University
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow (2015–2018)
Research advisor: E. N. Jacobsen

California Institute of Technology
Ph.D in Chemistry (2015)
Research advisor: R. H. Grubbs

Macalester College
B.A. in Chemistry (2006–2010)
Research advisors: J. D. Roberts, R. HoyeC. Hidgeon-Topaz, K. Kuwata


Zach was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1988 and happily lived there the next 18 years prior to attending Macalester College.  After graduating in 2010, he pursued doctoral research with Prof. Robert H. Grubbs. At Caltech, he discovered and studied new catalyst-controlled alkene oxidation reactions. Next, he joined the group of Prof. Eric N. Jacobsen as an NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow. At Harvard University, he developed a useful synthetic methodology to prepare chiral building blocks and introduced a potentially general framework to precisely control reactive ionic intermediates. In the summer of 2018, Zach returned to Madison to join the faculty at the University of Wisconsin.  His research interests focus on advancing new reaction design principles to alter the intrinsic reactivity patterns of small organic molecules. These interests lie at the interface of synthetic organic, organometallic and supramolecular chemistry.  Outside of research, Zach enjoys biking, drinking good cocktails, and playing nerdy board games.