Professor John Protasiewicz

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA

I was raised in various parts of rural Michigan (USA) and learned a love of the great outdoors. I chose to pursue undergraduate studies in Chemistry in the very most northern and remote part of Upper Michigan at Michigan Technological University. While there I enjoyed undergraduate research activities with Professor G. D. Mendenhall making the shock-sensitive and explosive free radical initiator di-tert-butyl-hyponitrite and exploring its reactivity. From there I chose to go to graduate school in 1985 at Cornell University since the graduate brochures advertised lakes and streams where I might fish on my free time. Working with Professor K. H. Theopold, I undertook the study organometallic compounds and conducted mechanistic studies on the rates of hydrogen atom and proton transfer between organometallic complexes. I then moved on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston and spent 3 years working in the labs of Professor Stephen Lippard investigating new types of tantalum and vanadium complexes to effect the coupling of carbon monoxide ligands to useful organic compounds. In 1993 I started my independent career at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio with research efforts focused on the interfaces of inorganic and main group chemistry, in particular, with projects focused on the chemistry of hypervalent iodine and low coordinate phosphorus chemistry. Since my arrival at CWRU I have been promoted from assistant, associate to now full professor. In 2013 I was recognized as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow for my extensive volunteer serves in the Cleveland Section of the ACS (as Chair and Treasurer) and in the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry (as Secretary and Chair). In 2017 I became the Hurlbut Professor of Chemistry, and have served as Chair of Chemistry Department from 2017-2020.

Professional Preparation
Michigan Technological University B.S. Chemistry 1985
Research with G. D. Mendenhall (radical chemistry of di-tert-butyl-hyponitrite)

Cornell University Ph.D. Inorganic-Organometallic Chemistry 1990
Graduate thesis title “A Direct Comparison of the Rates of Electron, Proton, and Hydrogen
Atom Transfer Between Inorganic Complexes” with K. H. Theopold (currently at U. of Delaware)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Postdoctoral Assoc. Organometallic Chemistry 1990-1993
Postdoc with S. J. Lippard (reductive coupling of unsaturated ligands by metal centers)

Key Appointments
Case Western Reserve University Hurlbut Professorship of Chemistry 7-17-present
Case Western Reserve University Chair of Chemistry 7-17 to 7-20
Case Western Reserve University Associate Chair of Chemistry 7-08 to 7-17
Case Western Reserve University Prof. of Macromolecular Science & Eng. 7-09 to present
Case Western Reserve University Professor of Chemistry 7-04 to present
Case Western Reserve University Associate Professor of Chemistry 7-99 to 7-04
Case Western Reserve University Assistant Professor of Chemistry 7-93 to 7-99

Selected Professional, Leadership and Service Activities
1. Departmental
Chair, Department of Chemistry, (2017-2020)
Associate Chair, Department of Chemistry (2008-2017)

2. National & Professional
Chair, Division of Inorganic Chemistry (2017)
ACS PRF Advisory Board (2017-2020)
Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (2014-)
ACS Fellow (2013-)
Chair, Cleveland Section of the American Chemical Society (2011)
Secretary, Division of Inorganic Chemistry, ACS (2010-2013, 2013-2015)