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About us

The Kennepohl Group is a research group in the Department of Chemistry at the Point Grey campus of the University of British Columbia headed by Pierre Kennepohl. The focus of our research is to apply a combination of spectroscopic and computational methods to gain an in-depth understanding of the electronic structure of molecules with interesting reactivity. Pierre's background is in biological inorganic chemistry and the group is involved in a number of projects. We have several ongoing collaborations (both on- and off-campus) focusing on the elucidation of enzymatic active sites and the evaluation of novel metal-containing anticancer drugs. More recently, the group has also focused on detailing the electronic structure and reactivity of novel organometallic species. We have had a particular interest in reevaluating our current understanding of transition metal dioxygen interactions and the isoelectronic metal-alkene interactions (as exemplified by the Dewar-Chatt-Duncanson model of alkene binding). In addition to these major areas of focus, we have recently branched out to apply our expertise to more industrially-relevant problems, specifically as it related to the biocidal activity of Cu(II) species and the role of radical processes in certain industrial applications.

From the above, it should be apparent that the Kennepohl Group is highly interdisciplinary with a broad range of interests. As a general rule, the key unifying aspects of the program are more focused on the questions that we ask - as opposed to the specific systems that we study. We seek to answer fundamental questions related to bonding and electronic structure, and once we have established our understanding of these features, we seek to apply that knowledge towards reactivity. In general, reactivity should be driven by the electronic nature of the species involved and thus obtaining a better understanding of those species can only lead us to a more thorough understanding of their associated chemistry.