Brewster Lab Research

Research in the Brewster Lab is at the interface of organic and inorganic chemistry. We design transition metal-based catalysts for challenging, sustainable reactions of organic substrates and engage in the synthesis and characterization of novel organometallic architectures. 

Target systems of interest include:

  1. C-H functionalization of fluorinated aromatics using palladium/silver catalyst systems
  2. Heterobimetallic constructs for deoxygenation of polyols (collaboration with Prof. Charles Garner, University of Memphis and Prof. Stefan Kilyanek - University of Arkansas)
  3. Electronic parameterization of late metal polymerization catalysts and development of new catalysts for switchable polymerization (collaboration with Prof. Karin Young, Centre College)
  4. Model complexes for hydrogel-based drug delivery systems (collaboration with Prof. Tomoko Fujiwara, University of Memphis, Prof. Amber Jennings, University of Memphis, and Prof. Joel Bumgardner, University of Memphis)

Research endeavors are ongoing and constantly changing based on new results! Please check back for updates or contact Dr. Brewster for more information!

Funding Sources


NSF-MRI (Grant Number CHE-2018806 09/01/20-08/31/23, Total Award Amount: $378,714) PI: Xuan Zhao.  Role: Co-I. “MRI: Acquisition of a Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometer as a Regional Resource for Research and Education”

University of Memphis College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Grant – EFS Mechanism (07/01/2023-07/31/2024, $10,000) Role: PI. “Bis-Hydrazinyl Pyridine as a Scaffold For Bimetallic Catalysis”


NIH-NIGMS R21 (Grant Number 1R21 GM134339, 09/01/2019-08/31/2021, $379,480 total, $275,000 direct) Role: PI. “Catalysts Bearing Traceless Tethers for Single Step Meta and Para C-H Functionalization”

University of Memphis College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Grant – EFS Mechanism (07/01/2018-06/31/2019, $10,000) “Synthesis, Electronic Structure, and Catalytic Activity of Heterobimetallic Late Transition Metal-Aluminum Complexes”

University of Memphis Department of Research and Innovation Gap Funding Initiative (02/14/2020-06/15/2020, $14,000) “Electronic Structure of Heterobimetallic Complexes Supported by Redox-Active Ligands”