• Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Ph. D., Chemistry, Yale University


Janis Louie was born and raised in San Francisco.  She received a B.S. degree in 1993 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. degree in 1998 from Yale University under the direction of John F. Hartwig. After an National Institute of Health postdoctoral fellowship with Robert H. Grubbs, she joined the faculty at the University of Utah where she is now an Associate Professor.

Professor Louie's research focuses on the discovery and understanding of new reactions catalyzed by transition metal complexes.  She has developed a highly active Ni(0) catalyst that effectively mediates a variety of cycloaddition and isomerization reactions.  For example, when ligated with electron rich, sterically-hindered N-heterocyclic carbenes, Ni0 facilitates the cycloaddition between unsaturated hydrocarbons (e.g. diynes, enynes) and heterocumulenes (such as CO2 and isocyanates) as well as other derivatives (such as aldehydes, ketones, and nitriles) to afford a variety of substituted heterocycles (such as pyrones, pyridones, pyrans, and pyridines, respectively).  In addition, the same catalyst system can be applied for the isomerization of vinyl cyclopropanes and the rearrangement of cyclopropylen-ynes.  Importantly, all reactions proceed under extremely mild conditions (room temperature, atmospheric pressures, and short reaction times), require only catalytic amounts of Ni/NHC and readily available starting materials, and afford annulated products in excellent yields.  With each system, her group has conducted extensive mechanistic investigations.