Samuel Tartakoff

Associate Professor

Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry
University of California - Irvine, 2015

B.S. in Chemistry
Brigham Young University, 2009

Samuel Tartakoff

Research Interests:

  • As a trained synthetic organic chemist, I am fascinated by the challenge inherent in trying to make complex, useful small molecules cheaply and/or efficiently. This almost always requires the development of new chemical reactions or the improving of existing methods. In the process, research students become familiar with a variety of different chemical reactions, characterization techniques, and are forced to look at problems from multiple angles, as they learn from both the reactions that worked and (more often) the ones that didn't. While my research focuses on both the development of new methods and total synthesis of natural products, my projects are generally united by my interest in the Diels-Alder reaction. Although discovered in 1928, it continues to be a powerful tool for the synthesis of new molecular structures and offers interesting avenues for research that, even after nearly 100 years, remain under-explored.

Presentations, Exhibitions, Performances and Published Work:

  • “Investigations into the DNA binding-mode of doxorubicinone.” Tartakoff, S. S.; Finan, J. M.;* Curtis, E. J.;* Anchukaitis, H. M.;* Couture, D. J.;* Glazier, S. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2019, 17, 1992–1998.
  • “Determining the Mechanism of the Wagner-Jauregg Reaction by Analysis of Reaction Rates.” Enders, A.;* Tartakoff, S. S. Ronald E. McNair Symposium Journal, 2018, 3, 73–84.
  • “Synthesis of the clionastatin core.” Tartakoff, S. S.; Vanderwal, C. D. Org. Lett. 2014, 16, 1458−1461.
  • “Total synthesis of (–)-acutumine.” Li, F.; Tartakoff, S. S.; Castle, S. L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 6674–6675.
  • “Enantioselective total synthesis of (–)-acutumine.” Li, F.; Tartakoff, S. S.; Castle, S. L. J. Org. Chem. 2009, 74, 9082–9093.

Regularly Taught Courses:

  • Chem 103: General Chemistry I
  • Chem 104: General Chemistry II
  • Chem 221: Organic Chemistry I
  • Chem 354: Advanced Organic Chemistry Synthesis Lab

Sample Student Projects Supervised:

  • Marshall, P.;* Tartakoff, S. "Synthesis of complex isophthalide-containing products via an aromatic Diels-Alder reaction." Festival of Science, Canton, NY, April 2016.
  • Johnson, S.;* Tartakoff, S. “Factors controlling the Wagner-Jauregg reaction.” 253rd ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 2017.
  • Murphy, K.;* Peck, A.;* Glazier, S.; Tartakoff, S. “Characterization of DNA intercalation mechanisms of novel chemotherapy drug analogs.” 255th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, March 2018.

Ways to connect with students outside of the classroom:

Office hours: Whenever my door is open (most days, 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM, except when I am teaching). You are always welcome to send me an e-mail in advance to make sure I am around. Summer research: let me know if you are interested and we can either develop a project for a summer SLU fellowship or I can help you find an opportunity that matches your interests.

Contact Information