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"..because most importantly, I am a chemist!"


2019- present: PhD Candidate Organic Chemistry, University of  Ottawa

        Supervisor: Prof. Stephen Newman

        Tentative thesis title: Expanding the scope of nickel-catalyzed                        carbon-oxygen bond activation

2013- 2017: BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of                Ontario Institute of Technology. Cumulative GPA: 3.80.

          Thesis Supervisor: Prof. Yuri Bolshan

Highlighted awards & Honours

NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canadian
        Graduate Scholarship         

uOttawa Denis Vezina award for Research 


       - Awarded to the top researcher in

             the Faculty of Science

uOttawa Tony Durst award for Excellence

        in Chemistry Research

       - Awarded to the top researcher in

             the Department of Chemistry

NSERC Michael Smith Foreign Study

       - Research internship conducted with

         Prof. Song Lin, Cornell University

University of Ottawa Certificate

        in University Teaching          

NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship 

Ontario Graduate Scholarship              

Tito Scaiano Scholarship      

Queen Elizabeth Scholar

       - Research internship conducted with
         Prof. Rebecca Melen, Cardiff University


Want to know more? Shoot me an email at










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        Currently, I work alongside a team of excellent chemists who hope to solve problems in chemical catalysis through the application of modern techniques and technologies. In graduate school, I have explored the use of nickel catalysis in combination with high-throughput chemical techniques in an attempt to activate bonds that have previously been thought to be inert.

     In recent years, I have focused on the activation of strong carbon-oxygen bonds, attempting to utilize unprotected alcohols in deoxygenative functionalization reactions. I have developed a strong interest in the application of physical organic chemistry towards the mechanistic elucidation of transformations, and jump at the chance to use modern technologies towards the synthesis and diversification of pharmaceutically-relevant compounds. 

     The motto? There is no such thing as "hasn't been discovered", only "hasn't been discovered yet".


7. Cook, A.; Newman, S. G. Alcohols as substrates in transition metal-catalyzed arylation, alkylation and related reactions. 2023. Pre-print available on ChemRxiv.


6. Cook, A.; St. Onge, P.; Newman, S. G. Deoxygenative Suzuki-Miyaura Arylation of Tertiary Alcohols Through Silyl Ethers. Nature Synthesis 2023.

DOI: 10.1038/s44160-023-00275-w

5. Cook, A.; Bezaire, M.; Newman, S. G. Nickel-Catalyzed Desulfonylative Olefination of β-Hydroxysulfones. Org. Chem. Front., 2023, 10, 1339-1404.

DOI: 10.1039/D2QO01999J

4. St. Onge, P.; Khan, S. I.; Cook, A.; Newman, S. G. Reductive Cleavage of C(sp2)-CF3 Bonds in Trifluoromethylpyridines. Org. Lett., 2023, 25, 1030-1034.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.3c00258

3. Cook, A.; MacLean, H.; St. Onge, P.; Newman, S. G. Nickel-Catalyzed Reductive Deoxygenation of Diverse C-O Bond-Bearing Functional Groups. ACS Catal., 2021, 11, 13337-13347.

DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.1c03980

2. Cook, A.; Clément, R.; Newman, S. G. Reaction Screening in Multiwell Plates: High-Throughput Optimization of a Buchwald-Hartwig Amination. Nature Protocols 2021, 16, 1152-1169. 

DOI: 10.1038/s41596-020-00452-7

1. Cook, A.; Prakash, S.; Zheng, Y.-Z.; Newman, S. G. Exhaustive Reduction of Esters Enabled by Nickel Catalysis. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 8109-8115.

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c02405


2. Cook, A.; Newman, S. G. "Alcohols as electrophiles in Suzuki-Miyaura arylation: From high-throughput to Hammett"

        - Awarded Gold Medal prize in poster competitions at 2023 International Symposium on Organometallic

                Chemistry Directed Towards Organic Synthesis (OMCOS)

        - Awarded RSC Discovery Prize in oral competitions at 2023 Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition        

        - Awarded first place in oral competitions at 2023 Ottawa-Carleton Chemistry Institute Day           

        - Awarded first place in oral competitions at 2022 Ottawa-Carleton Chemistry Institute Day     

        - Awarded first place in oral competitions at 2022 Quebec-Ontario Mini-Symposium in Organic
                and Biological Chemistry

        - Awarded first place in oral competitions at 2022 Quebec-Ontario Physical Organic Chemistry Mini-Symposium       

1. Cook, A.; Newman, S. G. "Nickel-catalyzed deoxygenation: The hunt for reactive intermediates"

         - Awarded first place in oral competitions at 2020 Quebec-Ontario Physical Organic Chemistry Mini-Symposium

         - Awarded first place in oral competitions (Organic Chemistry) at 2021 Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate
                 Research Conference

         - Awarded first place in oral competitions at 2021 Ottawa-Carleton Chemistry Institute Day

         - Awarded Student Catalysis Presentation Award - First Place at 2021 CCCE | IUPAC Conference

                >> Watch presentation here (originally recorded for CCCE | IUPAC Conference, 2021)

Non-peer  reviewed  publications

1. Cook, A. "Quinine: The Bite is in the Bark!CIC NEWS, Chemical Institute of Canada. Nov. 2021.

         - ChemiSTEAM Invited contribution

2. Cook, A. "The Atomic Connection". CIC NEWS, Chemical Institute of Canada. Mar. 2021

         - ChemiSTEAM Invited contribution


        The end-goal for me has always been a career in teaching. Currently, my sights are set on becoming a university-level research professor. But any excuse to make a difference in lives through the illustration of chemistry sounds like a dream. At the age of 17, I was introduced to the concept of a vocation; today I can say without a doubt that my vocation lies in teaching and improving the art of chemistry.

        Currently, my teaching experiences include:

Teaching Assistantships :

- Introductory Chemistry I (at Ontario Tech University) [lab                            demonstrator]

- Introductory Chemistry II (at Ontario Tech University) [lab                          demonstrator]

- General Chemistry (at uOttawa) [lab demonstrator, tutorial leader]

- Organic Chemistry I (at uOttawa) [lab demonstrator, tutorial leader]

- Organic Chemistry II (at uOttawa) [lab demonstrator]

- Introduction to Biochemistry (at uOttawa) [lab demonstrator]

- Synthesis and Analysis of Advanced Materials (at uOttawa) [lab                demonstrator]

Course Development

- From Magic to Modernity: Chemistry Through the Ages

Professional Development

- ESG 5300: Theory and Practice of Undergraduate Teaching

- ESG 5310: Communication and Media Relations in Science

- ESG 6100: Technology & University Teaching

- ESG 6300: Practicum in University Teaching

- Attended workshops: Teaching at the Summit, Impactful Science:        Beyond the Classroom

For more information, please access my teaching dossier by clicking here.

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