Chemistry and Biochemistry

Eric Kelson

Photo of Dr. Eric Kelson
(818) 677-2699
Office location:
Citrus Hall 3315



B.S., University of Utah, 1988
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1993


NIH Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton University, 1993-95


Chemistry 100, Principles of Chemistry
Chemistry 101, General Chemistry I
Chemistry 102, General Chemistry II
Chemistry 102L, General Chemistry II Laboratory
Chemistry 110, Chemistry In Action (General Education)
Chemistry 321, Chemical Analysis I
Chemistry 321L, Chemical Analysis I Laboratory
Chemistry 401, Inorganic Chemistry
Chemistry 401L, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
Chemistry 422, Chemical Analysis II
Chemistry 422L, Chemical Analysis II Laboratory
Chemistry 502, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry


Inorganic Chemistry
The research underway in the Kelson laboratories is focused on the development of bifunctional ketone transfer hydrogenation catalysts with potential application for environmentally friendly and deliberately specific pharmaceutical synthesis. These catalysts are polypyridine supported ruthenium complexes designed to bind substrates and support hydrogen transfer through inter-ligand interactions. The novel design of these catalysts also render them tolerant of oxygen and independent of basic co-catalysts. Efforts are underway to extend the inter-ligand interactions beyond simple steric strategies to achieve selectivity and enantioselectivity in ketone transfer hydrogenation. As part of this work, the Kelson group has also developed single-flask methodologies for preparing novel polypyridine ligands for our designer catalysts that may also have potential as anti-tumor agents.


  1. "Rad10-YFP Focus Induction in Response to UV Depends on RAD14 in Yeast," Mardiros, A., Benoun, J. M, Haughton, R., Baxter, K., Kelson, E., Fischhaber, P. Acta Histochemica (2010) (in press). 
  2. "Bis(3-methoxy-2-pyridonato)aqua(2,2':6',2"-terpyridine)ruthenium(II), Hydrate, Acetonitrile (1/1/1)," Kelson, E. P., Dean, N. S., Algarin, E. Acta Crystalographica C (2007) C63, m108-m110. 
  3. "FTIR Spectroscopy of Flavones in Argon and Methanol: Argon Matrices at 10K. Reexamination of the Carbonyl Stretch Frequency of 3-Hydroxyflavone," Petroski, J. M., Valente, C. D. S., Kelson, E. P., Collins, S. J. Phys. Chem. A (2002) 106, 11714-11718. 
  4. "Chloro(2-pyridinecarboxaldehyde)(2,2':6',2"-terpyridine)ruthenium(II) Perchlorate, Chloro(2-pyridinecarboxylic acid) (2,2':6',2"-terpyridine)ruthenium(II) Perchlorate, Chloroform, Hydrate (1.8/0.2/1/1)," Kelson, E. P., Phengsy, P. P., Arif, A. M. Acta. Cryst. C (2001) C57, 517-519. 
  5. "Synthesis and Structure of a Ruthenium(II) Complex Incorporating kN Bound 2-Pyridonato Ligands; A New Catalytic System for Transfer Hydrogenation of Ketones," Kelson, E. P., Phengsy, P. P. J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans. (2000), 4023-4024. 
  6. "Kinetic Study of 2-Propanol and Benzyl Alcohol Oxidation by Alkane Hexacyanoferrate(III) Catalyzed by a Terpyridiyl Ruthenium Complex," Kelson, E. P., Phensy, P. P. Int. J. Chem. Kinet. (2000) 32(12), 760-770. 
  7. "Electrocatalytic Oxidation by Binuclear Ruthenium Complexes Incorporating the Anionic Tripod Ligand {( 5-C5H5)Co[(CH3O)2P=O]3}-," Kelson, E.P., Henling, L.M., Schaefer, W.P., Labinger, J.A., Bercaw, J.E. Inorg. Chem. (1993) 32(13), 2863-73.


Influence of Intramolecular Ligand Interactions on the Redox and Transfer Hydrogenation Chemistry of Ruthenium Polypyridyl Complexes (2006) Algarin, E.
Development and Investigation of Ru ahd Rh Dechlorination Catalysts (2005), Behroozi, M.
Catalytic Dehydrogenation of Alcohols Using Ru Complexes (2004), Binderwalla, R.
Hydrogen Transfer Catalysts by a Polypyridine Ruthenium Complex Incorporating 7-Azaindolato Ligands (2004) Lazik, R. M.
Electrochemistry of Polypyridine Ruthenium Complexes Bearing 2-Pyridonato, 2-Pyrrolidinonato and 7-Azaindolato Ligands (2003) Zhu, M.
Development and Mechanistic Investigation of Homogeneous Ruthenium and Rhodium Catalysts for the Transfer Hydrogenation of Ketones (2002) Heine, M. A.
Ruthenium Based Catalysts for Base Assisted Alcohol Oxidation Reactions (2001) Phengsy, P. P.