Research in the Hall Group is centered on organoboron chemistry and explores various applications of boronic acid derivatives in reaction development, catalysis, natural product synthesis, and chemical biology. Hall and his co-workers have pioneered the concept of "Boronic Acid Catalysis” (BAC), an emerging strategy for the direct activation of carboxylic acids and alcohols. For example, effective boronic acid catalysts for waste-free direct amidations between free carboxylic acids and amines have been designed to function at room temperature in a variety of organic solvents. As described in a comprehensive article recognized as the 2012 Journal of Organic Chemistry Outstanding Paper of the Year, the optimal catalyst, 5-methoxy-2-iodophenylboronic acid (MIBA), circumvents the use of coupling reagents by producing amides in high yields under mild conditions from aliphatic and heteroaromatic carboxylic acids and aliphatic amines.
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