2018 Keaffaber Scholar Award

Roberto Serrano is the recipient of the 2018 Keaffaber Scholar Award…


Congratulations to Roberto F. Serrano, Jr. who has been named the recipient of the 2018 Keaffaber Scholar Award. The award has been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Jeffrey Keaffaber, a longtime friend and supporter of the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Keaffaber received his Ph.D. from the Department in 1989 (with Prof. William Dolbier, Jr.) and has enjoyed a career in industry, entrepreneurship, consulting, and teaching. Within the Department of Chemistry he has served as a senior lecturer, undergraduate advisor, and pioneer of new teaching initiatives.

The Keaffaber Scholar Award recognizes the overall excellence in research and academic scholarship of one of our senior chemistry majors. To be eligible for the award, the undergraduate must be research active within the Department of Chemistry and committed to pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry. This year’s recipient, Roberto Serrano, is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in chemistry. He has been working in the lab of Dr. Alexander Grenning for two years, conducting research in organic chemistry. His research involves the development of the reductive Cope rearrangement. The purpose of his research is to promote unfavorable [3,3] sigmatropic rearrangements for facile access to complex natural product scaffolds. In the spring of 2018, Roberto was selected to the competitive University Scholars Program for his undergraduate research. Roberto plans to pursue a PhD in chemistry with a focus in synthetic organic chemistry. His goal after earning his PhD is to obtain a research position in academia so that he may contribute ideal syntheses of natural products and novel methodologies with translational potential to various industries.