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Nikki Krahulik


Nikki Krahulik is a rising senior at Grove City College. She is pursuing a chemistry degree with a focus on synthetic chemistry. She is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This summer, Nikki is conducting research under Dr. Wei Liu with Chao Wang as her graduate student mentor. She is investigating the synthesis of RAE—redox-active esters—via in situ reactions. RAEs are reactive and can undergo either reductive or oxidative quenching, which then allows for further reactions that can add a trifluoromethylated group to an alkyl molecule through copper-catalyzed decarboxylative trifluoromethylation. The importance of the synthesis of such products is that trifluoromethylated groups have grown in popularity in the medicinal chemistry field. The C-F bond is a strong bond that gives metabolic stability and increases lipophilicity that is important for transportation through the lipophilic membrane. This research investigates the ability and methods necessary to add a trifluoromethylated group to an alkyl group.


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