Nelson, Hosea

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Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Molecular Sciences 3515
Molecular Sciences 3221, 3221A, 3225, and 3426

Short Biography

Prof. Nelson earned a B.S. in Chemistry from University of California at Berkeley in 2004 and a  Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2012. After postdoctoral training at University of California at Berkeley, Prof. Nelson joined the UCLA faculty in 2014.

Research Interest

Broadly speaking, Prof. Nelson’s research program is focused on the development of enabling technologies for chemical synthesis and biology. His group will achieve this goal through two primary avenues of research.

Target-Driven Organic Synthesis:

 As both an inspiration for the development of new organic methodology and as a means to proactively contribute to the development of medicines, the Nelson Group will pursue the synthesis of bioactive complex molecules. Targets will be selected based on their biological activity and syntheses will be designed with a focus on modularity and efficiency.  Ultimately, through synthetic activities and collaborations, we hope to develop small molecules that will be widely utilized by practitioners of medicine and biology.

Reaction Development:

As a means to expand the methodology available to synthetic chemists, efforts to discover new concepts in catalysis and novel chemical transformations will be undertaken.   We are specifically interested in developing supramolecular organometallic catalysts that enable challenging stereoselective transformations.  Furthermore, the development of methodologies that rely on the catalysis of earth-abundant main group elements and base metals will be pursued.



1.     Nelson, H. M.‡; Williams, B. D.‡; Miró, J.; Toste, F. D. “Enantioselective 1,1-Arylborylation of Alkenes: Merging Chiral Anion Phase Transfer with Pd Catalysis” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015,  DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b00344, published online February 27, 2015.

2.     Gordon, J. R.; Nelson, H. M.; Virgil, S. C.; Stoltz, B. M. “The Total Syntheses of Basiliolide C, epi-Basiliolide C, and Protecting-Group-Free Total Syntheses of Transtaganolides C and D,” J. Org. Chem. 2014, 7, 9740–9747.

3.     Nelson, H. M.‡; Patel, J. S.‡; Shunatona, H. P.; Toste, F. D. “Enantioselective α-Amination Enabled by a BINAM-Derived Phase-Transfer Catalyst” Chem. Sci. 2014, 6, 170–173.

4.    Nelson, H. M.; Reisberg, S. H.; Shunatona, H. P.; Patel, J. S.; Toste, F. D. “Chiral Anion Phase-Transfer of Aryldiazonium Cations:An Enantioselective Synthesis of C3-Diazenated Pyrroloindolines” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 5600–5603.

5.     Vieregg, J. R.; Nelson, H. M.; Stoltz, B. M.; Pierce, N. A. “Selective Nucleic Acid Capture With Shielded Covalent Probes,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 9691–9699.

6.     Nelson, H. M.; Gordon, J. R.; Virgil, S. C.; Stoltz, B. M. “Total Syntheses of (–)-Transtaganolide A, (+)-Transtaganolide B, (+)-Transtaganolide C, and (–)-Transtaganolide D and Biosynthetic Implications,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 6699–6703.

7.     Nelson, H. M.; Murakami, K.; Virgil, S. C.; Stoltz, B. M. “A General Approach to the Basiliolide/Transtaganolide Natural Products: Total Syntheses of Basiliolide B, epi-8-Basiliolide B, Transtaganolide C, and Transtaganolide D,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 8, 3688–3691.

8.    Nelson, H. M.; Stoltz, B. M. “Progress Toward the Synthesis of the Transtaganolide/Basiliolide Natural Products: An Ireland-Claisen Approach,” Tetrahedron Lett.  2009, 50, 1699–1701.

9.     Sun, Q.; Nelson, H. M.; Ly, T.; Stoltz, B. M.; Julian, R. R. “Side Chain Chemistry Mediates Backbone Fragmentation in Hydrogen Deficient Peptide Radicals,” J. Proteome Res. 2009, 8, 958–966.

10.   Nelson, H. M.; Stoltz, B. M. “Progress toward the Synthesis of the Basiliolides and Transtaganolides: An Intramolecular Pyrone Diels-Alder Entry into a Novel Class of Natural Products,” Org. Lett. 2008, 10, 25–28.


1.     Nelson, H. M.; Murakami, K.; Gordon, J. R.; Virgil, S. C.; Stoltz, B. M. “Synthetic transtaganolide and basiliolide products, derivatives thereof, and synthesis methods,” United States Patent US 13/353314, 2012.