Hanna Key

Assistant Professor

Scholarly Interests

Biological phenomena have long inspired the problems that organic chemists approach and the solutions that organic chemists develop.  My research explores the interface of biological processes and synthetic chemistry problems to turn biological phenomena into tools for the synthetic chemist.  Examples include:

  • Design and evolution of enzymes to catalyze abiological, organic reactions
  • Application of enzymes to determine more efficiently the outcomes of organic reactions
  • Preparation of new, complex, bioactive molecules by late-stage functionalization

Teaching Philosophy

Historically, science classrooms and careers have not afforded everyone an equal opportunity to participate and achieve.  I believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to learn about, participate in, and ultimately shape scientific knowledge and perspectives.  Moreover, I believe that society benefits from a populace that is widely conversant in science.  As an educator, I aim to inspire students to pursue careers in science and to view the diverse challenges facing the world with a perspective that is guided and enhanced by their understanding of science. 

Education and Degrees

  • B.A. in Chemistry: Grinnell College, 2007-2011
  • PhD in Chemistry: University of California- Berkeley, 2011-2016
  • Postdoctoral Research Scholar: Yale University, 2016-2017

Selected Publications

  1. Key, H. M., Miller, S. J. Site- and Stereoselective Chemical Editing of Thiostrepton by Rh-Catalyzed Conjugate Arylation: New Analogs and Collateral Enantioselective Synthesis of Amino Acids. JACS 2017 ASAP.
  2. Key, H. M.‡, Dydio, P.‡, Liu, Z.; Rha, J. Y*., Nazarenko, A.*, Seyedkazemi, V.*, Clark, D. S., and Hartwig, J. F. Beyond Fe: Iridium-Containing P450 Enzymes for Selective Cyclopropanations of Structurally Diverse Alkenes. ACS Central Science 2017, 3, 302-308.
  3. Dydio, P.‡, Key, H. M.‡, Hayashi, H., Clark, D. S., and Hartwig, J. F. Enzymatic, Chemoselective C-H Amination Catalyzed by CYP119 Containing an Ir(Me)-PIX Cofactor. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 1750-1753. (Featured as JACS Spotlight)
  4. Dydio, P.‡, Key, H. M.‡, Nazarenko, A.*, Rha, J. Y.*, Seyedkazemi, V.*, Clark, D. S., and Hartwig, J. F. An Artificial Metalloenzyme with the Kinetics of Natural Enzymes. Science 2016, 354, 102-106. (Featured in Cell Select and C&EN News)
  5. Key, H. M.‡, Dydio, P.‡, Clark, D. S., Hartwig, J. F. Abiological Catalysis by Artificial Heme Proteins Containing Noble Metals in Place of Iron. Nature 2016, 534, 534-537. (Featured as an ACIE Highlight and in Cell Select, Chemistry World, C&EN News, Forbes Magazine)
  6. Key, H. M., Clark, D. S., Hartwig, J. F. Generation, Characterization, and Tunable Reactivity of Organometallic Fragments Bound to a Protein Ligand. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 8261-8268.

‡Authors contributed equally

*Undergraduate co-author

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