About

All Things Metathesis was developed by Materia, Inc. for the two-fold purpose of establishing a knowledge resource on olefin metathesis and providing a setting for the growing number of metathesis users to discuss the technology. In light of the company’s evolving expertise in the area of olefin metathesis, Materia is committed to educating the academic and corporate communities on the benefits and applications of this Nobel Prize winning technology. All Things Metathesis provides general information on olefin metathesis and specific information on ruthenium based metathesis catalysts.

Contributing Authors

Andy Nickel
Andy Nickel
Andy grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended Temple University as an undergraduate. In college he studied chemistry and spent his free time playing rhythm guitar in a band. One day, he skipped band practice to attend a graduate student literature seminar entitled, “Ruthenium-Catalyzed Olefin Metathesis.” Despite the teasing he received from his band mates that day, he still spends much of his time thinking about this very topic. After earning his Ph.D in 2005 from Yale University in the field of natural product synthesis, Andy worked as a medicinal chemist for 3 years before joining Materia in the summer of 2008.

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Jean Baptiste Bourg
Jean-Baptiste (J-B) was born in Ambilly, France and grew up in the French Alps, where he especially enjoyed skiing. He studied chemistry in Paris, earning an engineering degree from Chimie ParisTech, and did research on ruthenium-catalyzed hydrogenation. The weather in Paris being a little too rainy, he decided to move to Riverside, California. He spent the next four years trying to isolate diradicals and carbenes, and eventually completed his Ph.D. Willing to apply his knowledge on carbene chemistry to olefin metathesis, J-B worked with Prof. Grubbs before joining Materia in fall 2008.

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Paul Boothe
Paul grew up outside Pittsburgh, PA and began his chemistry career as a lab assistant for a cranky graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, before becoming a slightly less cranky graduate student himself while obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California. After a brief stint in the classroom, he retreated to the safety of the laboratory, joining Materia in 2006.

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Diana Stoianova
Diana grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria and got her Masters degree at Sofia University. After she earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Zurich in Switzerland she moved to the States for a post doc and never left. She ran her first metathesis reaction in Paul Hanson’s group at the University of Kansas, the reaction worked really well and everybody else in the group started doing metathesis. Diana joined Materia in the fall of 2002.

Daryl Allen
Daryl Allen
Daryl was born and raised on the east coast of Canada, in the small town of Woodstock, New Brunswick. Next was the move to the big city of Fredericton, to attend the University of New Brunswick and study chemistry. Besides chemistry, Daryl occupied his time by playing numerous sports such as baseball and hockey. To pay the bills, he worked at a local ice rink as a Zamboni driver, which is one of his main claims to fame in his native country!! After completing his Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry split between the University of New Brunswick and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Daryl moved to Pasadena, CA to work as a post doc with Prof. Grubbs and then joined Materia in the spring of 2008.


Rosemary Conrad Kiser
Rose was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA where she discovered her interest in chemistry from cooking and developing black-and-white photos. She then picked up and moved west to attend UC Berkeley for college and it was there that she ran her first metathesis reaction (ring-closing). After completing her PhD at Stanford in early 2008 in natural product synthesis, she moved to Southern California and joined Prof. Grubbs’ group for postdoctoral research. There she focused on ring-opening metathesis polymerizations (ROMP) and subsequently joined the team at Materia in early 2011.


Brian Conley
Brian grew up just outside of Charleston, W.V in a small town called Dunbar. Through high school, his main goal was to become a professional soccer player. It’s a good thing he also focused on his school work! Brian gave up soccer and studied chemistry at Elon University, getting involved in undergraduate research in the process. With new goals in mind, he made his way to the University of Southern California and obtained his Ph.D. in organometallics in 2008. Life in SoCal was too good, so he continued his training by doing a post-doctoral fellowship at USC before joining Materia in August 2011.


John Phillips
John grew up in the coastal city of Oceanside, CA and spent most of his time at the beach. He attended UC Berkeley for college and then landed in the “Berkeley of the Midwest”, where he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. In 2006 he once again returned to southern California to do postdoctoral research in the area of natural product synthesis at CalTech. After another stint in the Midwest at the University of Michigan where he lectured undergraduate organic chemistry and studied nickel catalysis, he moved back to southern California and joined Materia in 2010.

Nick Rodak
Nick Rodak
Nick was born and raised on the East Coast in the snowy confines of Attica, a small hamlet in Western New York. After too many episodes of “All Creatures Great and Small” growing up, he applied to and was accepted into Cornell’s veterinarian program. However, trudging through the howling winds of Ithaca brought back memories of many a cold, January blast while growing up on the farm that made him realize perception was attempting to define his reality and future. His first college Chemistry lab was an eye opener as he found he was not only memorizing, but was asking, experimenting, and learning. He never looked back, switched his major to Chemistry, and did undergraduate research for nearly 3 years, even foregoing a semester of study in France to catch up on graduation requirements because he didn’t want to stay longer…Only to end up staying longer for his Ph.D. at Cornell in organic and polymer synthesis, often joking he was “never told to leave so he kept showing up…” His first professional job took him to Valley Forge and, needless to say, even more snow. He finally escaped the East Coast and moved his family to the West Coast and the sun to join Materia in the spring of 2010.

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Ashley Zuzek
Ashley was born and raised in New Jersey in a town where there might be more deer than there are people. She then went to Dartmouth College; she learned a lot of things there, including how not to freeze in -10 degree weather and how to do research. In fact, she realized that she liked research so much that she decided to spend five more years in school and went to New York City to get her Ph.D. at Columbia University. She then came to California to start working at Materia, where she has been since September 2014.

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 Jessica Herron
Jessica was born and raised in the deep south on a farm where just the thought of a college education seemed like an unattainable dream. She never quite fit in with those southern farmer peers, and made a college education a priority, not just a dream. During this time she discovered her first love, chemistry. With a kind and intelligent mentor to guide her, she became even more passionate about her field and decided to attend graduate school. During her graduate studies at Rice University in Houston, the challenges she encountered made the journey difficult, but being surrounded by intelligence and her love of chemistry kept her pushing forward. Fortunately, none of her challenges involved free roaming alligators. She then took a postdoc position at UC Irvine, which ended more abruptly than planned. Her love for chemistry never waned, and never one to put down the torch she took a second postdoc at the University of Southern California pro bono!  She joined Materia three months later in the summer of 2014, where the chemistry is never in short supply.

About Materia, Inc.

Materia, Inc. was founded in 1998 to commercialize olefin metathesis catalyst technology. To that end, the Company has developed an extensive intellectual property portfolio, which includes over 350 issued and pending patents (worldwide) covering not only ruthenium catalyst composition and manufacture, but also methods of using the technology to perform a wide variety of transformations and compositions of certain products.

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