Kun Liu

Research Assistant Professor 
(Not accepting graduate students)
<span>Research Assistant Professor <br /></span><span>(Not accepting graduate students)</span> Profile Image

Department of Chemistry
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
634 Hamilton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0304

Ph. D. Chemistry Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan                                               
M.S. Organic Chemistry  Tianjin University, Tianjin, China                          
B.S. Chemistry Tianjin University, Tianjin, China                                     

Current Research

  • Bioorthogonal reaction development.
  • Site selective protein modification and living cells labelling.
  • Protein engineering using genetic incorporation of noncanonical amino acids.
  • Regulation of protein function with small molecules.

Research Experience

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Design and synthesis of noncanonical amino acids toward protein engineering using expanded genetic codes.
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University
    Developed a cooperative N‑heterocyclic carbene/palladium catalysis system for the synthesis of 3-allydihydrocoumarin. Synthesis and reaction kinetics of small molecules for novel polyurethane preparation.
  • Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
    Discovered a general protocol for catalytic asymmetric synthesis of axially chiral anilides, o-iodoanilides and o-tert-butyl anilindes, by phase-transfer catalyzed reactions. Achieved asymmetric synthesis of chiral 1,1’-disubstituted tetrahydro-β-carbolines, 1,1’-disubstituted tetrahydroisoquinolines and Reissert compounds.
  • Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China (2006-2008)
    Developed a series of saccharide-derived thioureas and demonstrated the catalytic reactivity of these thioureas in asymmetric synthesis.

Selected Publications

  1. Leitsch, E. K.; Beniah, G.; Liu, K.; Lan, T.; Heath, W. H.; Scheidt, K. ; Torkelson, J. M. “Nonisocyanate Thermoplastic Polyhydroxyurethane Elastomers via Cyclic Carbonate Aminolysis: Critical Role of Hydroxyl Groups in Controlling Nanophase Separation”  ACS Macro Lett.20165, 424-429.
  2. Liu, K.; Hovey, M. T.; Scheidt, K. “A Cooperative N-heterocyclic Carbene/Palladium Catalysis System” Chem. Sci. 2014, 5, 4026-4031.
  3. Liu, K.; Wu, X. F.; Kan, S. B. J.; Shirakawa, S.; Maruoka, K. “Phase-Transfer-Catalyzed Asymmetric Synthesis of Axially Chiral Anilides”. Chem. Asian J. 2013, 8, 3214-3221.
  4. Shirakawa, S.; Liu, K.; Maruoka, K.  “Catalytic Asymmetric Synthesis of Axially Chiral o-Iodoanilides by Phase-Transfer Catalyzed Alkylations” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 916-919. (Highlighted by Synfacts 2012, 8, 0333)
  5. Liu, K.; Cui, H.-F.; Nie, J.; Dong, K.-Y.; Li, X.-J.; Ma, J.-A. “Highly Enantioselective Michael Addition of Aromatic Ketones to Nitroolefins Promoted by Chiral Bifunctional Primary Amine-thiourea Catalysts Based on Saccharides” Org. Lett. 2007, 9, 923-925.