Mary P. Watson was born in Massachusetts in 1977 and grew up in Tampa, FL. She completed an A.B. in Chemistry at Harvard University in 2000. During college, she performed undergraduate research with Prof. David A. Evans at Harvard, as well as with Prof. Kenneth B. Wagener at the University of Florida.

Under the direction of Prof. Larry E. Overman, she earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2006 from the University of California, Irvine. Her doctoral thesis focused on the development and mechanistic investigation of the palladium(II)-catalyzed asymmetric allylic imidate rearrangement. During the course of this work, she had the opportunity to collaborate with Prof. Robert G. Bergman at the University of California, Berkeley, where she performed kinetic and computational studies.

From 2006–2009, she was a National Institutes of Health NRSA postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in Professor Eric N. Jacobsen’s research group. During her postdoc, she developed a nickel-catalyzed method for olefin arylcyanation via activation of C–CN bonds.

In July 2009 she joined the faculty at the University of Delaware, where she has been working with her research group to develop new catalytic methods for the synthesis of organic molecules. Her research has received generously support from the University of Delaware Research Foundation, the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, the National Institutes of Health (R01 and COBRE programs), and the National Science Foundation (Early Career Award). The impact of her research program has been recognized with a Rising Star award from the Women Chemists’ Committee of the American Chemical Society.



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