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 Prof. Dr. Thomas Nugent
Prof. Dr. Thomas Nugent
Prof. Dr.
Professor of Chemistry
Life Sciences & Chemistry

Campus Ring 1 28759 Bremen Germany

+49 421 200-3102
t.nugent [at]
Research III, Room 113
Research Interests: 

The Nugent group is interested in the synthesis of organic molecules of consequence, that is, those having immediate societal impact (pharmaceutical and natural product drugs) and those containing challenging architectural features.  These molecules require many chemical operations to synthesize (build) them and sometimes require years of research to do so.  More often than not, a specific sequence of chemical operations (multistep organic synthesis) may only be accomplished when new synthetic methods (single organic transformations) are developed.  In particular synthetic methods based on enantioselective catalysis, employing transition metals (organometallic catalysts) or organic catalysts, are at the forefront of our modern know how in synthetic organic chemistry.  Development of these reactions is important because they enable the transformation of inexpensive prochiral (i.e. without handedness) organic starting materials into high value chiral (i.e. with handedness) synthons.  These chiral synthons (building blocks) allow the efficient synthesis of pharmaceutical and natural product drugs to occur and are consequently a major focus of our research efforts.

University Education: 
  • B.Sc. in Chemistry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA (1990)
  • Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA (1995)
Fellowships and Awards: 
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, Great Britain (1996-1997)
  • Professor's Social Involvement Award (awarded by the student government 2005)
Research and Teaching Positions: 
  • Process Research Chemist, Catalytica Fine Chemicals / DSM Pharmaceuticals, Mountain View, California, USA (1998-2000)
  • Process Research Chemist, Pharmacia / Pfizer Corporation, South San Francisco, California, USA (2001-2003)
  • Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry, International University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany (October 2003)

Book Chapters

  • T. C. Nugent, Chiral Amine Synthesis - Strategies, Examples, and Limitations. In Process Chemistry in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Second Edition: Challenges in an Ever-Changing Climate, T. F. Braish, K. Gadamasetti Eds.; CRC Press-Taylor and Francis Group: New York, 2008 publication.


  • Nugent, T. C.; El-Shazly, M.; Wakchaure, V. N. Ytterbium Acetate Promoted Asymmetric Reductive Amination: Significantly Enhanced Stereoselectivity, submitted 2007.
  • Nugent, T. C.; Ghosh, A. Selective Synthesis of Unnatural a-, b- and g-Amino Esters, Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2007, 3863-3869.
  • Wakchaure, V. N.; Mohanty, R. R.; Shaikh, A. J.; Nugent, T. C. A One-Pot Asymmetric Sequential Amination-Alkylation Reaction: Expedient Synthesis of á-Alkyl,-Alkyl Substituted Chiral Amines, Eur.J. Org. Chem. 2007, 959-964.
  • Nugent, T. C.; Ghosh, A. K.; Wakchaure, V. N.; Mohanty, R. R. Asymmetric Reductive Amination: Convenient Access to Enantioenriched Alkyl-Alkyl or Aryl-Alkyl Substituted a-Chiral Primary Amines, Adv. Synth. & Catal. 2006, 348, 1289-1299.
  • Nugent, T. C.; Seemayer, R. An Efficient Enantiopure Synthesis of a Pivotal Precursor to Substance P Antagonists, Org. Process Res. Dev. 2006, 10, 142-148.
  • Nugent, T. C.; Wakchaure, V. N.; Ghosh, A. K.; Mohanty, R. R. Evolution of Ti(OiPr)4 and Raney-Nickel for the Asymmetric Reductive Amination of Prochiral Ketones, Org. Lett. 2005, 7, 4967-4970.


  • Synthesis of Amine Stereoisomers; Nugent, T. C.; Wakchaure, V. N.; Ghosh, A. K.; Mohanty, R. R.(International University Bremen, GmbH), publication number: WO2006030017, 23 March 2006.
  • Process for the Preparation of (S,S)-cis-Phenyl-3-Aminopiperidine; Nugent, T. C.; Seemayer, R.; and Liang, J. (Pfizer Products, Inc. and DSM Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), publication number: WO2004037174, 06 May 2004.
  • Process for the Preparation of (S,S)-cis-2-Benzhydryl-3-benzylaminoquinuclidine; Nugent, T. C.; Seemayer, R. (Pfizer Products, Inc. and DSM Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), publication number: WO2004035575, 29 April 2004.
Other Professional Activities: 
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh)