J. W. T. Spinks Lecture Series

These annual lectures, established in 1975, recognize the many contributions Dr. J.W.T. Spinks made to his departments, the university, and the chemical professions, both nationally and internationally. As faculty member, Department Head, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research, University President, and President Emeritus, Dr. Spinks was associated with our University from 1930 until his passing in 1997.

The lecture series brings to the University of Saskatchewan eminent scientists and engineers in the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering to deliver a series of lectures and to share their knowledge and experience with students and staff. This series is run jointly with the Department of Chemical Engineering, which hosts the Spinks lectures every third year.

Save the Date!

2018-19 Spinks Lecture

April 25 & 26, 2019

2017-2018 Spinks Lecture

C. WhiteProfessor M. Christina White was born in Athens, Greece. She received a B.A. degree with highest honors in biochemistry from Smith College working with Stuart Rosenfeld in the area of host-guest chemistry. After a one-year stint in the biology graduate program working with Christian Anfinsen on thermophilic bacteria protein folding, she received her Ph. D. degree from Johns Hopkins University in chemistry with Gary Posner as an ACS Medicinal Chemistry Pre-Doctoral fellow. She was a NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University with Eric Jacobsen from 1999-2002 and is currently a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The White group aims to study and develop selective, catalytic C—H oxidation reactions for broad use in organic synthesis. They have contributed novel palladium/sulfoxide, iron PDP, and manganese phthalocyanine catalysts that are now commercially available (Aldrich, Strem, TCI). These catalysts are used academically and industrially to functionalize all types of C(sp3)—H bonds, including aliphatics, under preparative conditions with predictable and catalyst-controlled site-selectivities, even in complex molecule settings- without the requirement for directing groups. The reactions and quantitative models developed by the White group to understand and predict site-selectivities for aliphatic C—H hydroxylations have provided fundamental insights into the physical organic properties of C—H bonds that govern their differential reactivity in complex molecules and have led to strategic advances synthesis, most notably the concept of late-stage C—H functionalization. Professor White has given over 200 lectures worldwide.

Lecture 1: Thursday, November 2, 2017
“The Functionalization of C—H Bonds”
3:45 p.m., Room 241 Arts Building


Lecture 2: Friday, November 3, 2017
“Molecular Surgery with Base-Metal Catalysts”
3:45 p.m., Room 241 Arts Building

List of Chemistry Lecturers


P. Kamat
University of Notre Dame


S. I. Stupp
Northwestern University


I. Manners
University of Bristol, UK


M. Lautens
University of Toronto


S. G. Withers
University of British Columbia


D. L. Boger
The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA


J. F. Stoddart
University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA


G.M. Whitesides
Harvard University


P.B. Dervan
California Institute of Technology


R. Breslow
Columbia University, NY, USA


F.S. Rowland
University of California, Irvine, USA


M.A. Fox
University of Texas, Austin, USA


P. von Ragué Schleyer
Universität Erlangen, Germany


B.E. Conway
University of Ottawa


K. Mislow
Princeton University, USA


A.K. Pikaev
Academy of Sciences, USSR


P. Deslongchamps
University of Sherbrooke


H. Taube
Stanford University, USA


P.C. Lauterbur
University of Illinois, USA


G. Herzberg
Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
National Research Council of Canada


G.A. Ozin
University of Toronto


L.M. Dorfman
The Ohio State University, USA


D. Phillips
Royal Institution of Great Britain


H. Eyring
University of Utah, USA


R.U. Lemieux
University of Alberta


J.C. Polanyi
University of Toronto