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Ampofo Darko

Ampofo K. Darko

Assistant Professor


Dr. Darko’s research interests center on developing the scope of reactions involving strained molecules.  Specifically, he is interested in the ability of strained molecules to accelerate reactions and influence their stereochemical outcomes.  His group investigates this concept in the areas of organometallic catalyst design, cycloaddition reactions, and organocatalysis.


Dr. Darko received his B.S. in chemistry from Guilford College in 2004 and his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Florida, where he studied tungsten-catalyzed oxidative carbonylation of functionalized amines under the direction of Prof. Lisa McElwee-White. He then performed postdoctoral research with Professor Joseph Fox at the University of Delaware studying trans-cyclooctenes and their bioorthogonal reactivity with tetrazines. Darko joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee in 2014.


B.S., Guilford College (2004)
Ph.D., University of Florida (2010)


Darko, A.; Wallace, S.; Dmitrenko, O.; Machovina, M. M.; Mehl, R. A.; Chin, J.W.; Fox, J. M. Conformationally Strained trans-Cyclooctene with Improved Stability and Excellent Reactivity in Tetrazine Ligation. Chem. Sci. 2014, 5, 3770-3776. DOI:10.1039/C4SC01348D

Zhang, L.; Darko, A. K.; Johns, J. I.; McElwee-White, L. Catalytic Oxidative Carbonylation of Aryl Amines to Ureas Using W(CO)6/I2 as Catalyst. Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2011, 6261-6268.

Darko, A. K.; Curran, F. C.; Copin, C.; McElwee-White, L. Carbonylation of Functionalized Diamine Diols to Cyclic Ureas: Application to Derivatives of DMP 450. Tetrahedron.  2011, 67, 3976-3983.

Díaz, D.J.; Darko, A. K.; McElwee-White, L. Transition Metal-Catalyzed Oxidative Carbonylation of Amines to Ureas. Eur. J. Org. Chem.  2007, 4453-4465.

Additional Information

Lab Address: Buehler Hall 602, 603, 604

Ampofo Darko

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