Scott Miller

Member of Yale faculty since 2006

Research Interests


Complex molecule synthesis is one of the key disciplines of modern chemical research. The development of new methods for the synthesis and derivatization of such structures is a multi-dimensional activity involving reaction design, development, and application. Research in our group focuses on each of these aspects of chemical synthesis. Utilizing the architecture and design principles presented by biologically relevant structures and processes, we seek to discover new reactions and to apply new principles to the selective synthesis of complex molecules.

As part of this program, we bring to bear the full arsenal of modern synthetic chemistry. Employing rational design, combinatorial screening and a constantly evolving collective intuition, we are working to discover new chemical transformations that enable the rapid synthesis of stereochemically complex structures. In addition, we are investigating the development of new catalysts for the selective functionalization of these molecules.

A particular interest is in the catalytic modification of natural products. These studies are enabling access to an expansive set of biologically inspired natural product analogs. A key component of all of this work is the determination of the fundamental molecular interactions that are responsible for reaction selectivities. As a result, mechanistic analysis is at the heart of many of our studies.


B.A./M.A. Harvard University, 1989
Ph.D. Harvard University, 1994
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1994-96


Research Innovation Award, Research Corporation, 1998
NSF CAREER Award, 1999
Cottrell Scholar Award of Research Corporation, 1999
Eli Lilly Grantee, 1999
Novartis Chemistry Lectureship Award, 1999
DuPont Young Professor Award, 2000
Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2000
Glaxo-Wellcome Chemistry Scholar Award, 2000
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 2000
Merck Chemistry Council Grants, 2000-2007
Pfizer Award for Creativity in Organic Chemistry, 2003
Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society, 2004
Robert Burns Woodward Visiting Scholar, Harvard University, 2005
Boehringer-Ingelheim Cares Foundation Award, 2006
Yoshimasa Hirata Memorial Gold Medal, Nagoya University, 2009
National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, 2011
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2012 
Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 2016
Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2016
Max Tishler Prize, Harvard University, 2017

Representative Publications

“Diversity of Secondary Structure in Catalytic Peptides with beta-Turn-Biased Sequences” Metrano, A. J.; Abascal, N. C.; Mercado, B. Q.; Paulson, E. K.; Hurtley, A. E.; Miller S. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 492-516.

“Applications of Non-Enzymatic Catalysts to the Alteration of Natural Products” Shugrue, C. R.; Miller, S. J. Chem. Rev. 2017, 117, 11894-11951.

“Stereodynamic Quinone-Hydroquinone Molecules that Enantiomerize at sp3-Carbon via Redox-Interconversion” Kim, B.; Storch, G. T.; Banerjee, G.; Mercado, B. Q.; Castillo-Lora, J.; Brudvig, G. W.; Mayer, J. M.; Miller, S. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 15239-15244.

“Site- and Stereoselective Chemical Editing of Thiostrepton by Rh-Catalyzed Conjugate Arylation: New Analogs and Collateral Enantioselective Synthesis of Amino Acids” Key, H. M.; Miller, S. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 15460-15466.

“Enantioselective Intermolecular C-O Bond Formation in the Desymmetrization of Diarylmethines Employing a Guanidinylated Peptide-Based Catalyst” Chinn, A. J.; Kim, B.; Kwon, Y.; Miller, S. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 18107-18114.