Contact Information

Office: Room 315

Lab: Rooms 306 and 308

Chemistry and Biochemistry Building
P.O. Box 173400
Bozeman, MT 59717

Phone: 406-994-5408

Fax: 406-994-5407





  • B.S., University of California, Los Angeles, 1976
  • M.S., University of California, Los Angeles, 1977
  • Ph.D., Rice University, 1980
  • Postdoctoral, Stanford University, 1981



Awards and Professional Activities

Departmental Scholar (Chemistry), 1974 - 1976 University of California, Los Angeles, CA; Rice Graduate Fellowship (Chemistry), 1976 - 1977, Rice University, Houston, TX; NIH Postdoctoral Fellow (Chemistry), 1979 - 1980, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 1989 - 1991; Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, 1993 - 1995; Wiley Research Award, 1994; Cox Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity, 1996; Montana State University Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1996; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow, 1997.

Livinghouse Group Overview

The research projects under current investigation in the Livinghouse laboratories include the design, synthesis and evaluation of First-In-Class antimicrobial agents against biofilm forming bacteria. This project is a collaborative effort between the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Center for Biofilm Engineering. As such, this project lies at the interface of chemistry and applied microbiology.  Additional projects are described below. 


Organic, Synthesis

New Sequences for the Initiation of Cationic Cascade Annulations

In 1987 the Livinghouse group disclosed that representative polyene cyclizations could be selectively initiated by novel sulfenium ion equivalents. The significance of this finding derives from the unique ability of these cyclizations to convert acyclic precursors to polycyclic products with the net incorporation of new functionalities (e.g., arylthio groups). The application of this new method to the appropriate substrates has led to syntheses for the diosphenol diterpenes(±)-totarolone and (±)-totarol as well as (±)-nimbidiol (Tetrahedron Lett.,30, 1499, 1989). This method has also been successfully applied to the synthesis of the antitumor agent taxodione (J. Chem. Soc. Chem. Commun.,502, 1992; Tetrahedron, 50, 9229, 1994) in addition to a forscolin model.

In addition to the above research, the Livinghouse group has developed an unusually flexible method for heteroannulation which relies upon acylnitrilium ion initiated cyclizations. This method has been successfully applied to the construction of highly functionalized pyrrolines and has been successfully utilized in an efficient total synthesis of the Orchidaceae alkaloid (±)-dendrobine. (J. Am. Chem. Soc.,114, 4089, 1992). It is also significant that electron-rich aromatic nuclei readily undergo \"spiroannulative\" closure onto acylnitrilium ions to provide spirocyclic tetrahydropyridine derivatives in high yield. This method has been used to synthesize an advanced intermediate en route to the irregular lycopodium alkaloid (±)-serratine (J. Chem. Soc. Perkin Transactions I, 2369, 1995). Recently, we have developed a new nucleophilic terminator, the 2-propylidene-1,3-bis(silane) group, that has proven useful for the rapid assembly of polycondensed nitrogenous heterocycles. The use of this terminator in an intramolecular cyclization onto an iminium ion has led to an efficient synthesis of the tricyclic core of stemofoline (J. Am. Chem. Soc.,118, 4200, 1996). In addition, densely functionalized pyrrolines can be prepared by the reaction of 2-propylidene-1,3-bis(silane)s with acylnitrilium ions (J. Org. Chem.,62, 805, 1997).


Organic, Synthesis

Organic Synthesis Using Low Valent Complexes of Early Transition Metals

Within the last several years, the Livinghouse group has become heavily engaged in the development and application of synthetic methods involving low valent group IV and group V metals. The first synthetically practical zirconocene equivalent was discovered in our laboratory. This reagent, [(Cp)2Zr(DMAP)2], possesses sequentially displaceable dimethylaminopyridine ligands which permit its use in intermolecular two component coupling reactions involving unsymmetri-cal partners (Tetrahedron Lett.,30, 3495, 1989). Moreover, this species and related complexes have proven to be exceptionally versatile reagents for promoting enyne macrocyclization reactions (Tetrahedron,50, 4421, 1995) as well as the cocylization of hydrazone moieties with carbon-carbon multiple bonds (J. Am. Chem. Soc.,111, 4495, 1989). In addition, the Livinghouse group has reported the first synthetically practical examples of intramolecular [2+2] cycloadditions involving group IV metal-imido complexes and alkynes (J. Am. Chem. Soc.,114, 5459, 1992). The synthetic viability of this new methodolo-gy was subsequently demonstrated by us in a concise total synthesis of the indolizidine alkaloid (±)-monomorine (J. Org. Chem.,57, 1323, 1992) and the potent antifungal (+)-preussin (J. Am. Chem. Soc.,115, 11485, 1993). In addition, we have shown that a wide variety of functionally differentiated heterocycles can be synthesized using this methodology (Organometallics,16, 1523, 1997).


Organic, Synthesis

Homogeneous Catalysis of Cycloaddition Reactions by Transition Metal Complexes

On going efforts in our laboratories have culminated in the development of novel procedures for effecting the catalysis of representative intramolecular [4+2] and [2+2+2] cycloaddition reactions on Rh(I) templates (J. Am. Chem. Soc.,112, 4965, 1990). Significantly, we have discovered that highly enantioselective variations of these transforma-tions can be achieved by the use of rhodium catalysts modified by specifically designed chiral bisphosphine ligands which differentiate the metal center both spatially and electronically (Tetrahedron,50, 6155, 1994). These new chiral rhodium complexes are currently being exploited in asymmetric variations of the Rh(I) catalyzed [4+2] cycloaddition reaction (Tetrahedron,50, 6145, 1994) and the hydroboration of alkenes. Recently, we have discovered a new protocol for effecting [2 + 2 + 1] cyclopentenone annulations that are catalyzed by cobalt complexes (J. Am. Chem. Soc.,118, 2285, 1996; Tetrahedron Lett.,39, 7637 and 7641, 1998). This remarkable catalytic reaction is currently being exploited in an efficient synthetic approach to the alkaloid magellanenone as well as several other natural products and bioactive molecules.


Organic, Synthesis

Recent Publications

“Intramolecular Metalloaminations of N,N-Dimethylhydrazinoalkenes. A Versatile Method for the Synthesis of Functionalized Piperidines and Pyrrolidines.” Sunsdahl, B.; Smith, A. R.; Livinghouse, T. Angew. Chem. 2014, ASAP.

“Substrate Structural Effects in Yttrium(III) Catalyzed Hydroamination/Cyclizations of Aminoalkenes Terminated by 2-(Phenyl)ethenyl and 2-(2-Heteroarenyl)ethenyl Groups” Jiang, T.; Huynh, K.; Livinghouse, T*. Synlett, 2013, 193-196.

“On the Stereoselective Bicyclization of Aminodienes Catalyzed by Chelating Diamide Complexes of the Group 3 Metals. A Direct Comparison of Sc(III) and Y(III) Bis(amide)s with an Application to the Synthesis of Alkaloid 195F” Jiang, T.; Livinghouse, T. Lovick, H. M. Chem. Commun. 2011, 12861-12863.

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