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Geoff Coates

Tisch University Professor
Chemistry and Chemical Biology

He received a B.A. degree in Chemistry from Wabash College in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Stanford University in 1994. His thesis work, under the direction of Robert M. Waymouth, investigated the stereoselectivity of metallocene-based Ziegler-Natta catalysts. Following his doctoral studies, he was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow with Robert H. Grubbs at the California Institute of Technology. During the summer of 1997 he joined the faculty of Cornell University as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001, and to Professor in 2002. He was appointed to the first Tisch University Professorship in 2008.


The research focus of the Coates Group is the development of new catalysts for the synthesis of macromolecules as well as small molecules. Professor Coates' research concentrates on developing new methods for reacting commodity feedstocks in unprecedented ways. His current research centers on the development of homogeneous catalysts for olefin polymerization, heterocycle carbonylation, epoxide homo- and copolymerization, and the utilization of carbon dioxide in polymer synthesis.