Stephen Westcott

Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Stephen Westcott

Contact Information

(506) 364-2372
Barclay 213
Office hours
by appointment
Other websites

Professor, Canada Research Chair Tier 1 in Boron Chemistry

Lab: Barclay 202 (506) 364-2351

Discipline: None

Research Area: Organometallics

Our research program focuses on the development of new catalytic and non-catalytic methods of preparing potentially bioactive boron and gallium compounds.  Our team (tHe WiLd ToAdS) has had the privilege of working with many talented undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research associates.  Students receive proficient training in inorganic, organic, and organometallic chemistry as well as in a variety of experimental methods.  Collaborations have been established whereby students spend time with other research groups gaining further experience with a number of different techniques.  We have published 147 papers with 158 different undergraduate authors as of July 2018 and helped send 103 students to graduate school.  We are able to provide students with high-caliber research and training that enable them to advance their careers and become useful contributors to the future of Canadian science, medicine, and technology.

Wild Toads 2


The Wild Toads


BSc (honours, May 1987), PhD (December 1992) — University of Waterloo

Steve Westcott received his PhD from the University of Waterloo under the joint supervision of Drs. Todd B. Marder (now at Universität Würzburg) and R. Tom Baker (now at the University of Ottawa) working on metal-catalyzed hydroborations. He was an NSERC PDF, where he spent one year at Emory University in Atlanta, and more than one year working with Maurice Brookhart at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. He has been at Mount Allison University since August 1995 and is currently a Canada Research Chair in Boron Chemistry.

Research interests

Our research focuses on the development of new catalytic and non-catalytic routes to potentially bioactive boron compounds.

Organometallic Boron Chemistry: A major focus in our lab is the development of novel metal complexes for their ability to catalyze the addition of B-E bonds (E = H, B, Si, S, Ge, N, P) to unsaturated organics.

Figure 1

Bioinorganic: Palladium(II) and gallium(III) complexes have shown potential as anti-cancer agents and small-molecule boron compounds are being designed for their potential anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-mycobacterial, anti-tuberculosis, anti-thrombotic, anti-parasitic, and anti-cancer properties. We are also designing new boron compounds based on the structural motif of capsaicin, the active and hot ingredient in chili peppers.


 Saw Projects 
Saw Projects


Recent Selected Publications

1.    ‘Boron-containing capsaicinoids: synthesis and anti-microbial activities’ Ramsaywack, S.; Bos, A.; Vogels, C. M.; Gray, C. A.;* Westcott, S. A.* accepted to Can. J. Chem.

2.    ‘Synthesis and antimicrobial properties of cyclic fluorodiamines containing boronate esters’ Zhu, D.; Hunter, C. D.; Baird, S. R.; Davis, B. R.; Bos, A.; Geier, S. J.; Vogels, C. M.; Decken, A.;  Gray, C. A.; Westcott, S. A.* Heteroat. Chem. 2017, 28, e21045 DOI: 10.1002/hc.21405 (11 pages).

3.    ‘Rhenium-catalysed hydroboration of aldehydes and aldimines’ Arévalo, R.; Vogels, C. M.; MacNeil, G. A.; Riera, L.; Pérez, J.; Westcott, S. A.* Dalton Trans. 2017, 46, 7750-7757.

4.    ‘The phosphinoboration of carbodiimides, isocyanates, thioisocyanates and CO2.’ Geier, S. J.; LaFortune, J. H. W.; Zhu, D.; Kosnik, S. C.; Macdonald, C. L. B.; Stephan, D. W.;* Westcott, S.A.* Dalton Trans. 2017, 46, 10876-10885.

5.    ‘The phosphinoboration of N-heterocycles’ Geier, S. J.; Vogels, C. M.; Daley, E. N.; Decken, A.; Mellonie, N. R.; Doherty, S.;* Westcott, S. A.* Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 14485-14499.

6.    ‘Diboron(4) compounds: from structural curiosity to synthetic workhorse’ Neeve, E. C.; Geier, S. J.; Mkhalid, I. A. I.; Westcott, S. A.;* Marder, T. B.* Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 9091-9161.

7.    Hot Paper ‘The phosphinoboration reaction’ Daley, E. N.; Vogels, C. M.; Geier, S. J.; Decken, A.; Doherty, S.;* Westcott, S. A.* Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 2121-2125.

8.    Invited Review ‘Dehydrogenative borylation: The dark horse in metal catalysed hydroborations and diborations?’ Geier, S. J.; Westcott, S. A.* Rev. Inorg. Chem. 2015, 35, 69-79.