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

Over the years, the Wild Toads worked with many undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research associates. Wild Toad students receive proficient training in inorganic, organic, and organometallic chemistry, as well as 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. The Wild Toads have published 137 papers with 140 different undergraduate authors and helped send 88 students to graduate school (as of October 2015). With this foundation, the Wild Toads provide students with high-calibre research and training, which enables them to advance their careers and become useful contributors to the future of Canadian science and technology.

 sw 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.



Select examples

1.      ‘Synthesis, characterization, and anticancer properties of iminophosphineplatinum(II) complexes containing boronate esters’ St-Coeur, P.-D.; Kinley, S.; Vogels, C. M.; Decken, A.; Morin, P. Jr.;* Westcott, S. A.* Can. J. Chem. 2017, 95, 207-213.

2.      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.

3.      ‘Strategic trimethylsilyldiazomethane insertion into pinB−SR followed by selective alkylations’ Civit, M. G.; Royes, J.; Vogels, C. M.; Westcott, S. A.;* Cuenca, A. B.;* Fernández, E.* Org. Lett. 2016, 18, 3830-3833.