Daniel J. O'Leary

Carnegie Professor of Chemistry
With Pomona Since: 1994
  • Expertise


    As an organic chemist, Daniel O’Leary is interested in using chemical synthesis, computational chemistry and advanced spectroscopic techniques for developing new methods for studying the solution conformation of molecules. He has also published articles in the areas of catalysis, chemistry education and the history of science.

    He teaches classes on general chemistry, organic chemistry, computational chemistry and NMR spectroscopy. He has participated in the ID1 first-year seminar program at Pomona College, co-teaching “Science and the Public’s Health.” He has previously taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bowdoin College and the California Institute of Technology.

    Research Interests

    • Isotope effects
    • NMR spectroscopy
    • Organic synthesis
    • Molecular structure and dynamics
    • Chemistry education

    Areas of Expertise

    • Organic Chemistry
    • Isotope Effects
    • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
    • Computational Chemistry
    • Chemistry Education
  • Work


    Do-It-Yourself Five-Color 3D Printing of Molecular Orbitals and Surfaces. Garcia, M.; O’Leary, F. A.; O’Leary, D. J. J. Chem. Educ. 2023, 100, 1648-1658. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.2c00907.

    1H NMR Studies of Intramolecular OH/OH Hydrogen Bonds via Titratable Isotope Shifts. Kolahdouzan, K. (’18); Ogba, O. M.; O’Leary, D. J. J. Org. Chem., 2022, 87, 1732-1744. DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.1c01910.

    Following Molecular Mobility During Chemical Reactions: No Evidence for Active Propulsion. Fillbrook, L. L.; Günther, J. -P.; Majer, G.; O’Leary, D. J.; Price, W. S.; Van Ryswyk, H.; Fischer, P.; Beves, J. E. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2021, 143, 20884-20890. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c09455.

    Comment on “An Equilibrium Isotope Effect Due to a Strong Hydrogen Bond. O’Leary, D. J. Chemical Physics Letters, 2019, 730, 302-305. DOI: 10.1016/j.cplett.2019.06.027.

    Vibrational Analysis of a Rate-Slowing Conformational Kinetic Isotope Effect. Ogba, O. M.; Liu, Z. (’18); O’Leary, D. J. Tetrahedron, 2019, 75, 545-550. DOI: 10.1016/j.tet.2018.12.051.

    Recent Advances in Ruthenium-Based Olefin Metathesis. Ogba, O.M.; Warner, N. C. (’17); O’Leary, D. J.; Grubbs, R. H. Chemical Society Reviews, 2018, 47, 4510-4544. DOI: 10.1039/C8CS00027A

    Spreadsheet-Based Computational Predictions of Isotope Effects. Ogba, O. M.; Thoburn, J. D.; O’Leary, D. J. in Applied Theoretical Chemistry, D. J. Tantillo, Ed. World Scientific Press, 2018. DOI: 10.1142/9781786344090_0014

    Cross-Metathesis, O’Leary, D. J.; O’Neil, G. W. in Handbook of Metathesis, 2nd Ed., Volume 2: Applications in Organic Synthesis; Grubbs, R. H., O’Leary, D.J., Eds.; Wiley-VCH: Weinhem, 2015. DOI: 10.1002/9783527674107.ch16

    Handbook of Metathesis, 2nd Ed., Volume 2: Applications in Organic Synthesis; Grubbs, R. H., O’Leary, D.J., Eds.; Wiley-VCH: Weinhem, 2015. ISBN: 978-3-527-69404-4

    The Deeds to Deuterium. O’Leary, D. Nature Chemistry, 2012, 4, 236. DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1273

  • Education


    NSF Post-Doctoral Fellow
    Harvard University

    University of California, Los Angeles

    Bachelor of Arts
    Linfield College

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Independent Research in Chemistry
    • Organic Chemistry with Lab
    • NMR Spectroscopy
    • Critical Inquiry Seminar
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    Pomona College, Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2013 & 2018

    Zaida C. Morales-Martinez Prize for Outstanding Mentoring of American Chemical Society Scholars, 2012

    Pomona College, Irvine Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award, 2003

    Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award,1999

    University of California, Los Angeles, Winstein Dissertation Prize, 1991