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Shalisa Oburn

Postdoctoral Scholar

Research Group: Elacqua 


Ph.D., University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; 2019 (Supramolecular and solid-state organic chemistry)

M.S., Missouri State UniversitySpringfield, MO; 2014 (Crystal engineering)

B.S., Missouri State University Springfield, MO; 2013 (Chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry)

Awards and Honors

Eberly Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Penn. State Univ., PA; 2019

A. Lynn Anderson Research Award, Univ. of Iowa, IA.; 2019                          

Ballard Seashore Dissertation Fellowship, Univ. of Iowa, IA.; 2018

Graduate Diversity Fellowship, Univ. of Iowa, IA.; 2018

T. Anne Cleary Fellowship, Univ. of Iowa, IA.; 2018

Research Interests

Research is focused on fundamental studies applying concepts in supramolecular chemistry towards the synthesis of polymer nanothreads through the NSF Center for Nanothread chemistry (CNC). The CNC project encompasses pressure-induced reactivity of aromatic molecules to generate 1D nanothreads – the last frontier in carbon dimensionality. Studies are aimed towards gaining insight into the formation and design new nanothreads with varying structure, bonding, and arrangements.


A diamondoid net sustained by halogen bonds: employing a cyclobutane to generate a tetrahedral architecture. S. M. Oburn, C. Santana, E. Elacqua, R. Groeneman. CrystEngComm., 2020, 22, 4349. (Selected as cover article)

Total syntheses supramolecular style: solid-state construction of [2.2]cyclophanes with modular control of stereochemistry. T. Friščić, E. Elacqua, S. Dutta, S. M. Oburn, and L. R. MacGillivray. Cryst. Growth Des., 2020, 4, 2584. (Selected as supplementary cover article)

Cambiarenes: single‐step synthesis and selective zwitterion binding of a clip‐shaped macrocycle with a redox‐active core. R. J. Petersen, B. J. Rozeboom, S. M. Oburn, N. J. Blythe, T. L. Rathje, J. A. Luna, S. K. Kibby, E. A. O'Brien, K. G. Rohr, J. R. Carpenter, T. L. Sanders, A. M. Johnson, K. M. Hutchins, S. K. Shaw, L. R. MacGillivray, J. Wm. Wackerly. Chem. Eur. J. 2020, 26, 1928. 

Diversifying molecular and topological space via a supramolecular solid-state synthesis: a purely organic mok net sustained by hydrogen bonds. S. M. Oburn, M. A. Sinnwell, D. P. Ericson, D. M. Proserpio, R. H. Groeneman, E. W. Reinheimer, and L. R. MacGillivray. IUCrJ. 20196

Remarkable decrease in the stiffness of aspirin crystals upon reducing crystal size to nanoscale dimensions via sonochemistry. K. M. Hutchins, T. P. Rupasinghe, S. M. Oburn, K. K. Ray, A. V. Tivanski, and L. R. MacGillivray. CrystEngComm. 201821, 2049. (Special Issue: ‘The Solid State of Pharmaceutics’)

Exploration of solid forms of crisaborole: crystal engineering identifies polymorphism in commercial sources and facilitates co-crystal formation. G. Campillo-Alvarado, T. Didden, S. M. Oburn, and L. R. MacGillivray. Cryst. Growth Des. 201818, 4416.

Elusive non-solvated co-crystals of aspirin and bipyridine: polymorphs discovered with the assistance of mechanochemistry. S. M. Oburn, O. A. Ray, and L. R. MacGillivray. Cryst. Growth Des. 2018, 18, 2495.

Supramolecular construction of an aldehyde-cyclobutane via the solid state: combining reversible imine formation and metal-organic self-assembly. S. M. Oburn, D. C. Swenson, S. V. S Mariappan, and L. R MacGillivray. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017139, 8452. (Selected as a highlight publication. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017139, 9089)

Formation of self-complimentary halogen-bonded dimers. S. M. Oburn, N. Bowling, and E. Bosch. Cryst. Growth Des., 201515, 1112.