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Prof James Darkwa

Prof James Darkwa
Department of Chemistry Visiting or Retired
Visiting Professor

Contact Details
 
 
APK

ORGANOMETALLIC CHEMISTRY
INORGANIC CHEMISTRY

EDUCATION  

1986-1987  Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with Professor T. B. Rauchfuss.

1984-1985  Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary, with Professor T. S. Sorensen.

1980-1984 Ph.D. Chemistry, University of New Brunswick. Ph.D. advisor: Professor Frank Bottomley; Thesis: Reactions of Cyclopentadienylvanadium complexes with nitric oxide and nitrous oxide.

1974-1978  B.Sc. (Hons) Chemistry, University of Science and Technology, Ghana.

1971-1973 Higher School Certificate: Advanced-level, Adisadel College, Ghana.

1966-1971 High School Certificate: Ordinary-level, Suhum Secondary Technical School, Ghana.

EMPLOYMENT

2006-present  Professor of Chemistry, University of  Johannesburg, South Africa

1998-2005, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

1995-1997, Associate Professor, University of the North, South Africa.

1989-1994, Lecturer, University of Botswana.

1987-1989, Lecturer, University of Zimbabwe.

1979-1980, Teaching Assistant (the equivalent of a Junior Lecturer), University of Science and Technology Kumasi, Ghana.

AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS:

·         Fellow African Academy of Sciences

·         Fellow South African Chemical Institute

·         Finalist NSTF T W Kambule Award (2013): To an Individual for an Outstanding Contribution to SETI through Research and its Outputs over the last 5 to 10 years
University of Johannesburg Excellence Award (2013)

·         Runner Up: Outstanding Researcher of the year (2012), University of Johannesburg
Visiting Scientist University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, U.S.A, (Prof. M. Brookhart), 2004. (On sabbatical leave)

·         Awarded Ernest Oppenheimer sabbatical fellowship 2003

·         Visiting Research Scientist, Portland State University, U.S.A, (Prof. R. H. Simoyi), 2002.

·         Visiting Research Scientist, West Virginia University, U.S.A, (Prof. R. H. Simoyi) 1997, 1995.

·         Academic Exchange Fellowship, University of the Western Cape-University of Missouri, 2000.

·         Visiting DAAD Research Scientist, Universität Bayreuth, Germany, (Prof. Max Herberhold).

·         Visiting British Council Research Scientist, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, (Prof. A. G. Sykes), 1992.

MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

(a) Membership of Professional Societies
Member, American Chemical Society (1986-present).
Member, South African Chemical Institute (1995-present).
Member, Catalysis Society of South Africa (2005-present).

(b) Professional activities
President, South African Chemical Institute (August 2011-June 2013)
Executive Secretary, South African Chemical Institute (June 2007-May 2009)
Chair of the Gauteng Section of the South African Chemical Institute (2006-2011)
Member, National Research Foundation (South Africa) Postdoctoral Fellowships Committee (2000-).
Member, National Research Foundation (South Africa) Review Committee (2000).
Member, National Research Foundation (South Africa) Chemistry rating Committee (2000-2002).
Member, National Research Foundation (South Africa) Unlocking the Future Chemistry Committee (2001).
Member, University of Cape Town Chemistry department review committee, (2005).

ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE AND SERVICE 

(a) University of Johannesburg
(i) Director: Synthesis and Catalysis Research Centre
(ii) Member of Senate
(iii)  Member, Faculty of Science Higher Degrees Committee
(iv) Chair, Department of Chemistry Higher Degrees Committee

(b) University of the Western Cape
(i) Chairperson of Department (2001-2002)
(ii) Member, Senate (1998-2002, 2005).
(iii)  Member, Faculty of Science Postgraduate and Research Committees (2005)
(iv) Member, Faculty of Science Appointments Committee (1998-2002)
(v)  Member, Faculty of Science Management Committee (2001-2002)
(vi) Member, Faculty of Safety Committee (2001)
(vii) Member, Faculty Adhominem Promotions Committee (1999-2000)
(viii) Member, Faculty of Science Students' Affairs Committee (1999-2000)

(c) University of the North
(i) Acting Head of Department (May 1997- August 1997)
(ii) Member, Faculty strategic planning committee on the learning environment (1995-1996).
(iii) Member, Faculty Research and Publications Committee (1997).

(d) University of Botswana
(i) Departmental Library Representative (1991-1994)
(ii) Departmental Representative on Research and Publications Committee (1992-1994)
(iii) Secretary, Departmental Board (1992-1993)

INVITED LECTURES DURING THE LAST TEN YEARS

(i) Keynote speaker, Inorg2013, South African Chemical Institute, Durban July 2013.

(ii) University of Tokyo; Keio University; Chuo University; Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology; Osaka City University; Osaka University and Kyoto University; Okayama University of Science, October 2011.

(iii) Plenary lecture, International Conference on Bioinorganic Chemistry, Smolenice, Slovakia, June 2011.

(iv) University of Tokyo; Riken Institute of Technology, Tokyo; Tokyo Institute of Technology and Kyoto University, October 2010.

(v) Rhodes University Chemistry Department seminar, July, 2009.

(vi) North-West University, Potchefstroom Chemistry Department seminar, September, 2009.

(vii) Plenary lecture, International Conference on Bioinorganic Chemistry, Smolenice, Slovakia, June 2009.

(viii) University of Botswana, Chemistry Department seminar, September, 2008.

(ix) University of Cape Town, Chemistry Department seminar series, April, 2008.

(x) University of the Witwatersrand, Chemistry Department seminar series, August 2007.

(xi) Department of Chemistry, Lund University, Sweden, September 2007.

(xii) Keynote lecture, SEANAC conference, Gaborone, Botswana, July 2007.

(xiii) Sasol Technology, Sasolburg, May 2006.

(xiv) Keynote lecture, South African Chemical Institute National conference, Durban, December, 2006.

(xv)  Department of Chemistry, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, September 2005.

(xvi) Department of Chemistry, North Carolina Central University, October, 2004.

(xvii) Department of Chemistry, Portland State, University, Portland, USA, May, 2004.

(xviii) Department of Chemistry, University of Oklahoma, USA, January, 2003.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

(a) Developing efficient nitrogen- and phosphorus-based metal complexes as catalysts for olefin to plastics and other products from conventional petrochemical sources and from renewable plant sources.
(b) Development of metallo-drugs from ruthenium, platinum and gold complexes as potential anticancer, antimalarial and anti-HIV agents.

INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH COLLBORATION

(i) NRF-SIDA collaborative research University of Johannesburg, University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape, Lund University, Sweden; Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Project: Metal complexes as olefin polymerization and oligomerization catalysts and as metallodrugs.

(ii) Professor Wen-Hua Sun, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Project: Synthesis of highly branched polyethylene using pyrazolyl metal complexes as catalysts.

(iii)  Professor Kyoko Nozaki, University of Tokyo. Project: Efficient synthesis of polythiocarbonates and polyketones using pyrazolyl metal complexes as catalysts.

(iv) Dr. Ilia A. Guzei: University of Wisconsin, USA. Project: Structural chemistry and modeling.

(v) Dr. Ravin Narain: University of Alberta, Canada. Synthesis of gold nanoparticles stabilized by glyco-acrylamide polymers.

(vi) Professor Debra Meyer: University of Pretoria, Tandem metallodrugs for HIV and opportunistic infections.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Phosphinogold(I) dithiocarbamate complexes: effect of the nature of phosphine ligand on anticancer properties. F. K. Keter, I. A. Guzei, M. Nell, W. E. van Zyl, J. Darkwa, Inorg. Chem. in press.

Bis(3,5-dimethylpyrazole) copper(II) and zinc(II) complexes as efficient initiators for the ring opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone and D,L-lactide. D. Appavoo, B. Omondi, I. A. Guzei, J. van Wyk, O. Zinyemba, J. Darkwa, Polyhedron, 2014, 69, 55.

Solvent and co-catalyst dependent pyrazolyl nickel(II) catalyzed  ethylene oligomerization and polymerization reactions. C. Obuah, B. Omondi, K. Nozaki, J. Darkwa, J. Mol. Cat. A: Chem. 2014, 382, 31.

Tandem ethylene oligomerization and Friedel-Crafts alkylation of toluene catalyzed by bis-(3,5-dimethylpyrazol-1-ylmethyl)benzene nickel(II) complexes and ethylaluminum dichloride. A. Budhai, B. Omondi, S. O. Ojwach, C. Obuah, E. Y. Osei-Twum, J. Darkwa, Cat. Sci. Tech. 2013, 3, 3130.

Pyrazolylimine iron and cobalt, and pyrazolylamine nickel complexes: synthesis and evaluation of nickel complexes as ethylene oligomerization catalysts. M. K. Ainooson, I. A. Guzei, L. C. Spencer, J. Darkwa, Polyhedron, 2013, 53, 295.

Ethylene and styrene carbon monoxide copolymerization catalyzed by pyrazolyl palladium(II) complexes. C. Obuah, M. K. Ainooson, S. Boltina, I. A. Guzei, K. Nozaki, J. Darkwa, Organometallics, 2013, 32, 980.

Pyrazol-1-yl carbonyl palladium complexes as catalysts for ethylene polymerization reaction. H. Mkoyi, S. O. Ojwach, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, J. Organomet. Chem. 2013, 724, 95.

N-heterocyclic dithiocarbamate platinum(II) complexes: Unexpected transformation of dithiocarbamate to oxodithiocarbonate in phosphinoplatinum complexes in solution. F. K. Keter, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, Inorg. Chem. Commun. 2013, 27, 60.

Platinum(II) and gold(I) complexes based on 1,1'-bis(diphenylphosphino)metallocene derivatives: Synthesis, characterization and biological activity of the gold complexes. H. Bjelosevic, I. A. Guzei, L. C. Spencer, T. Persson, F. H. Kriel, R. Hewer, M. J. Nell, J. Gut, C. E. J. van Rensburg, P. J. Rosenthal, J. Coates, J. Darkwa, S. K. C. Elmroth, J. Organomet. Chem. 2012, 720, 52.

Solvent-free synthesis of 3,5-di-tert-butylpyrazole and 3,5-di-substituted-butylpyrazol-1-ylethanol. J. L. van Wyk, B. Omondi, D. Appavoo, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, J. Chem. Res. 2012, 36, 474.

Novel O^N^N pyrazolyl-imine and imidazolyl-imine pincer palladium complexes as Heck coupling catalysts. S. Boltina, M. Yankey, I. A. Guzei, L. C. Spencer, S. O. Ojwach,  J. Darkwa, S. Afr. J. Chem. 2012, 65, 75. 

Palladium(II), platinum(II) and gold(I) complexes containing chiral diphosphines of the  Josiphos and Walphos families - synthesis and evaluation as anticancer agents Polyhedron. T. V. Segapelo, S. Lillywhite, E. Nordlander, M. Haukka, J. Darkwa, Polyhedron 2012, 36, 97.

Perspective: The potential of pyrazole-based compounds in medicine. F. K. Keter, J. Darkwa, Biometals 2012, 25, 9.

Vinyl-addition polymerization of norbornene catalyzed by (pyrazol-1-ylmethyl)pyridine divalent iron, cobalt and nickel complexes. L. L. Benade, S. O. Ojwach, C. Obuah, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, Polyhedron 2011, 30, 2878.

Stabilization of gold(III) with bis(pyrazol-1-yl)amine. T. V. Segapelo, I. A. Guzei, L. C. Spencer, J. Darkwa, Inorg. Chem. Commun. 2011, 14, 1706.

Pyrazolyl iron, cobalt nickel and palladium complexes: Synthesis, molecular structures, and evaluation as ethylene oligomerization catalysts. M. K. Ainooson, S. O. Ojwach, I. A. Guzei, L. C. Spencer, J. Darkwa, J. Organomet. Chem. 2011, 696, 1528.

The use of Cu and Zn salicylaldimine complexes as catalyst precursors in ring opening polymerization of lactides: ligand effects on polymer characteristics. S. Bhunora, J. Mugo, A. Bhaw-Luximon, S. F. Mapolie, J. Van Wyk, J. Darkwa, E. Nordlander, Appl. Organomet. Chem. 2011, 25, 133.

An investigation of Cu(II) and Ni(II) catalysed hydrolysis of (di)imines. M. Czaun,  S. M. Nelana, I. A. Guzei,  C. Hasselgren, M. Håkansson, S. Jagner, G. Lisensky, J. Darkwa, E. Nordlander,  Inorg. Chim. Acta 2010, 363, 3102.

Pyrazole and (pyrazol-1-yl)metal complexes as carbon-carbon coupling catalysts. S. O. Ojwach, J. Darkwa, Inorg. Chim. Acta, 2010, 363, 1947.

Bis(3,5-dimethylpyrazol-1-yl)alkanones and their reactivity with palladium dichloride: Isolation of bis(3,5-dimethylpyrazol-1-yl)propan-1-one palladium(II) chloride and C-H activation of propanone linker. N. Miti, S. M. Nelana, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, Inorg. Chem. Commun. 2010, 13, 126.

Tetra-chloro-bis(3,5-dimethylpyrazolylmethane)gold(III) chloride: An HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitor. P. N. Fonteh, F. K. Keter, D. Meyer, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, J. Inorg. Biochem. 2009, 103, 190.

(Pyrazol-1-ylmethyl)pyridine palladium complexes: Synthesis, molecular structures, and activation of small molecules. S. O. Ojwach, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, J. Organomet. Chem. 2009, 694, 1393.

(Pyrazol-1-ylmethyl)pyridine Nickel Complexes: Ethylene Oligomerization and Unusual Friedel-Crafts Alkylation Catalysts. S. O. Ojwach, I. A. Guzei, L. L. Benade, S. F. Mapolie, J. Darkwa, Organometallics, 2009, 28, 2127.

Bis(pyrazolyl)palladium(II), platinum(II) and gold(III) complexes: Synthesis, molecular structures and reaction kinetics with L-Cysteine. F. K. Keter, S. O. Ojwach, I. A. Guzei, O. A. Oyetunji, J. Darkwa, Inorg. Chim. Acta 2009, 632, 2595.

(Pyrazolylmethyl)pyridine platinum(II) and gold(III) complexes: Synthesis, structures and evaluation as anticancer agents. T. V. Segapelo, I. A. Guzei, L. C. Spencer, W. E van Zyl,  J. Darkwa, Inorg. Chim. Acta. 2009, 632, 3314.

Anticancer activities of bis(pyrazol-1-ylthiocarbonyl)disulfides against HeLa cells. F. K. Keter, M. J. Nell, I. A. Guzei, B. Omondi, J. Darkwa, J. Chem. Res. 2009, 322.

Bis(pyrazole)- and bis(pyrazolyl)- palladium complexes as phenylacetylene polymerization catalysts. K. Li, M. S. Mohlala, T. V. Segapelo, P. M. Shumbula, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, Polyhedron 2008, 27, 1017.

Synthesis, characterization and bromination of bis(phosphinoferrocenyl) gold(I) compounds. T. V. Segapelo, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, J. Organomet. Chem. 2008, 693, 701.

Unconjugated diimine palladium complexes as Heck coupling catalysts. S. M. Nelana, J. Cloete, G. Lisensky, E. Nordlander, I. A. Guzei, S. F. Mapolie, J. Darkwa, J. Mol. Cat. Chem. A. 2008, 285, 72.

In vitro evaluation of dichloro-bis(pyrazole)palladium(II) and dichloro-bis(pyrazole)-platinum(II) complexes as anticancer agents. F. K. Keter; S. Kanyanda, S. Lyantagaye, J. Darkwa, J. Rees, M. Meyer, Cancer Chem. Pharm. 2008, 63, 127.

Palladium complexes of multidentate pyrazolylmethyl pyridine ligands: Synthesis, structures and phenylacetylene polymerization. S. O. Ojwach, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, S. F. Mapolie, Polyhedron, 2007, 26, 851.

Poly(pyrazol-1-ylmethyl)benzene palladium complexes: Synthesis, characterization and evaluation as Heck coupling catalysts. N. M. Motosoane, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, Z. Naturforsch., 2007, 62b, 323.

Substituted (pyridinyl)benzoazole palladium complexes: Synthesis and application as Heck coupling catalysts. S. O. Ojwach, G. Westman, J. Darkwa, Polyhedron, 2007, 26, 5544.

Bis(pyrazolyl)pyridine vanadium(III) complexes as ethylene polymerization catalysts. H. S. Abbo, S. F. Mapolie, J. Darkwa, S. J. J. Titinchi, J. Organomet. Chem., 2007, 692, 5327.

Furoyl and thiophene carbonyl linker pyrazolyl palladium(II) complexes- synthesis, characterization, and evaluation as ethylene oligomerization catalysts. S. O. Ojwach, M. G. Tshivhase, I. A, Guzei, J. Darkwa, S. F. Mapolie, Can. J. Chem. 2005, 83, 843.

Pyridine linker pyrazolyl palladium complexes: synthesis, characterization and ethylene polymerization activity. M. S. Mohlala, I. A. Guzei, J. Darkwa, S. F. Mapolie, J. Mol. Cat. A Chem. 2005, 241, 93.

Ethylene polymerization catalyzed by substituted pyrazole nickel complexes. S. M. Nelana, J. Darkwa, I. A. Guzei, S. F. Mapolie, J. Organomet. Chem., 2004, 689, 1835.

Benezenedicarbonyl and Benezenetricarbonyl linker pyrazolyl complexes of palladium(II): Synthesis, X-ray structures and evaluation as ethylene polymerisation catalysts. I. A. Guzei, K. Li, G. A. Bikzhanova, J. Darkwa, S. F. Mapolie, Dalton Trans. 2003, 715.

Polymerization of phenylacetylene catalyzed by diphosphinopalladium(II) complexes. K. Li, G. Wei, J. Darkwa, S. K. Pollack, Macromolecules 2002, 35, 4573.

Synthesis and evaluation of substituted pyrazoles palladium(II) complexes as ethylene polymerization catalysts. K. Li, J. Darkwa, I. A. Guzei, S. F. Mapolie, J. Organomet. Chem., 2002, 660, 109.