Anna Wenzel

Professor of Chemistry


Keck Science

Areas of Expertise

Chemical Education


Professor Anna Wenzel specializes in chemical catalysis and joined the CMC faculty in 2006. Prior to this, she earned a B.S. Summa Cum Laude in chemistry from U.C. San Diego, a M.A. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University, and completed a UNCF-Pfizer and NIH-sponsored postdoctoral position at Caltech. In addition to serving as a faculty member at Keck, she had held visiting faculty positions at both Caltech and the City of Hope. Professor Wenzel currently serves as the director of the Science Management major on campus and is a Team Master’s Project liaison to KGI. She was one of the founding faculty advisors of the Interdisciplinary Science Scholar (ISS) Program at Claremont McKenna College. In 2007, Professor Wenzel founded the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates on campus, and she currently serves as the faculty advisor to the club. At Claremont McKenna, she has served on the Academic Standards Committee, as a member of the Science Visioning Committee, and she is currently a member of the Inaugural Science Chair Search Committee. Professor Wenzel has also previously served as convener of the Keck Science chemistry discipline, and as a member of the RPT, Executive, and Structure committees within the Keck Science Department. Professor Wenzel’s NSF-funded research has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed papers in the chemical literature, and she recently co-edited the Handbook of Metathesis, a comprehensive guide for academic and industrial chemists. Recently, Professor Wenzel was appointed to the Committee of Visitors within the Chemistry Division at the National Science Foundation to assess the quality and integrity of program operations, including in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Awards and Affiliations

G. David Huntoon Senior Teaching Award, Claremont McKenna College, 5/2022

Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching, Scripps College, 2/2017

NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship, Caltech, Pasadena, CA, 1/2005 – 6/2006

UNCF-Pfizer Postdoctoral Fellowship, Caltech, Pasadena, CA, 12/2003 – 1/2005

Pfizer Predoctoral Fellowship, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 6/2001 – 6/2003

Bok Center Award for Excellence in Teaching, Harvard University, 5/2000

Bok Center Award for Excellence in Teaching, Harvard University, 5/1999

NSF Predoctoral Graduate Fellowship, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 9/1998 – 6/2001

Urey Prize for Top Honors in Chemistry, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 6/1998

Barry Goldwater Scholarship, 1997

California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) Research Scholar, UCSD, 1997 – 1998

UCSD-NIH Scholars Program Fellowship, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 1997

ACS Travel Fellowship, 3/1997

Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellowship, 1996 – 1997

Provost’s Honors List, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA,1994 – 1998

Academic Merit Scholarship, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA,1994 – 1995

Hewlett-Packard Merit Scholarship, 1994 – 1995

Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Scholarship, 1994 – 1995

Bank of America Award for Literature, 1994

California Academic Decathlon State Gold Medalist in Interview, 1994

Northern California Science Bowl Champion, 1994

Research and Publications

Underlined names indicate undergraduate collaborators from Claremont McKenna, Scripps, and Pitzer Colleges.


  • Berkeley, E.; Hamilton, R.; Laufer, I.; Smith, B.; Gallagher, T.; Dahi, A.; Reddy, M.; Wenzel, A. G.* “Brønsted Acid-Catalyzed Asymmetric Allenoate Claisen Reactions.” –Manuscript in Preparation for Submission to ACS Catalysis
  • Wenzel, A. G.;* Berlin, J.;* Van Haute, D.; Tiet, P.; Cullen, J.; Taylan, A. “Gold Nanoparticles for Oxaliplatin Immobilization.” –Manuscript in Preparation for Submission to Nanomedicine
  • King, B. H.; Wang, M. L.; Jesse, K. A.; Kaur, G.; Tran, B.; Walser-Kuntz, R.; Iafe, R. G.; Wenzel, A. G.* “Silver-Catalyzed, N-Formylation of Amines Using Glycol Ethers.” J. Org. Chem. 2020, 85, 13256-13263.
  • Wenzel, A. G.;* Casper, S.; Galvin, C. J.; Beck, G. E. “Science and Business of Medicinal Chemistry: a “Bench-to-Bedside” Course for Non-Majors.” J. Chem. Ed. 2020, 97, 414-420.
  • Oakley, J. V.; Stanley, T. J.; Jesse, K. A.; Cain, S. E.; Wenzel, A. G.;* Iafe, R. G.* “Gold-Catalyzed Friedel–Crafts-like Reaction of Benzylic Alcohols to Afford 1,1-Diarylmethanes.” Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2019, 42, 7063-7066.
  • Vinson, A. R. S.; Davis, V. K.; Arunasalam, A.; Jesse, K. A.; Hamilton, R. E.; Shattuck, M. A.; Hu, A. C.; Iafe, R. G.; Wenzel, A. G.* “Gold-Catalyzed, SN1-Type Reaction of Alcohols to Ethers and Cbz-Protected Amines.” Synlett 2015, 26, 765-770.
  • Grant-Overton, S.; Buss, J. A.; Smith, E. H.; Gutierrez, E. G.; Moorhead, E. J.; Lin, V. S. Wenzel, A. G.* “Efficient Microwave Method for the Oxidative Coupling of Phenols.” Synth. Commun.  2015, 45, 331-337.
  • Lipshutz, B. H.*; Bošković, Z.; Crowe, C. S.; Davis, V. K.; Whittemore, H. C.; Vosburg, D. A.*; Wenzel, A. G.* “Green “Click” and Olefin Metathesis Chemistry in Water at Room Temperature Enabled by Biodegradable Micelles.” J. Chem. Ed. 2013, 90, 1514-1517.
  • Wagner, A. M.; Knezevic, C. E.; Wall, J. L.; Sun, V. L.; Buss, J. A.; Allen, L. T.; Wenzel, A. G.* “A Copper(II)-catalyzed Sequential Michael-Aldol Reaction for the Preparation of 1,2-Dihydroquinoline Carboxylic Acid Derivatives.” Tetrahedron Lett. 2012, 53, 833-836.
  • Wenzel, A. G.*; Blake, G.; Vander Velde, D. G.; Grubbs, R. H. “Characterization and Dynamics of Substituted Ruthenacyclobutanes Relevant to the Olefin Cross-Metathesis Reaction.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 6429-6439.
  • Gutierrez, E. G.; Moorhead, E. J.; Smith, E. H.; Lin, V.; Ackerman, L. K. G.; Sun, V.; Grant, S.; Wenzel, A. G.* “Electron-Withdrawing Biphenyl-diol Compounds for Asymmetric Catalysis.” Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2010, 3027-3031.
  • Moorhead, E. J.; Wenzel, A. G.* “Two Undergraduate Experiments in Organic Polymers: the Preparation of Polyacetylene and Telechelic Polyacetylene via Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization.” J. Chem. Ed. 2009, 86, 973-975.
  • O’Connor, J. M.; Wenzel, A. G.; Hiibner, K. “Iridium(III)-Vinylidene Chemistry: Conversion of an Iridacyclopentadiene-Chlorido Complex and Terminal Alkynes to Iridacyclopentadiene-Vinyl Complexes.” Inorganica Chimica Acta 2008, 361, 3033-3041.
  • Hong, S. H.; Wenzel, A. G.; Salguero, T. T.; Day, M. W.; Grubbs, R. H. “Decomposition of Ruthenium Olefin Metathesis Catalysts.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 7961-7968.
  • Wenzel, A. G.; Grubbs, R. H. “Ruthenium Metallacycles Derived from 14-Electron Complexes. New Insights into Olefin Metathesis Intermediates.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 16048-16049.
  • Ritter, T.; Hejl, A.; Wenzel, A. G.; Funk, T.; Grubbs, R. H. “Catalyst Comparison in Olefin Metathesis Reactions and Generalized Reaction Procedures.” Organometallics, 2006, 25, 5740-5745.
  • Wenzel, A.; Lalonde, M. P.; Jacobsen, E. N. “Divergent Stereoinduction Mechanisms in Urea-Catalyzed Additions to Imines.” Synlett 2003, 1919-1922.
  • Wenzel, A. G.; Jacobsen, E. N. “Asymmetric Catalytic Mannich Reactions Catalyzed by Urea Derivatives: Enantioselective Synthesis of b-Aryl-b-Amino Acids.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2002, 124, 12964-12965.
  • O’Connor, J. M.; Chen, M.–C.; Fong, B. S.; Wenzel, A. G.; Gantzel, P. “Conversion of a Metallacyclobutene to Cobalt-Allene Complexes.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1998, 120, 1100-1101.


  • Handbook of Metathesis, 2nd Ed.; Grubbs, R. H.; Wenzel, A. G., Eds.; Wiley-VCH: New York, Vol. 1, 2015.
  • Wenzel, A. G.; Chatterjee, A. K.; Grubbs, R. H. “Olefin Cross-Metathesis.” In Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry III: Review of the Literature 1993-2005; Ojima, I.; Hiyama, T., Eds.; Elsevier Ltd: Oxford; Vol. 11, 2006.
  • Wenzel, A. G.; Jacobsen, E. N. “Asymmetric Catalysis in the Enantioselective Synthesis of b-Amino Acids.” In Enantioselective Synthesis of b-Amino Acids, 2nd Ed.; Juaristi, E.; Soloshonok, V. A., Eds.; WILEY-VCH: New York, 2005.


  • Wenzel, A. G. “The Chemical Analysis of Scripps’ 2013 Olive Oil.” (Published online 7/4/2014)
  • Wenzel, A. G. “Olefin Metathesis and its Application.” Molecules –Advance Editorial for Special Issue (Published online 11/10/2010)
  • Wenzel, A. G. “The Scanning of Saint Michael.” (Published online 4/26/2010)