Steven Bloom

  • Assistant Professor
  • School of Pharmacy - Medicinal Chemistry
Malott Hall
University of Kansas
1251 Wescoe Hall Drive
Lawrence, KS, 66045-7572


  • Postdoctoral, Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (Advisor: David W. C. MacMillan). 2015 - 2018
  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (Advisor: Thomas Lectka). 2012 - 2015
  • BS, Chemistry and Biochemistry, McDaniel College, Westminster, MD 2010


Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 2018 - present

Research Overview

Photoredox catalysis has emerged an attractive tool for medicinal chemistry, streamlining both targeted drug synthesis and late-stage molecular editing. Research in the Bloom group seeks to harness this multifarious platform to address key challenges at the interface of synthetic chemistry and biology.

Specifically, Bloom's group is interested in the use of photoredox catalysis for the derivatization of drug-like molecules to enhance their therapeutic efficacy. Along these lines, they focus on the selective incorporation of fluorine atoms into biomedically relevant scaffolds, the controlled cyclization of linear peptides to afford potent cyclic analogues, and the incorporation of alternative functionalities which enhance both physiochemical and pharmacokinetic properties of target molecules.

Finally, the group aims to assess and understand these molecular perturbations towards the development and rational design of lead compounds for the treatment of disease.


Selected Publications

  1. Bloom, S.; Liu, C.; Kölmel, D. K.; Qiao, J. X.; Zhang, Y.; Poss, M. A.; Ewing, W. R.; MacMillan, D. W. C. Decarboxylative Alkylation for Site-Selective Bioconjugation of Native Proteins via Oxidation Potentials. Accepted to Nat. Chem.
  2. Bloom, S.; Blume, D.; Pitts, C. R.; Lectka, T. Site-Selective Approach to b-Fluorination: Photocatalyzed Ring Opening of Cyclopropanols. Chem. Eur. J. 2015, 21, 8060-8063.
  3. Bloom, S.; McCann, M.; Lectka, T. Photocatalyzed Benzylic Fluorination: Shedding “Light” on the Involvement of Electron Transfer. Org. Lett. 2014, 16, 6338-6341.
  4. Griswold, A.; Bloom, S.; Lectka, T. A Chelating Nucleophile Plays a Starring Role: 1,8-Naphthyridine-Catalyzed Polycomponent a,a-Difluorination of Acid Chlorides. J. Org. Chem. 2014, 79, 9830-9834.
  5. Bloom, S.; Knippel, J. L.; Holl, M. G.; Barber, R.; Lectka, T. A Cooperative Allylic Fluorination: Combination of Nucleophilic and Electrophilic Fluorine Sources. Tetrahedron Lett. 2014, 55, 4576-4580.
  6. Pitts, C. R.; Bloom, S.; Woltornist, R.; Auvenshine, D.; Ryzhkov, L. R.; Siegler, M. A.; Lectka, T. Direct, Catalytic, Monofluorination of sp3 C-H Bonds: A Radical-Based Mechanism with Ionic Selectivity. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 9780-9791.
  7. Bloom, S.; Knippel, J. L.; Lectka, T. A Photocatalyzed Aliphatic Fluorination. Chem. Sci. 2014, 5, 1175-1178.
  8. Bloom, S.; Sharber, S. A.; Holl, M. G.; Knippel, J. L.; Lectka, T. Metal-Catalyzed Benzylic Fluorination as a Synthetic Equivalent to 1,4-Conjugate Addition of Fluoride. J. Org. Chem. 2013, 78, 11082-11086.
  9. DeBlase, A. F.; Bloom, S.; Dudding, T.; Lectka, T.; Johnson, M. A. Origin of the Diffuse Vibrational Signature of a Cyclic Intramolecular Proton Bond: Anharmonic Analysis of Protonated 1,8-Disubstituted Naphthalene Ions. J. Phys. Chem. 2013, 139, 024301.
  10. Bloom, S.; Pitts, C. R.; Woltornist, R.; Griswold, A.; Holl, M. G.; Lectka, T. Iron(II)-Catalyzed Benzylic Fluorination. Org. Lett. 2013, 15, 1722-1724.
  11. Bloom, S.; Pitts, C. R.; Miller, D.; Haselton. N.; Holl, M. G.; Urheim, E.; Lectka, T. A Polycomponent Metal-Catalyzed Aliphatic, Allylic, and Benzylic Fluorination. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2012, 51, 10580-10583.
  12. Scerba, M. T.; Bloom, S.; Haselton, N.; Siegler, M.; Jaffe, J.; Lectka, T. Interaction of a C-F Bond with the p-System of a C=C Bond or ‘Head On’ with a Proximate C-H Bond. J. Org. Chem. 2012, 77, 1605-1609.
  13. Scerba, M. T.; DeBlase, A. F.; Bloom, S.; Dudding, T.; Johnson, M. A.; Lectka, T. Characterization of Highly Unusual NH+-O Hydrogen Bonding to Ester Ether Oxygen Atoms through Spectroscopic and Computational Studies. J. Phys. Chem. A, 2012, 116, 3556-3560.
  14. Bloom, S.; Scerba, M. T.; Erb, J.; Lectka, T. Tricomponent Catalytic a,a-Difluorination of Acid Chlorides. Org. Lett. 2011, 13, 5068-5071.

Awards & Honors

  • National Institute of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein Fellowship, 2016-present
  • Bristol Myers Squibb Postdoctoral Fellowship (BMS-CMS), 2015-2016
  • Owens Fellowship, 2013
  • Gary H. Posner Fellowship, 2012
  • Graduated with honors in chemistry and biochemistry from McDaniel College, 2010

2nd among all schools of pharmacy in National Institutes of Health funding
Brings more than $20 million in external funding into the state each year
7 of 19 cancer drugs formulated through the National Cancer Institute were developed at the KU School of Pharmacy
3,000 free flu shots given to Kansans in need during the past 5 years
4,000 living alumni, 63 percent of them living and working in Kansas
KU pharmacists practice in 95 of Kansas’ 105 counties
20th among public schools of pharmacy.
—U.S. News & World Report
$20.2 million NIH research grant earned by Distinguished Professor Jeff Aubé was 2nd largest in Kansas history
100 percent placement after graduation for KU Pharm.D. students
Established in 1885 as the 1st professional program at KU