Gregory L. Hillhouse Professor - Legacy Page

Born Greenville, South Carolina, 1955.
University of South Carolina, B.S., 1976.
Indiana University, Ph.D., 1980.
California Institute of Technology, Postdoctoral Research Associate, 1980-83.
The University of Chicago, Professor, 1983-.


2013  American Chemical Society Award in Organometallic Chemistry

2011  Norman Maclean Faculty Alumni Award, University of Chicago

2009  Starkey Duncan Award, University of Chicago

2005  Visiting Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2002  Visiting Associate in Chemistry, California Institute of Technology

1998  Visiting Scientist, Symyx Technologies

1997  Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

1990-92  Union Carbide Innovation Recognition Award

1989-91  Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow

1979  William Nebergall Award for Graduate Research


OFFICE: GCIS E 419B, 929 E. 57th St., Chicago, IL 60637

PHONE: (773) 702-7057

FAX: (773) 702-0805




Research in the Hillhouse group focuses on developing new methods and strategies in synthetic inorganic and organometallic chemistry, and applying them to the discovery and study of new reactions. Much of our current attention is on the chemistry of small-molecule activation by nickel and other group 10 metals. Some general themes of projects in the group include:


  • Multiple bonding with late-transition metals
  • Group-transfer catalysis
  • Carbon-heteroatom (C–N and C–O) bond-forming reactions related to catalysis
  • Chemical conversion of CO2 to useful chemicals and fuels
  • Discovery of new reactions for organic synthesis
  • Study of highly-reactive nitrogen hydrides and oxides (like HN=O) related to biology


Prior to 2001, the chemistry of Ni, Pd, and Pt was dominated by transformations involving manipulations of σ-bonded ligands (such as in well-studied “cross-coupling” reactions). Our work on metal-ligand multiple bonding in three-coordinate complexes of nickel (illustrated below for (dtbpe)Ni=NMes) has resulted in a paradigm shift in the way chemists think about multiple bonding with late-transition metals and has stimulated extensive research activity in this area in labs worldwide. We are interested in exploiting the unique reactivity of these multiply-bonded nitrene (and carbene) functional units in group-transfer reactions.


Current work in the group involves even lower coordination-number complexes: highly reactive 2-coordinate species that are sterically stabilized by very bulky ligands. We have reported a fascinating linear, 2-coordinate imido complex, (IPr*)Ni=N(dipp), shown below, and described its reactivity.





These L(1,2)Ni=E (E = CR2, NR, PR) complexes exhibit extraordinary group-transfer reactivity, typified by their reactions with olefins to afford aziridines (or vinyl amines), cyclopropanes, and phosphiranes, and with CO to yield isocyanate, ketene, and phosphaketene derivatives – some of which are catalytic.



Selected References

A two-coordinate nickel imido complex that effects C-H amination. C. A. Laskowski, A. J. M. Miller, G. L. Hillhouse, and T. R. Cundari, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 133, 771-773 (2011).

Synthesis and carbene-transfer reactivity of dimeric nickel carbene cations supported by N-heterocyclic carbene ligands. C. A. Laskowski and G. L. Hillhouse, Chem. Sci., 2, 321-325 (2011).

Hydrogen-atom abstraction from Ni(I) phosphido and amido complexes gives phosphinidene and imide ligands. V. M. Iluc and G. L. Hillhouse, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132, 15148-15150 (2010).

Arrested 1,2-hydrogen migration from silicon to nickel upon oxidation of a three-coordinate Ni(I) silyl complex. V. M. Iluc and G. L. Hillhouse, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132, 11890-11892 (2010).

Group-transfer reactions of Ni(II)-Ni(II) bridging imido complexes. Catalytic formation of carbodiimides and isocyanates via nitrene-transfer from organoazides. C. A. Laskowski and G. L. Hillhouse, Organometallics, 28, 6114-6120 (2009).

Group-transfer reactions of nickel-carbene and -nitrene complexes with organoazides and nitrous oxide that form new C=N, C=O, and N=N bonds. N. D. Harrold, R. Waterman, G. L. Hillhouse, and T. R. Cundari, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 131, 12872-12873 (2009).

Two-coordinate d9 complexes. Synthesis and oxidation of NHC nickel(I) amides. C. A. Laskowski and G. L. Hillhouse, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 130, 13846-13847 (2008).

η2-Organoazide complexes of nickel and their conversion to terminal imido complexes via dinitrogen extrusion. R. Waterman and G. L. Hillhouse, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 130, 12628-12629 (2008).

Group transfer from nickel imido, phosphinidene, and carbene complexes to ethylene with formation of aziridine, phosphirane, and cyclopropane products. R. Waterman and G. L. Hillhouse, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 125, 13350-13351 (2003).

Terminal amido and imido complexes of three-coordinate nickel. D. J. Mindiola and G. L. Hillhouse, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 123, 4623-4624 (2001).



Gregory L. Hillhouse 1955-2014

Memorial Service Video
Picture Slide Show
Art Exhibit: Video
Art Exhibit: Chicago Maroon Article
Gregory Hillhouse Memorial Undergraduate Fund
Chemists' Club Newsletter dedicated to Greg Hillhouse


Dear colleagues and friends:


The University of Chicago Memorial Service for Gregory Hillhouse will be held on Thursday, June 5, 2014 beginning at 3:30 PM at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel (5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.). A reception will be held at the Quadrangle Club (1155 E. 57th St.) immediately following the service. I hope that you can attend.


The Department of Chemistry has established the Gregory L. Hillhouse Memorial Chemistry Undergraduate Fund to honor Greg's legacy. This fund will support an annual Gregory Hillhouse Lecture, for which the undergraduate Chemistry majors will invite and host prominent speakers. The Fund will also support fellowships to enable undergraduate majors to pursue research in Chemistry labs in the summer. The Department will provide a 2/1 match for all contributions to the Fund. Contributions should be sent directly to Department of Chemistry, Attn: The Gregory L. Hillhouse Fund, 5735 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637.


The Department of Chemistry is developing a Greg Hillhouse legacy page. This is the working version of this page.


Best regards,


Richard F. Jordan, Professor and Chairman, Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago

Memory Eternal, dear Greg!


Professor Greogory L. Hillhouse passed on March 6, 2014.  A memorial service was held on Saturday, April 12 at the First Saint Paul's Lutheran Church in Chicago.




Via The University of Chicago Department of Chemistry Network on LinkedIn:


Muhammad Naveed Yousaf

Professor and Chair, Dept. of Chemistry at York University, Toronto

Very sad news. Greg was always fun to be around and told great stories. He was a wonderful mentor to me even though I was in a different area of research. His hilarious antics were legendary. He will be sorely missed.


Shannon Dillmore

R&D Manager at BD

That's very sad news. He was a great guy and as Muhammad said a wonderful mentor. He was a member of my thesis committee, but equally as important he encouraged me to get out of lab at a reasonable hour on Fridays to socialize, drink beer and play softball. Ol' Double Nickel will be missed.


Vera Dragisich

Executive Officer/Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry at The University of Chicago

Yes, indeed, so many of us alums have our unforgettable times with Hillhouse in common - thank you all for sharing - it is heartwarming and comforting to read… 

Greg was a mentor and a friend to so many of us...I met him back in 1985 when I was a first year grad student - the Wulff and Hillhouse groups shared so many wonderful times together - working hard and playing hard - Greg’s generosity, commitment and loyalty to his students and friends are truly legendary… 

He touched so very, very many lives in such a strong and positive and unique way...


Robert Appell

Process R&D Leader at Dowpharma

From hosting my first visit to UofC in 1985 to personal and professional interactions throughout my graduate career, he has made quite an impression on me and I'm sure may others over the years. His personality, technical skills and mentoring were much needed in the department. He sill be missed by many.


Elena Galoppini

Professor of Chemistry at Rutgers University

It is very sad news. As a graduate student (90'-94 P. E. Eaton group) I took one of Prof. Hillhouse's courses, and a couple of times we had discussions about Opera. I remember him as an exceptionally talented scientist, a great personality and and a dedicated mentor for the undergraduates. As Rob said, he will be missed.


Malcolm Forbes

Professor at University of North Carolina

After joining the graduate program in 1983, I was assigned a desk in Greg's lab. I watched him get out of the gate as an assistant professor, and we had many long conversations well into the evenings in Searle, about life, science and everything in between. So while I never worked for Greg, I sometimes feel like I did... 

Greg was instrumental in my joining the Closs lab in 1984 - he gave me great advice that made all the difference for my future endeavors. He was a very special person and I will miss him.


Zhongliang Shen

Scientist I at Cabot Microelectronics

Greg, the man who walked out of his BMW, McDonald in his hand; the man who walked into all chemistry receptions where there was wine; more importantly, the great professor who led us through the chemistry of elements! RIP, dear Greg!



Via Steve Baldwin on Facebook:


RIP - Greg Hillhouse (1955-2014)

Friend, mentor, softball superstar

Greg passed away peacefully last night following a brief battle with cancer. His family was with him until the end. He will be missed terribly.


Via Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry on Facebook:


A very sad day for synthetic inorganic chemistry, for chemistry, for science, and for the good guys. Greg was a gem and will be sorely missed by us all.

Much of Greg's research focused on the chemistry of small-molecule activation by nickel and other group 10 metals.

Perhaps his greatest achievement was as a mentor to young scientists:

Former Hillhouse undergrads, grads, and postdocs include Jonas Peters (Caltech), Alex Miller (UNC Chapel Hill), Dan Mindiola (UPenn), Stephen Lee (Cornell), Mark Banaszak Holl (U Michigan), Andrew Tennyson (Clemson), Mitch Smith (Michigan State), Adam List (Vanderbilt), Rory Waterman (U Vermont), Vlad Iluc (Notre Dame)... The list goes on.

Rest in peace Greg. Inorganic chemistry will not be the same without you.


Via ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry on Facebook:


Greg was really special. He will be missed terribly.


Via Richard F. Jordan, Chairman, Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago


Dear Colleagues:

Our friend and colleague Greg Hillhouse passed away last night. He died in peace at home surrounded by family and friends. Greg was a great man and his loss will leave a big hole in all of our lives. He lived life to the fullest and made his beloved institution The University of Chicago better. We all will miss him. There will be several events in his honor and we will keep you informed as these are planned. In the meantime, we can take solace in knowing that our friend lived a wonderful life filled with generosity, commitment, fun and love.

All the best, 



Gregory L. Hillhouse, synthetic chemist, influential mentor, 1955–2014


By Jane Marie Andrew 


Gregory L. Hillhouse, University of Chicago chemistry professor and mentor extraordinaire, died March 6 of cancer at his home in Chicago. He was 59.


“Greg was a pillar of excellence in our department and the University,” said Richard Jordan, chairman of the department of chemistry. “As a world class researcher, dedicated mentor and role model for his students, and engaged citizen of the University community, he epitomized what the University is all about. His research will inspire new lines of inquiry in inorganic chemistry for decades and the influence he had on his students will reverberate for generations. He was a great friend and superb colleague who will be sorely missed by many.” 


Hillhouse was born March 1, 1955, in Greenville, S.C. He graduated magna cum laude from Greenville’s Carolina High School. Hillhouse received his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 1976 and his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1980. Before coming to Chicago in 1983, he was a post-doctoral research associate at the California Institute of Technology.


Much of Hillhouse’s work focused on creating organometallic compounds to stabilize and isolate reactive intermediates, molecules that are proposed to exist briefly during a larger catalytic reaction process.


In 2001, Hillhouse used his synthetic creativity to dismiss the notion that it was impossible for late transition metals like nickel to form multiple bonds to elements like nitrogen. The result was a molecule that he affectionately referred to as “Double Nickel,” which possessed an indisputable nickel-nitrogen double bond. 


The result was a major shift in the way chemists think about multiple bonding with late-transition metals. “Textbooks before 2001 said it was impossible to make those molecules, but Greg broke the rules,” said Daniel J. Mindiola, professor of chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, who coauthored the pivotal article with Hillhouse while a postdoctoral associate at Chicago.  


Hillhouse also had a long-standing interest in the chemistry of nitrogen in transition metal compounds, which originated from his doctoral thesis. In 2013, he received the American Chemical Society’s National Award in Organometallic Chemistry. 


The compounds Hillhouse and his students created are models for otherwise unobservable intermediates in catalytic reactions. As such, they provide a window into a wide range of important processes, such as the regulation of the biological signaling molecule nitric oxide (one function of which is to control the dilation of blood vessels); the operation of automotive catalytic converters; the combustion of rocket fuel; and the production of aziridines, a compound used for time-released drug delivery.      


In addition to changing textbooks, Hillhouse changed lives. “Greg was unusually effective in his mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students toward successful careers in science,” said fellow organometallic chemist T. Don Tilley, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.


“His enthusiasm for chemistry inspired several of us to enter academia. He never considered his role as mentor to have an expiration date,” said his former student Milton “Mitch” Smith, PhD’90, professor of chemistry, Michigan State University.


“He was a fantastic mentor. He never set a dividing line between himself and the group members, and he really dedicated himself to his students,” said Mindiola. In addition to teaching techniques, “he was also meticulous about scientific writing, and that has been important in my career.” 


Undergraduates were always important to Hillhouse. Colleagues say that undergrads left his group exceptionally well prepared and scientifically mature. In 2012, group member Niklas Thompson, then a third year, received a Goldwater Scholarship, a top award for undergraduate scientists. 


Hillhouse also mentored Jonas Peters, BS’93, as an undergraduate. A former Marshall Scholar at the University of Nottingham, Peters now is the Bren Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. 


Former students honored Hillhouse with two alumni awards, the 1997 Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the 2011 Norman Maclean Faculty Award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to teaching and to the student experience of life within the University community. 


“Greg was a profoundly dedicated teacher and mentor to thousands of College students over the course of his career,” said John Boyer, dean of the College. “He also made many significant contributions to the improvement and enrichment of our curricular programs.   He cared deeply about the success and the welfare of our students, in and out of the classroom." 


Just as he was passionate about chemistry and students, Hillhouse was passionate about life in general. Chicago students knew him as a fiercely competitive intramural athlete who was both an excellent basketball player and the leader of many champion summer softball teams. He even played pickup basketball with President Barack Obama, but “we didn’t know who he was at the time; he was just one of the guys,” said veteran teammate Surrey Walton, an economist at the University of Illinois at Chicago whose family called Hillhouse “Uncle Greg.”


He carried his creativity, enthusiasm, and generosity of spirit into his avocations of painting, cooking, and collecting fine wine. An accomplished chef who enjoyed entertaining his friends, he spent every Saturday night through much of the 1990s cooking classic, butter-laden French meals for residents at Chicago House, an AIDS hospice, according to Walton. Hillhouse even found a way to unite his passions for sports and rich French cooking. The name of his two-time champion intramural basketball team? “Old World Fat.”


Hillhouse is survived by a cousin, Denise Burckhalter and her husband Charles. He was preceded in death by his mother, Christine B. Kinsler, and his stepfather, Joseph D. Kinsler. 






Gregory L. Hillhouse, science


By Daniel J. Mindiola


Gregory Lee Hillhouse was a purest and a true fundamentalist who was trying to understand structure and bonding in simple organic and inorganic molecules combined.  As an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina with Professor Edward Mercer, Greg became interested in the chemistry of transition metals. Since his early days as a graduate student in the laboratories of Professor Barry Haymore at the Indiana University-Bloomington, Greg developed a passion for classical coordination chemistry and the ability of transition metals (both early, middle and late) to stabilize unusual scaffolds and molecules that would otherwise, in their free form, be considered impossible to isolate and study. During his time at Indiana, Greg began exploring fundamental coordination chemistry involving nitrogen and energy rich molecules such as organic azides and diazoalkane derivatives. It was during this stage in his career that Greg fell in love with metal-ligand multiple bonding. It was also during this time that Greg learned how to be an independent scientist and virtually wrote all manuscripts and his Ph.D dissertation with little input or guidance.  Having completed his Ph.D. Greg headed west to the California Institute of Technology to work for a Professor John Bercaw in the chemistry of early transition metallocenes with small molecules such as water and ammonia. Even today, the work produced by Greg is still be cited due to the importance of converting thermodynamically stable resources such as water and ammonia to more value added products (Note: this work has over 160 citations). During this time, Greg’s passion for nitrogen rich molecules such as azides was prevalent, with these being an integral part of a series of studies with group 4 transition metals. The early 80’s were an exhilarating time in the Bercaw group. It was during this era that future legends in inorganic were being cultivated: Peter Wolczanski (Cornell University), James Mayer (University of Washington Seattle), Dean Roddick (University of Wyoming), Gerard Parkin (Columbia University), Michael Fryzuk (University of British Columbia), Vernon Gibson (Imperial College and now Chief Chemist at British Petroleum), Mark Thompson (University of Southern California), Ayusman Sen (Pennsylvania State University), Pamela Shapiro (University of Idaho), T. Don Tilley (UC Berkeley), Antonio Togni (ETH Zurich), and Don Berry (University of Pennsylvania) among many others including Greg.


From the start of his independent career at the University of Chicago in 1983, Greg began exploring the chemistry of carbon dioxide as well as a close relative but more reactive molecule carbon suboxide (O=C=C=C=O). Other reactive and high energy molecules then considered too reactive to isolate or study would soon be prepared in the Hillhouse group. His strategy: To synthesize these reactive small molecules once they were bound to a coordinately saturated metal center. By doing so, Greg was able to prepare stable compounds having coordinated diazene, nitroxyl and nitric oxide ligands. While the former is an intermediate in route to the oxidation of rocket fuel, hydrazine, the latter two, HNO and NO, are central to cellular signaling and involved in many physiological and pathological processes bordering the fields of immunology, neuroscience, and physiology. Nitroxyl is particularly unstable and is proposed to be produced in the reduction and protonation of NO, a free radical found in small concentration in cells and key to cell signaling. Future work also expanded to using greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide (N2O) as selective O-atom transfer reagents. This particular reagent has garnered incredible interest in oxidation catalysis given its high energy (but being kinetically sluggish), its resourcefulness, as well as non-toxic nature. Because nitrous oxide is a poor ligand to metals, Greg explored reactive metal-carbon bonds that could insert this kinetically inert molecule and then oxidize the M-R group to M-OR with ejection of a benign side-product such as N2. It was also during this epoch that Greg began exploring oxidation reactions (where electrons are being removed) as a route to promote bond forming processes (reductive elimination). Oxidatively induced reductive elimination is an important reaction to forming C-X bonds (where X is a heteroatom such as N, O or S) and the Hillhouse group played an integral part in understanding how oxidants participate in this process. His group also explored strained M-C bonds that found a way to insert nitrous oxide without ejection of N2. By doing so, his group was the first to isolate a complex with N2O as part of the supporting ligand. Even more exciting was the fact that these complexes could eliminate N2 upon oxidation of the ligand. This novel approach still holds great promise as a route to using a greenhouse gas such as N2O as a reagent for O-atom transfer. In the late 90’s Greg began exploring the chemistry of nitrenes (NR, where R is an organic group), a type of reactive radical species integral to formation of molecules such as aziridines that are important in pharmaceuticals. Nitrenes, carbenes, and oxenes are all reactive species essential in oxidation chemistry. Since the 1880’s chemists have been exploring their potential use in bond insertion chemistry (known as the Buchner−Curtius−Schlotterbeck reaction), while organic chemists have applied this methodology of group-transfer for the construction of important compounds having biological and pharmaceutical use. Physical chemists have been also fascinated by the properties of these species given their diradical character. Biology has found a way to harness the reactivity of molecules such as oxenes by using highly sophisticated architectures defined as cytochromes. These molecular machines or so called monoxygenases are instrumental in catalyzing over 75% of metabolic reactions in the body. 


Greg’s obsession with nitrenes was further exacerbated (a word Greg always enjoyed using) by the fact that late transition metals were considered too electron rich to stabilize such a group. Early transition metals were known to stabilize nitrenes, but the products derived from combination of the two resulted in very stable species because of the very strong M-N multiple bond. Low-coordination numbers were required for chemistry to be unlocked with the early transition metals. Greg combined two and two, and his epiphany was to support a late transition metal nitrene by constraining the geometry to three-coordinate and by using strongly donating ligands to stabilize the metal center. This was not unknown, but Greg unlocked the secrets of this approach from a textbook published by one of his late colleagues at the University of Chicago, Professor Jeremy Burdett. In his co-authored textbook, Orbital Interactions in Chemistry, it is stated that bent, two-coordinate fragments of identical electronic configuration to nickel(II) are isolobal or nearly congruent to a nitrene, carbene or oxene fragment! Taking advantage of this information Greg devoted his efforts to prepare stable forms of late-transition metal nitrenes. In 2001 I was fortunate enough to help construct such a molecule, and soon thereafter, the carbene and phosphinidene (heavier congener of a nitrene) derivatives were prepared. Greg later demonstrated that these systems could indeed perform transfer reactions to form important organic molecules such as azirdines, cyclopropanes, and phosphiranes. Depending on the nature of the reagent, Greg discovered compounds that could deliver the nitrene group catalytically. It was only a question of time before lower-coordinate nitrenes of nickel were assembled. By making these compounds even more unsaturated, Greg was able to take advantage of the intrinsically reactive Ni-N multiple bond and thus explore remarkable transformations such as the amination of carbon-hydrogen bonds. It would be only a question of time before Greg would isolate stable oxene complexes but unfortunately his life was cut short. These species, if prepared, could teach us about electrophilic single atom oxygen sources, and reveal hidden secrets involved in worldwide applicable processes such as water oxidation that is becoming so important in the context of energy and a hydrogen economy.






Gregory L. Hillhouse, undergraduate mentor


By Jonas C. Peters


Gregory L. Hillhouse was born in Greenville, South Carolina on March 1, 1955. He obtained a PhD degree in Inorganic Chemistry at Indiana University in 1980 working under the guidance of Professor Barry Haymore.  He thereafter spent three formative years at the California Institute of Technology working in the laboratory of Professor John Bercaw in the field of organometallic chemistry, the field to which Greg dedicated himself for more than three decades at the University of Chicago beginning in 1983.


Hillhouse was internationally recognized for his many creative research accomplishments. For example, early in his independent career Hillhouse pioneered the transition metal chemistry of nitroxyls (HNO) and terminally bonded diimides (HN=NH). In the early 1990s Hillhouse and coworkers turned their attention towards atom transfer reactions of nickel. His lab was, for example, first to show that a variety of Ni(II)-R complexes could undergo O-atom and nitrene insertions into nickel alkyl (or aryl) bonds. Hillhouse postulated the intermediacy of nickel oxo (Ni=O) and imido/nitrene (Ni=NR) species as key intermediates in these transformations, but there existed a strong bias within the field suggesting that such species, especially for first row metals as late as nickel, would be inherently unstable. Hillhouse’s landmark discovery in 2001 that a simple, trigonal planar Ni(II) imido complex (L2Ni=NR) could be isolated changed this bias and spawned an era of late metal-to-ligand multiple bond research.


In addition to mentoring a body of talented graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at the University of Chicago, Hillhouse dedicated himself to every aspect of undergraduate life and mentorship in the College. His ability to spark the imagination of budding undergraduates in chemical research, and to uphold his responsibility in their intellectual and professional development for years thereafter, was legendary. Indeed, top chemistry departments around the country annually competed to attract his highly talented and well-trained pupils into their PhD programs. Hillhouse also mentored non-chemistry majors in the College, and was a huge supporter of the fighting Maroons in sports. For his mentorship, teaching, and broad, active support of undergraduate life in the College he received the Quantrell (1997), Starkey Duncan (2009), and Maclean (2011) awards.


Despite a busy schedule that included running a world-class research program, serving on critical College committees, playing intramural basketball and softball every year, cooking weekly gourmet meals for patients in hospice care that suffered from AIDs during the heart of that crisis, creating beautiful works of art via oil painting, and maintaining a devoted network of friends and family, Hillhouse always prioritized his students. For more than three decades he embodied all one could hope for in a Professor of the College. It is therefore befitting to celebrate his memory through this Lectureship, hosted by the undergraduates of the Chemistry Department.


The Inaugural Gregory L. Hillhouse Memorial Lecture

Professor Jonas Peters

California Institute of Technology

“Catalytic Reduction of Nitrogen to Ammonia by Mononuclear Iron Complexes”


Friday, May 16th, 1:15pm

Kent Chemical Laboratory, Room 120

1020 East 58th Street

Chicago, IL



Organometallics October 2015 Issue Honors the Memory of Greg Hillhouse

October 12, 2015
Volume 34, Issue 19
Pages 4633-4782

About the Cover:

The image displays Prof. Gregory Hillhouse, as centerpiece, revealing a balance between his art and his science (a two-coordinate nickel imido is partially shown in ball and stick), along with other hobbies of his such as basketball and cookery.

A single stroke of a brush can be as difficult to explain as a chemical reaction or composition of a molecule, yet the late Prof. Hillhouse perfectly blended the two into his world. Whereas chemistry is often considered a reflection of wisdom and the study of matter and molecules, art gives us our humanity and allows us to express love or hate, as well as other mysteries well beyond our most unimaginable dreams. Prof. Hillhouse achieved such a difficult balance between his many passions and left a perfect combination of reality and dreams commingled in one. Mary E. Mindiola is thanked for putting together the art cover for this special issue, and we acknowledge Prof. Surrey M. Walton and Thomas Calhoun for providing copies of Greg's art. (link)


The Hillhouse Student-Faculty Basketball Game (program, Info)