Professor Chris Caputo

Education and Experience

Assistant Professor  – York University
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow – Harvard University
Ph.D., Chemistry – University of Toronto
B.Sc., Chemistry – University of Windsor


Chris was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and received an Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Windsor in 2010. As an undergraduate student, he worked with Professor Stephen Loeb on a number of projects encompassing supramolecular and materials chemistry. Projects included the synthesis of [2]-rotaxanes and tetrahedral pyridine compounds for metal-organic framework construction.

In 2010 Chris moved to the University of Toronto and undertook a Ph.D. with Professor Douglas Stephan. Here he worked on a number of projects related to Frustrated Lewis Pair Chemistry. During this time, he pioneered the development of highly electrophilic phosphonium Lewis acids and exploited them as catalysts for a number of transformations including C-F bond activation, among others. During his Ph.D. he spent a semester abroad studying under the supervision of Prof. Gerhard Erker at the University of Münster in Germany with the support of an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship.

Afterwards he was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Theodore Betley at Harvard University, focusing his research on the reactivity of polynuclear metallic cluster, in particular a new class of compounds based around a triiron phosphide core. Before starting at York he spent some time with a Toronto based start-up company, Inkbox, as Director of Research and Development.

In July 2017, Chris joined the Department of Chemistry at York University as an Assistant Professor.