Caleb Brown

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

e: | p: 434-381-6403 |


Guion 209

B.S. Guilford College

Ph.D. North Carolina State University

Professor Brown is an inorganic chemist with an interest in computational and physical chemistry. He has a passion for teaching science, and strives to maintain an innovative classroom that engages and challenges his students. He strongly believes that the best way to learn is by doing, and incorporates research based activities into his classes and supports undergraduates in conducting independent research His current research interests include computational modeling and mechanistic investigations of catalysts. When he is not in the lab, Professor Brown enjoys, hiking, fishing, and playing lots of board games.

Courses Taught

CHEM 131 - General Chemistry, CHEM 321 - Biochemistry, CHEM  332 - Thermodynamics and Kinetics, CHEM 331 - Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy, CHEM 325 Computational Chemistry, CHEM 450 - Advanced Organic Chemistry, CORE 160 - STEM and Society


  1. Brown, C. A.; Abrahamse, M*.; Ison, E. A. “Re-Silane Complexes as Frustrated Lewis Pairs for Catalytic Hydrosilylation.” Dalton Trans. 2020, 49, 11403-11411
  2. Santiago Guzmán, A. J.; Brown, C. A.; Sommer, R. D.; Ison, E. A. “ Identification of key functionalization species in the Cp*Ir(III)-catalyzed-ortho halogenation of benzamides.” Dalton Trans. 2020, Advance Article DOI: 10.1039/D0DT00565G.
  3. Brown, C. A.; Lilly, C. P.; Lambic, N. S.; Sommer, R. D.; Ison, E. A. “Synthesis, Reactivity, and Catalytic Activity of Re(III) and Re(V) Fischer Carbenes.” Organometallics, 2020, 39, 388-396
  4. Lambic, N. S.; Brown, C. A.; Sommer, R. D.; Ison, E. A. “Dramatic Increase in the Rate of Olefin Insertion by Coordination of Lewis Acids to the Oxo Ligand in Oxorhenium(V) Hydrides.” Organometallics, 2017, 36, 2042-2051.
  5. Brown, C. A.; Nile, T. A.; Mahon, M. F.; Webster, R. L. “Iron Catalyzed Negishi Cross-coupling Using Simple Ethyl-monophosphines.” Dalton Trans., 2015, 44, 12189-12195.


*Indicates undergraduate contributor

Professor Brown was raised in Greensboro, North Carolina where he developed a fascination with the natural world at an early age. He attended Guilford College, a small liberal college in Greensboro, where he majored in chemistry and biology. He then attended North Carolina State University to pursue a PhD  with concentrations in inorganic synthesis, computational chemistry, and physical chemistry. He currently conducts research on novel systems for the catalytic reduction of small molecules. His lab utilizes a combination of computational modeling, mechanistic study, and synthesis to understand the fundamental interactions present in these system and how these interaction can be applied for the rational design of improved catalysts. He is enthusiastic about including undergraduates in his research and currently works with several Sweet Briar students. When he is not in the lab, Professor Brown enjoys, hiking, fishing, and playing lots board games.