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College of Humanities & Sciences

Chemistry & Biochemistry

nonactin molecule


Orion Berryman

Orion Berryman

Assistant Professor

Phone: (406) 243-6805
Fax: (406) 243-4227
Office: Chem 009
Personal Website
Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

Assistant professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry


CHMY 223 Organic Chemistry II

CHMY 595 Physical Organic Chemistry

CHMY 630 Departmental Seminar


Personal Summary

Orion grew up enjoying the great outdoors surrounding Homer, Alaska. In 2003 Orion received a B.A. in chemistry and a minor in music from the University of New Hampshire. For postbaccalaureate studies Orion attended the University of Oregon--earning a Ph D. in organic/inorganic chemistry in 2008. During his doctoral studies Orion helped define the nature of anion/arene interactions under the guidance of Darren W. Johnson. Postdoctoral studies led Orion to The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA where he worked for Julius Rebek Jr. developing light responsive catalysts and ligands that encapsulate uranium. In 2012 Orion joined the chemistry and biochemistry faculty at the University of Montana. Orion is a CoBRE investigator within the Center for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics where he will teach and develop new catalysts that utilize noncovalent interactions as well as self-assembled ligands for ion remediation.


University of New Hampshire 1999-2003

University of Oregon 2003-2008

The Scripps Research Institute 2008-2012

Research Interests


My laboratory works at the interfaces of organic/inorganic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry and chemical biology. This interdisciplinary environment affords many opportunities to collaborate and apply concepts of molecular recognition. We develop novel uses for noncovalent interactions and apply them to outstanding and socially relevant problems in chemistry. To reach our targets we employ preparative and analytical techniques including; organic/organometallic synthesis, crystallography, computations, UV-Vis, fluorescence and NMR. When successful we will transform how molecular design is approached with focus on noncovalent interactions.

For further details please follow the link to my lab website:

Field of Study

organic chemistry, catalysis, molecular recognition, self-assembly, ligand development, photoisomerization



28. Massena, C. J.‡; Riel, A. M. S.‡; Neuhaus, G. F.‡; Decato, D. A.; Berryman, O. B.* “Solution and Solid-Phase Halogen and C–H Hydrogen Bonding to Perrhenate.” 2015, Chemical Communications, DOI: 10.1039/C.4CC09242B.

27. Sather, A. C.; Berryman, O. B.; Rebek, J. Jr. “Selective Recognition and Extraction of the Uranyl Ion from Aqueous Solutions with a Recyclable Chelating Resin.” Chemical Science, 2013, 4, 3601-3605.

26. Sather, A. C.; Berryman, O. B.; Moore, C. E.; Rebek, J. Jr. “Uranyl Ion Coordination with Rigid Aromatic Carboxylates and Structural Characterization of their Complexes.” Chemical Communications, 2013, 49, 6379-6381.

25. Collins, M. S.; Carnes, M. E.; Sather, A. C.; Berryman, O. B.; Zakharov, L. N.; Teat, S. J.; Johnson, D. W. “Pnictogen-Directed Synthesis of Discrete Disulfide Macrocycles.” Chemical Communications, 2013, 49, 6599-6601.

24. Sather, A. C.; Berryman, O. B.; Rebek, J. Jr. “Synthesis of Fused Indazole Ring Systems and Application to Nigeglanine hydrobromide.” Organic Letters, 2012, 14, 1600-1603.

23. Berryman, O. B.; Sather, A. C.; Lledo, A.; Rebek, J. Jr. “Switchable Catalysis with a Light Responsive Cavitand.” Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2011, 50, 9400-9403.

                          - Editor designated “hot paper” for importance in field of high interest.

22. Berryman, O. B.; Sather, A. C.; Rebek, J. Jr. “A Deep Cavitand with a Fluorescent Wall Functions as an Ion Sensor.” Organic Letters, 2011, 13, 5232-5235.

21. Berryman, O. B.; Dube, H.; Rebek, J. Jr. “Photophysics Applied to Cavitands and Capsules.” Israel Journal of Chemistry, 2011, 51, 700-709.

                          - Invited review article

20. Fontenot, S. A.; Cangelosi, V. M.; Pitt, M. A. W.; Sather, A. C.; Zakharov, L. N.; Berryman, O. B.; Johnson, D. W. “Design, Synthesis and Characterization of Self-Assembled As2L3 and Sb2L3 Cryptands.” Dalton Transactions, 2011, 40, 12125-12131.

19. Gavette, J. V.; Lara, J.; Berryman, O. B.; Zakharov, L. N.; Haley, M. M.; Johnson, D. W. “Lithium Cation Enhances Anion Binding in a Tripodal Phosphine Oxide-Based Ditopic Receptor.” Chemical Communications, 2011, 47, 7653-7655.

18. Carroll, C. N.; Coombs, B. A.; McClintock, S. P.; Johnson, C. A.; Berryman, O. B.; Johnson, D. W.; Haley, M. M. “Anion-Dependent Fluorescence in Bis(anilinoethynyl)pyridine Derivatives: Switchable ON-OFF and OFF-ON responses.” Chemical Communications, 2011, 47, 5539-5541.

17. Berryman, O. B.; Sather, A. C.; Rebek, J. Jr. “A Light Controlled Cavitand Wall Regulates Guest Binding.” Chemical Communications, 2011, 47, 656-658.

16. Sather, A. C.; Berryman, O. B.; Ajami, D.; Rebek, J. Jr. “Reactivity of N-nitrosoamides in Confined Spaces.” Tetrahedron Letters, 2011, 52, 2100-2103.

15. Sather, A. C.; Berryman, O. B.; Rebek, J. Jr. “Recognition and Extraction of the Uranyl Ion with a Preorganized Tripodal Ligand.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2010, 132, 13572-13574.

 14. Beer, S.; Berryman, O. B.‡; Ajami, D.; Rebek, J. Jr. “Encapsulation of the Uranyl Dication.” Chemical Science, 2010, 1, 43-47.

-‡ Both authors contributed equally. Highlighted in RSC press release, UK’s Daily Telegraph, MSN news, Yahoo News and AOL news. Cover art.

 13. Restorp, P.; Berryman, O. B.; Sather, A. C.; Ajami, D.; Rebek, J. Jr. “A Synthetic Receptor for Hydrogen Bonding to Fluorines of Trifluoroborates.” Chemical Communications, 2009, 5692-5694.

 12. Johnson, C. A.; Berryman, O. B.; Sather A. C.; Zakharov, L. N.; Haley, M. M.; Johnson, D. W. “Anion Binding Induces Helicity in a Hydrogen Bonding Receptor: Crystal Structure of a 2,6-Bis(anilinoethynyl)pyridinium Chloride.” Crystal Growth and Design, 2009, 9, 4247-4249.

11. Berryman, O. B.; Johnson, D. W. “Experimental Evidence of Interactions Between Anions and Electron-Deficient Aromatic Rings.” Chemical Communications, 2009, 3143-3153.

                          - Invited feature article and cover art.

10. Carroll, C. N.; Berryman, O. B.; Johnson, C. A.; Zakharov, L. N.; Haley, M. M.; Johnson, D. W. “Protonation Activates Anion Binding and Alters Binding Selectivity in New Inherently Fluorescent 2,6-bis(2-anilinoethynyl)pyridine Bisureas.” Chemical Communications, 2009, 2520-2522.

 9. Berryman, O. B.; Sather, A. C.; Meisner, J. S.; Hay, B. P.; Johnson, D. W. “Solution Phase Measurement of Both Weak Sigma Complexes and C-H•••X– Hydrogen Bonding Interactions in a Synthetic Receptor.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2008, 130, 10895-10897.

8.  Berryman, O. B.; Johnson, C. A.; Zakharov, L. N.; Haley, M. M.; Johnson, D. W. “Water and Hydrogen Halides Serve the Same Structural Role in a Series of 2+2 Hydrogen-Bonded Dimers Based on 2,6-bis(2-anilinoethynyl)pyridine Sulfonamide Receptors.” Angewandte Chemie International  Edition, 2008, 47, 117-120.

 7. Shultz, G. V.; Berryman, O. B.; Zakharov, L. N.; Tyler, D. R. “Preparation of Photodegradable Polymers Containing Metal-Metal Bonds Using ADMET.” Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers and Materials, 2008, 18, 149-154.

 6. Berryman, O. B.; Bryantsev, V. S.; Stay, D. P.; Johnson, D. W.; Hay, B. P. “Structural Criteria for the Design of Anion Receptors: the Interaction of Halides with Electron-Deficient Arenes.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2007, 129, 48-58.

- UO Press release – December 2006, sited 106 times.

 5. Meisner, J. S.; Berryman, O. B.; Zakharov, L. N.; Johnson, D. W. “Methyl 4-bromo-3,5-dinitrobenzoate.” Acta Crystallographica Section E, 2007, 63, o2466.

 4. Cangelosi, V. A.; Sather, A. C.; Zakharov, L. N.; Berryman, O. B.; Johnson, D. W. “Diastereoselectivity in the Self-Assembly of As2L2Cl2 Macrocycles is Directed by the As-π Interaction.” Inorganic Chemistry, 2007, 46, 9278-9284.

 3.  Berryman, O. B.; Hof, F.; Hynes, M. J.; Johnson, D. W. "Anion-π Interaction Augments Halide Binding in Solution." Chemical Communications, 2006, 506-508.

 2.  Johnson, C. A.; Baker, B. A.; Berryman, O. B.; Zakharov, L.; O'Connor, M. J.; Haley, M. M. "Synthesis and Characterization of Pyridine- and Thiophene-Based Platinacyclyne Topologies." Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 2006, 691, 413-421.

 1. Vickaryous, W. J.; Healey, E. R.; Berryman, O. B.; Johnson, D. W. "Synthesis and Characterization of Two Isomeric, Self-Assembled Arsenic-Thiolate Macrocycles." Inorganic Chemistry, 2005. 44, 9247-9252.


A.   Rather Healey, E.; Vickaryous, W. J.; Berryman, O. B.; Johnson, D. W.In BOTTOM-UP NANOFABRICATION: Supramolecules, Self-Assemblies, and Organized Films.” Ariga, K., Nalwa, H. S., Eds.; American Scientific Publishers: Stevenson Ranch, 2007.


I.     Haley, M. M.; Johnson, D. W.; Berryman, O. B.; Johnson, C. A.; Stimpson, C. A. Process for Preparation of Tunable Phenylacetylene Host Compounds for Ligand Binding.” U.S. Pat. Appl. US 2008167472, 2008, 21.

II.   Rebek, J. Jr.; Berryman, O. B.; Sather, A. C. “Methods and Compositions for Chelating Metals in Aqueous Solutions.” US Pat. Application # 61/217,078, 2009.

Teaching Experience

Organic Chemistry II (CHMY 223)


Cycling, XC skiing, trumpet, fishing, hunting

University of Montana

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Professor Chris Palmer, Chair

Phone: 406.243.4022 | Fax: 406.243.4227

32 Campus Drive | Missoula, MT 59812