Reactions: Chenfeng Ke

Chenfeng Ke is in the Department of Chemistry at Dartmouth College and works on developing supramolecular 3D printing materials, porous organic materials and carbohydrate sensors.

1. What made you want to be a chemist?

I chose to be a chemistry major during my undergraduate studies and then followed the track. Nothing special, but my passion has always been learning new chemistry.

2. If you weren’t a chemist and could do any other job, what would it be — and why?

I want to be a chef if I can choose another job. I like watching cooking shows and I am a fan of Gordon Ramsey. I enjoy the moment that people like my food.

3. What are you working on now, and where do you hope it will lead?

I am working on developing supramolecular 3D printing materials. I hope to transfer the molecular functions that the supramolecular community has been investigating for decades to the macroscopic scale and make useful materials and devices. I hope to 3D print molecular machines and build a macroscopic machine in the future.

4. Which historical figure would you most like to have dinner with — and why?

Linus Pauling. He is my hero. He probably would suggest that I take 5 grams of Vitamin C every day!

5. When was the last time you did an experiment in the lab — and what was it?

I am still working in the lab. My last reaction was a one-pot Boc-deprotection1 and imine condensation.

6. If exiled on a desert island, what one book and one music album would you take with you?

One book… could that be Wikipedia in print? I often find I waste too much time on Wiki.

I like a traditional Chinese instrument — GuZheng (Chinese zither)2.  Any GuZheng album will work.

7. Which chemist would you like to see interviewed on Reactions — and why?

Jeremiah Gassensmith at UT Dallas. I want to see his crazy answers.

[1] Editor’s note: Boc = tert-Butyloxycarbonyl, a common protecting group in organic synthesis.
[2] Editor’s note: As someone who hadn’t really listened to it before reading this interview, I really recommend checking this instrument out! It’s very relaxing.