Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Malkanthi K. Karunananda, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Postdoctoral Fellow, The Scripps Research Institute, CA, 2017-2022.
Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, 2017.
B.Sc. in Chemistry, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, 2006-2010.

Research Interests

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organometallic Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Catalysis

Publications and Media Placements

Selected Publications:

  • Karunananda, M. K.; Vazquez, F. X.; Alp, E. E.; Bi, W.; Chattopadhyay, S.; Shibata, T.; Mankad, N. P. “Experimental Determination of Redox Cooperativity and Electronic Structure in Catalytically Active Cu-Fe and Zn-Fe Heterobimetallic Complexes.” Dalton Trans. 2014, 43, 13361–13371;
  • Karunananda, M. K.; Mankad, N. P. “E-Selective Semi-Hydrogenation of Alkynes by Heterobimetallic Catalysis.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 14598–14601;
  • Karunananda, M. K.; Mankad, N. P. “Cooperative Strategies for Catalytic Hydrogenation of Unsaturated Hydrocarbons.” ACS Catal. 2017, 7, 6110–6119;
  • Nimmagadda, S. K.† ; Liu, M.† ; Karunananda, M. K.† ; Gao, D.-W.; Apolinar, O.; Chen, J. S.; Liu, P.; Engle, K. M. “Catalytic, Enantioselective α-Alkylation of Azlactones with Non-Conjugated Alkenes via Directed Nucleopalladation.” Angew. Chem. 2019, 131, 3963–3967; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 3923–3927 (†Authors contributed equally);
  • Matsuura, R.; Karunananda, M. K.; Liu, M.; Nguyen, N.; Blackmond, D. G.; Engle, K. M. “Mechanistic Studies of Pd(II)- catalyzed E/Z Isomerization of Unactivated Alkenes: Evidence of a Mononuclear Nucleopalladation Pathway.” ACS Catal. 2021, 11, 4239–4246;
Complete list: Google Scholar

Honors and Awards

  • Cottrell Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2021.
  • Benjamin B. Freud Graduate Research Fellowship, 2016.