• Sarah Tasker, assistant professor of chemistry
Assistant Professor of Chemistry



Office: HAC 415

Office: HAC415
Lab: HAC418

Fall 2022 Office Hours: TBD


B.Sc. in Chemistry, Calvin College. Research under Prof. Carolyn Anderson and Prof. Chad Tatko
Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research under Prof. Timothy Jamison.
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Research under Prof. Paul Hergenrother 
For more information, check out the Tasker Lab website HERE 

Work in my lab involves the interface of synthetic organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry.  I am driven to discover and develop new reactions that will not only enable or shorten synthesis of small heterocyclic compounds, but also have a broader impact on the study of biological systems and in drug discovery.

Grants & Awards 

At F&M

American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Undergraduate New Investigator Grant

Prior to F&M

HHMI Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation                      National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship  
MIT Presidential Fellowship 
MIT Graduate Woman of Excellence Award 
MIT Spot Award for Service to the School of Science 
Goldwater Scholar  
Beckman Foundation Scholar  
National Merit Scholar  
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholarship 


Publications & Patents 

F&M Undergraduate co-authors are in bold and corresponding authors are indicated with an asterisk. Equal author contributions are indicated by †

Tasker, S. Z., Cowfer, A. E.; Hergenrother, P. J.* Preparation of Structurally Diverse Compounds from the Natural Product Lycorine. Org. Lett. 201820, 5894-5898. 

Gates, Z. P.; Viogradov, A. A.; Quartararo, A. J.; Bandyopadhyay, A.; Choo, Z.-N.; Evans, E. D.; Halloran, K. H.; Mijalis, A. J.; Mong, S. K.; Simon, M. D.; Standley, E. A.; Styduhar, E. D.; Tasker, S. Z.; Touti, F.; Weber, J. M.; Wilson, J. L.; Jamison, T. F.;* Pentelute, B. L*. ‘Xenoprotein’ Engineering via Synthetic Libraries. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2018, 115, E5298-E5306.

Hergenrother, P. J.;* Richter, M.; Riley, A.; Drown, B.; Chavez, M.; Tasker, S.; Garcia, A. Small-Molecules Active Against Gram-Negative Bacteria. International Patent WO2017/156519A1, Sept. 2017.

Tasker, S. Z.; Hergenrother, P. J.* Taming Reactive Benzynes. Nature Chem. 2017, 9, 504–506 (News & Views)

Tasker, S. Z.; Jamison, T. F.* Highly Regioselective Indoline Synthesis under Nickel/ Photoredox Dual Catalysis. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 9531–9534.

Standley, E. A.;† Tasker, S. Z.;†;Jensen, K. L.; Jamison, T. F.* Nickel Catalysis: Synergy between Method Development and Total Synthesis. Acc. Chem. Res. 2015, 48, 1503–1518.

Standley, E. A.;† Tasker, S. Z.;† Jamison, T. F.* Bis(1,5-cyclooctadiene)nickel(0). e-EROS Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published online Sept. 20, 2015.

Tasker, S. Z.;† Standley, E. A.;† Jamison, T. F.* Recent Advances in Homogeneous Nickel Catalysis. Nature 2014, 509, 299–309.

Tasker, S. Z.; Gutierrez, A. C.; Jamison, T. F.* Nickel-Catalyzed Mizoroki–Heck Reaction of Aryl Sulfonates and Chlorides with Electronically Unbiased Terminal Olefins: High Selectivity for Branched Products. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2013, 53, 1858–1861.

Tasker, S. Z.; Bosscher, M. A.; Shandro, C. A.; Lanni, E. L.; Ryu, K. A.; Snapper, G. S.; Utter, J. M.; Ellsworth, B. A.; Anderson, C. E.* Preparation of N-Alkyl 2-Pyridones via a Lithium Iodide Promoted O- to N-Alkyl Migration: Scope and Mechanism. J. Org. Chem. 2012, 77, 8220–8230.

Tasker, S. Z.; Brandsen, B. M.; Ryu, K. A.; Snapper, G. S.; Staples, R. J.; DeKock, R. L.;* Anderson, C. E.* Synthesis of a New Class of β-Iodo N-Alkenyl 2-Pyridones. Org. Lett. 2011, 13, 6224–6227.

Course Information 

Fall 2018

CHM211: Organic Chemistry I, Lecture & Lab

Spring 2019

CHM212: Organic Chemistry II, Lecture & Lab


In the News

Story 4/5/2020

Chemistry professor Sarah Tasker offered insight into how...

When the semester began, few would have predicted how drastically the school’s academic and social landscape would change in a matter of weeks. Yet when unprecedented circumstances surface and the...

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Story 10/24/2019

Autumn Research Fair 2019: In Scientific Research, Failure...

Scientific inquiry sometimes means discovering an untested hypothesis is wrong, which is what senior James Fahey spent eight months investigating in Franklin & Marshall College’s chemistry labs. 

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Story 4/18/2019

Chemistry Assistant Professor, Sarah Tasker, is awarded an...

Read the story in the Spring 2019 Edition of College Grants News.

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