Wesley Chalifoux

Wesley A. Chalifoux

Associate Professor


Wesley A. Chalifoux was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1977. He received his Bachelor of Sciences (Specialization in Chemistry, 2004) and Ph.D. (Chemistry, 2010) from the University of Alberta (Canada). During his Ph.D. studies, he was an NSERC CGSA Scholar and an Alberta Ingenuity Scholar. In 2010, Chalifoux began work as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University under the supervision of Professor James L. Leighton before starting his independent career at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2012. Chalifoux is a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2018.

Chalifoux has had a fruitful start to his academic career, having received the NSF CAREER Award and being the winner of the NSHE Regents’ Rising Researcher Award. Other honors include being a Humboldt Fellow, receiving the Mousel-Feltner Award for Excellence in Research, receiving the Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, and Chalifoux was recognized for Early Excellence in Physical Organic Chemistry by the Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry.

Chalifoux is also an accomplished teacher at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Within only a couple of years as an assistant professor, he received the prestigious Gene Lemay Award for Teaching Excellence. He was also honored twice as a Westfall Scholar Mentor, which recognizes his efforts in mentoring undergraduate students who graduate with the highest grades in the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Research Interests

Research in the Chalifoux laboratory is focused on organic synthesis and the development of new methodologies in the area of organic chemistry. Our main interest is the utilization of high energy alkyne-containing starting materials for the synthesis of conjugated organic materials/polymers (nanographenes and graphene nanoribbons) for applications such as nonlinear optics (NLO), thin-film transistors (TFTs), organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), synthetic receptors, and molecular switches, and solar cells.


  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University, 2010-2012
  • Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, University of Alberta, 2010
  • B.S., Specialization in Chemistry, University of Alberta, 2004