Principal Investigator

Robert S. Paton

Marshall Fixman & Branka Ladanyi Professor in Chemistry
Head of Organic Chemistry
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Colorado State University Expert Profile

Department of Chemistry
Colorado State University
1301 Center Avenue
Ft. Collins, CO 80523-1872



Dr. Robert Paton is a Full Professor of Chemistry at Colorado State University. Research in the Paton group is focussed on the development and application of computational tools to accelerate chemical discovery. Robert Paton has received the Harrison-Meldola Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the Silver Jubilee Prize of the Molecular Graphics and Modeling Society, and is a Fellow of the RSC. Paton is a founding member of the NSF Center for Computer-Assisted Synthesis (C-CAS).

After graduating top of his year in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, Robert Paton obtained his PhD in 2008 with Prof. Jonathan Goodman working on automated force field parameterization to study stereoselective C-C bond formation. In 2008 he took up an independent Junior Research Fellowship at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and received an HPC-Europa award in 2009 to visit the group of Prof. Feliu Maseras at ICIQ, Spain. Dr. Paton was awarded a UK/US Fulbright-AstraZeneca Fellowship and a Science Fellowship from the Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 1851 to carry out postdoctoral research with Prof. K. N. Houk at the University of California, Los Angeles from 2009-2010.

Robert Paton began his independent academic career in 2010 at the University of Oxford as a University Lecturer and as a Tutorial Fellow at St Hilda’s College. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014 and moved to Colorado State University in 2018 where he is the Head of the Organic Chemistry Division. In 2021 he was promoted to Full Professor and in 2023 became the inaugral holder of the Marshall Fixman and Branka Ladanyi Professorship in Chemistry at CSU.

Awards and Honors

Invited Talks

  • October 2024: Sygnature Discovery
  • September 2024: European Conference on Organic Free Radicals, Manchester, UK
  • July 2024: Frontiers of Computational Reaction Prediction, University of Chicago
  • June 2024: Cheminformatics, Automation and Machine Learning in Chemistry, Jaca
  • June 2024: ICIQ, Taragona
  • June 2024: University of Girona
  • June 2024: Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • May 2024: 47th Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Chemical Society, Águas de Lindoia, Brazil
  • May 2024: Student Seminar Series, University of Minnesota
  • February 2024: University of Pennsylvania
  • February 2024: FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
  • January 2024: AstraZeneca Predictive Science Network
  • November 2023: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • November 2023: Chemistry Graduate Student Association Invited Lecturer, Northeastern University
  • October 2023: Vanderbilt University
  • October 2023: Whitman College
  • August 2023: Data Science for Catalysis: Automated-Synthesis, Process Optimization & Catalyst Discovery, ACS National Meeting, San Franciso
  • July 2023: International Conference on Chemical Bonding, Kauai
  • July 2023: Accelerating Reaction Discovery, Telluride
  • June 2023: 23rd Tetrahedron Symposium, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • March 2023: Theoretical and Experimental Approaches to Catalyst Development, ACS National Meeting, Indianapolis
  • Dec 2022: Syngenta Catalysis Network Lecture 2022
  • Dec 2022: ISQBS 2022, Ibaraki University, Japan
  • Dec 2022: University of Pittsburgh
  • Nov 2022: Carnegie Mellon University
  • Aug 2022: Roitberg Symposium, ACS National Meeting, Chicago
  • Aug 2022: Houk Symposium, UCLA
  • July 2022: Gordon Conference on Stereochemistry
  • July 2022: Gordon Conference on Computational Chemistry
  • July 2022: WATOC
  • May 2022: Deargen, Daejon, South Korea
  • May 2022: PKNU, Busan, South Korea
  • May 2022: Department of Chemistry, Stanford University
  • April 2022: Molecule Maker Lab Institute (MMLI)
  • April 2022: 36th Annual Symposium of the Rocky Mountain Catalysis Society, Colorado School of Mines
  • March 2022: From Theory to Therapy: New Developments in Quantum Mechanical Calculations for Driving Best Chemistry in Academia and Industry, ACS National Meeting, San Diego
  • March 2022: Presidential Workshop: Everything Chemists Always Wanted To Know About Machine Learning, ACS National Meeting, San Diego
  • January 2022: 15th Winter Conference on Medicinal & Bioorganic Chemistry, Steamboat Springs
  • December 2021: Department of Chemistry, Montana State University
  • October 2021: Department of Chemistry, Lawrence University
  • October 2021: Department of Chemistry, California Polytechnic State University
  • September 2021: Department of Chemistry, Truman State University
  • August 2021: IUPAC World Chemistry Congress, Montreal, Canada
  • July 2021: VISTA Symposium on Artificial-Intelligence and Data-Science assisted Synthesis​
  • May 2021: International Consortium for Innovation and Quality in Pharmaceutical Development
  • April 2021: Houk International Alumni Meeting
  • November 2020: Genentech
  • August 2020: GSK 
  • June 2020: 24th Annual ACS Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference
  • May 2020: Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (CCCE), Winnipeg 
  • February 2020: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Missouri – St. Louis
  • November 2019: Department of Chemistry, University of Denver
  • November 2019: Frontiers in Physical Organic Chemistry, Southwest & Rocky Mountain Regional ACS Meeting, El Paso 
  • November 2019: Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, NJ
  • October 2019: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA, CA
  • September 2019: Machine Learning and Informatics for Chemistry and Materials, Telluride, CO 
  • September 2019: Mechanistic Homogeneous Catalysis – A Meeting between Theory and Experiment, Stockholm, Sweden
  • July 2019: ISTCP X, Tromsø, Norway
  • January 2019: University of Vienna, Austria
  • November 2018: University of Colorado, Denver, USA
  • July 2018: Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea
  • July 2018: Pukyong National University, South Korea
  • June 2018: Computational Catalysis for Sustainable Chemistry, ICIQ, Tarragona, Spain
  • June 2018: 37th Reaction Mechanisms Conference, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • May 2018: 2nd International Symposium on Organic Reaction Mechanism, Peking University, Shenzhen Graduate School, China
  • April 2018: Predictive Catalysis 2018, Girona, Spain
  • March 2018: Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
  • February 2018: Colorado School of Mines, Golden, USA
  • June 2017: 11th EUCO-TCC, Barcelona, Spain
  • June 2017: Challenges in Computational Homogeneous Catalysis, Stockholm, Sweden
  • April 2017: V ENEQUI, University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • February 2017: University of Cologne, Germany
  • October 2016: University of Liverpool, UK
  • August 2016: KAIST, South Korea
  • July 2016: IX International School On Organometallic Chemistry, San Sebastian, Spain
  • June 2016: ECS 2016, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • June 2016: RCOM9, Marseilles, France
  • June 2016: RSC Awards Symposium, Queens University Belfast, UK
  • April 2016: Hans Suschitzky Symposium, University of Salford, UK
  • March 2016: RSC South East Regional Meeting, University of East Anglia, UK
  • March 2016: UK-Japanese Symposium on Asymmetric Catalysis, University of Manchester, UK
  • February 2016: Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK
  • February 2016: Department of Condensed Matter Physics, University of Cambridge, UK
  • February 2016: Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil
  • December 2015: Department of Chemistry, Warwick University, UK
  • December 2015: Department of Chemistry, Heriot-Watt University, UK
  • November 2015: Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, UK
  • October 2015: University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • October 2015: Department of Chemistry, POSTECH, Pohang, South Korea
  • September 2015: International Symposium on Synthesis and Catalysis, Evora, Portugal
  • August 2015: Colorado State University, USA
  • July 2015: NSCCS Computational Workshop for Synthetic Chemists, Imperial College London, UK
  • May 2015: University of Helsinki, Finland
  • March 2015: Computational Molecular Science, Warwick, UK
  • February 2015: ICIQ, Tarragona, Spain
  • February 2015: Imperial College London, UK
  • February 2015: RWTH Aachen, Germany
  • August 2014: ACS Organic Division Young Investigators Award Symposium, San Francisco, USA
  • February 2014: RSC South-West Regional Meeting – Oxford, UK
  • December 2013: University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • October 2013: University College London, UK
  • August 2013: Transatlantic Frontiers of Chemistry – Kloster Seeon, Germany
  • July 2013: Asia-Pacific Conference of Theoretical/Computational Chemistry – Gyeongju, South Korea
  • April 2013: UK Young Chemists 2013 – Imperial College London, UK
  • March 2013: Seoul National University, South Korea
  • February 2013: University of Bristol, UK
  • January 2013: LCC University of Toulouse, France
  • June 2012: Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Dynamics of Chemical and Biological Reactivity, UCLA, USA
  • March 2012: University of Birmingham, UK
  • January 2011: University of Nottingham, UK
  • January 2011: United States Food and Drug Administration – Irvine, USA