Wilson Bailey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at the University of Puget Sound. Afterwards, I moved a little further north to Seattle, WA, where I earned my doctorate in inorganic chemistry at the University...

Studio Photo of Wilson Bailey

Contact Information

  • Fall 2021
    Monday: 4:00-6:00 pm
    Tuesday: 4:00-5:00 pm
    Wednesday: 1:00-2:00 pm


  • (509) 313-5226

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., University of Washington
B.S., University of Puget Sound

Courses Taught

CHEM 101/101L: General Chemistry and General Chemistry Lab
CHEM 230/230L: Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 355L:  Physical Inorganic Chemistry Lab


I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.  I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at the University of Puget Sound. Afterwards, I moved a little further north to Seattle, WA, where I earned my doctorate in inorganic chemistry at the University of Washington. At UW, my research focused on the synthesis, characterization, and reactivity of palladium and platinum pincer complexes. While earning my degree, I was able to teach inorganic chemistry at Seattle University for a term. Afterwards, I moved to Minneapolis and worked at the University of Minnesota as a postdoctoral associate, focusing on bioinorganic chemistry of copper. During this time, the lab moved to Washington University in St. Louis, where I was able to coordinate and set up a brand new research space with my group. My research experiences along the way inform the current projects in my group on transition metal catalyzed oxidations. I greatly enjoy teaching the fundamentals of chemistry, and how we can explain natural phenomena through a chemical lens.  
Do you like colors, metals, and/or finding out how to manipulate chemical bonds for the benefit of the environment and humanity? Then inorganic chemistry research in the Bailey Lab may be for you! The research performed in the Bailey Lab will focus on metal-ligand cooperation (MLC), the rational design of bi-functional organic frameworks to assist transition metal centers in small molecule transformations and catalysis. In other words, we work as molecular architects to create brand new transition metal compounds using both our organic and inorganic knowledge, and use them to create new molecules. The field of MLC is an extension on classical inorganic chemistry, where both the bond making/breaking abilities of the metal, as well as the intrinsic reactive nature of organic functional groups on the ligand, are utilized in a cooperative manner to unlock novel chemistry compared to the (in)organic fragments alone. Projects are inspired by Nature, where exceptionally tuned ligand environments assist metalloenzymes to efficiently carry out specific chemical transformations. Initial projects will focus on the synthesis and characterization of zirconium and nickel complexes, and their reactivity with oxygen in catalysis and water oxidation, respectively. Projects are centered around synthesis, spectroscopy, chemical reactivity, and the many beautiful colors of transition metal species.