Inspiration for research in the Cook Group derives from the complex challenges presented by organic synthesis. Our group develops new reactions that enable the efficient synthesis of biologically relevant small molecules. These reaction manifolds provide novel modes of bond formation in an environmentally sustainable fashion. By examining known mechanistic data, we identify gaps in understanding that can be exploited to create entirely new reaction pathways. Further mechanistic refinement in our laboratory leads to a clearer understanding of these catalytic processes, which permits the design of new reactions in a rational and systematic fashion.