Matt Sigman was born in Los Angeles, California in 1970. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Sonoma State University in 1992 before obtaining his Ph.D. at Washington State University with Professor Bruce Eaton in 1996 in organometallic chemistry. He then moved to Harvard University to complete an NIH funded postdoctoral stint with Professor Eric Jacobsen. In 1999, he joined the faculty of the University of Utah where his research group has focused on the development of new synthetic methodology with an underlying interest in reaction mechanism. His research integrates the study/development of new chemical reactions with the invention of new data science approaches to reaction interrogation. He currently is the Peter J. Christine S. Stang Presidential Endowed Chair of Chemistry at the rank of Distinguished Professor and is the department chair.
Sigman's research program unites various modern and classical tools for the design of catalysts for new reactions with broad applications from enantioselective synthesis to energy-related topics (fuel cells and batteries) to biological inspired reaction types (C–H functionalization, directed evolution). His group's goals are not only to enable the development of processes with the wide-ranging applications described above but ultimately to understand the guiding principles by which the performance of a particular catalyst or functional molecule is achieved. To accomplish this, they have been integrating classical techniques of physical organic chemistry with data science to interrogate the complex relationship of structure to function.