The precise placement of chemical functionality surrounding an active site can generate high degrees of catalytic activity and selectivity. Biological catalysts often exploit the advantages of such concerted approach to catalyze reactions under mild conditions. We aim to devise synthetic methodologies to create heterogeneous catalysts with organic and inorganic sites that work cooperatively in the activation of targeted molecular species. Current projects in this realm include designing and implementing water-tolerant solid Lewis acids for the activation/conversion of biomass-derived oxygenates into chemicals and fuel intermediates. We are also actively investigating bio-inspired approaches for the use of zeolites in low temperature oxidation processes.