Our second paper on the chemical origins of life is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. We show that metallic iron powder fixes carbon dioxide as acetate and pyruvate much like the Acetyl CoA pathway, an ancient biological pathway used by microbes to build themselves. It represents a rare “chemistry-up” experiment that connects with the current “biology-down” understanding of early life. Congrats to Sreejith, Kamila and Paul! Free read-only version here. Paywall version here. Also check out the accompanying Behind the Paper post here.
The University of Strasbourg is pleased to announce a new combined MSc and PhD program in Complex Systems Chemistry. Motivated students wishing to start an MSc should apply by April 1, 2018, with classes starting in September. MSc students will receive financial assistance for living and travel and will be eligible for funded PhD fellowships. To apply and for more information, go to grad-csc.unistra.fr .
Ed and Vuk’s paper on the accelerating effect of HFIP solvent on nucleophilic ring-opening of donor-acceptor cyclopropanes has been published in Organic Letters. Congrats!
Ed’s invited review on nickel catalysis enabled by stoichiometric metallic reducing agents has been published in Synthesis. Congrats!
Joseph has been awarded the 2017 Prix Guy Ourisson by the Cercle Gutenberg. The prize is awarded each year to one or two top researchers under 40 in Alsace in any field. Yay!
Pierre Braunstein awards the prize on March 2, 2018
The fourth incoming class of PhD students joins the group. Paul Chatelain (MRT fellowship) returned this October to continue his MSc work on protometabolism. Florent Noel (Région Alsace fellowship) and Shaofei Zhang (CSC fellowship) arrived in November to initiate a new project on directed Brønsted acid catalysis. A warm welcome to all three!
Congrats to Shaofei for receiving a CSC PhD fellowship from the Chinese government!
Congrats to Florent for receiving a PhD fellowship from the Région Grand-Est!
Our paper on the chemical origins of life is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. We show that more than half of the reverse Krebs cycle can occur without enzymes. Congrats to Kamila, Sreejith, Elodie, Lucas and Guang for an amazing team effort! A free link to the paper is here. The journal’s paywall version is here. Also check out our Behind the Paper blog post on the journal’s web site here.
Our lab received full-page coverage in two regional French newspapers, Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace and l’Alsace. Check it out!