The sixth incoming class of PhD students joins the group. Sophia Rauscher, funded by the ProtoMet ITN, and Harpreet Kaur will both work on proto-metabolism. A warm welcome to both!
Congratulations and farewell to group member Dr. Jan Gorges, who accepts a research position at BASF in Ludwigshafen. Jan was a postdoc in the group for only 10 months, but managed to submit his first publication before leaving ahead of schedule for a sweet industrial position. He is the third lab member to obtain a permanent position at BASF. For a farewell, Jan prepared homemade kebabs for a group dinner. Best of luck in the new career and come visit often!
Joseph has received funding from the Volkswagen Foundation for a project called “Forming catalysts: A basic principle of deep chemistry, life chemistry and life”, which will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. William F. Martin (Düsseldorf) and Dr. Harun Tüysüz (MPI Mülheim/Ruhr). Each lab will roughly equally share the 1.5 M€ in funding. See the press release in English here and in German here. We are looking forward to officially getting the project started!
A warm welcome to new postdoctoral fellow Ankita Malik, who comes to us from the group of Daniel Varón Silva and Peter Seeberger at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, where she worked on complex polysaccharide synthesis. Welcome, Ankita!
Our third paper on the chemical origins of life is published in Nature. We show that ferrous iron promotes a one-pot reaction network that resembles the Krebs cycle and amino acid synthesis, starting from just pyruvate and glyoxylate. These enzyme-free reactions could have been a precursor to biological metabolism. Congrats to Kamila and Sreejith! Free read-only version here. Paywall version here. Also, check out the accompanying News & Views article by Robert Pascal here.
Kamila and Elodie’s invited account of our recent work on non-enzymatic metabolic pathways has been published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Letters. The special issue is in honor of the 2019 Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award to Dr. Raphaël Rodriguez.
Elodie’s collaboration with Dr. Samir Mameri (IUT Robert Schuman) and Profs. Ruhlmann (Strasbourg) and Schmitt (Dublin) on the properties of Mn clusters has been published in Dalton Transactions. Congrats, Elodie!
The second paper from our collaboration with the Ebbesen group describing how running a reaction between two appropriately-spaced mirrors can change its selectivity has appeared in Science. Congrats to Lucas from our lab and to all who participated from the Ebbesen group!