Lucas wins best talk award at the REGIO Symposium

Congrats to Lucas Lethuillier for winning the prize for best oral presentation at the REGIO Symposium in the Mittelwihr, France. The REGIO Symposium is an annual tri-national conference on organic chemistry held jointly between the universities in the lower Rhine region (Freiburg, Basel, Strasbourg and Mulhouse). Lucas’ talk was on the application of vibrational strong coupling to control selectivity in organic synthesis. Well done!


New publication

Paul and Abhijit’s article on expanding the Suzuki coupling to aryl sulfones to facilitate iterative couplings has been accepted for publication in Angewandte Chemie International Edition as a “Hot Paper”. Special thanks to the Chris Rowley (Memorial University) for the DFT calculations.  Congrats!


Abhijit thanks the EU for a H2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship (project 792101)!

Jan leaves for BASF

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!

Funding from Volkswagen Foundation

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!


Sreejith wins the FRC Thesis Prize

Congratulations to Dr. Sreejith Varma, who won the FRC Thesis Prize for his PhD thesis on the chemical origins of metabolic pathways. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Charité Hospital in Berlin. Below, Sreejith and Vuk pose with their proud mothers after the graduation ceremony.


New publication

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.Nature TOC

New publication

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.

Graphical abstract v2