Great collaboration with the groups of Tim Cernak (University Michigan) and Jiajia Ma (Shanghai Jiao Tong University):

Strategic application of arene hydrogenation at a late stage in the synthesis of drugs! Published in JACS and highlighted by Chemistry World.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2024 , 146, 11866–11875.
© Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius

The Glorius Group has been conducting successful research in the field of aromatic hydrogenation for over 20 years. In this work we describe for the first time the strategic use for the construction of active structures. We first identified reaction conditions and protocols that are applicable to more complex substrates (e.g. rhodium catalysis with boron-based hydrogen source). We then took 768 pharmaceutically relevant complex molecules and screened them on a 1536-well plate, the Cernak group has great expertise in screening approaches. The production of new drugs depends heavily on the synthetic availability of suitable molecular structures, which usually have to be built up in several reaction steps. It is time-saving and attractive if advanced, drug-like building blocks can be diversified. In our work, we show that aromatic hydrogenation under mild conditions is suitable for this diversification and that the properties of the compounds can be improved. We refer to this process as “late stage saturation”.

© Debanjan Rana, Uni MS

Our fifth data science paper this year has just gone online - and was used by the community after just a few minutes: "Dear Frank, I just tried out your programme on a molecule a few seconds ago. Very interesting and useful." The program is called EnTdecker (Discoverer) and it will proof to be useful for photochemistry: EnTdecker - Machine Learning-Based Platform for Guiding Substrate Discovery in Energy Transfer Photocatalysis. Just published online in JACS. Please also have a look at the other papers, e.g. 'Standardizing Substrate Selection' (in ACS Cent Sci) and the 'EvoFingerprint' (in Chem).

Holi Festival of Colors in the Glorius Group

The Glorius group celebrated Holi. May this festival of colors bring happiness, unity, and endless moments of celebration to all!
© Glorius Group

Chemists develop new approach in cancer research

The Münster team led by Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius developed an imidazolium-based molecule that can bind to microRNAs (left). From this, the team of authors led by Prof. Dr. Matthew Disney developed a new compound ("RIBOTAC") that can specifically bind to and degrade the microRNA of a "cancer gene" (MIR155) (right).
© Uni MS, AG Glorius

If the regulation of cell growth and division gets out of control, cancer is a possible consequence. The gene "MYC", for example, plays an important role in controlling cell growth in humans. If it no longer functions properly, cells grow uncontrollably. This is why this growth-promoting gene is also called the "cancer gene". An American-German research team has now described in the scientific journal "Nature" a new approach to switch off the MYC gene by specifically modifying the RNA. Among the scientists is Prof. Frank Glorius from the Organic Chemistry Institute of the WWU Münster.

The scientists' approach directs decomposing enzymes of the cells to the RNA of the "cancer genes" and cuts off key segments. This inactivates the genes and prevents them from causing damage. The effect comes from the researchers combining enzymes found in the cell with another molecular element. This compound, called RIBOTAC, worked against MYC and also against two other "cancer genes", JUN and MIR155. All three regulate the transcription of other genes. Attempts to develop drugs that prevent these three oncogenes from doing harm have largely failed so far due to their complex structural challenges.

For the researchers, the method is a promising approach for a possible new cancer therapy. Prof. Herbert Waldmann, Director of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund, says: "For cancer patients whose disease is driven by these common but challenging oncogenes, the RNA degrader approach could offer new hope. At this stage, however, the researchers emphasise, this is basic research and not a ready-made treatment method. The study also opens up new possibilities for targeting drugs against RNA, so other genetic diseases may be candidates for this treatment approach, says chemist and Institute Professor Matthew D. Disney, Ph.D., of the Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology and the UF Health Cancer Center, USA. "We discovered about 2,000 new RNA structures that can bind drug-like small molecules and identified six new chemotypes that can bind RNA," said Disney, who led the study.

By way of background, Herbert Waldmann's group designs compounds inspired by natural substances. Many antibiotics and cancer drugs have already emerged from such substances. Frank Glorius has developed innovative methods for building new bioactive molecules. Some of his compounds have been specifically designed to influence biology in cell membranes. Compounds derived from imidazole modified with carbon chains eventually proved most effective in binding to cancer-associated RNAs. Imidazole is a molecule commonly found in natural products and medicines. For the study, tests were carried out on cancer cell cultures as well as on mice to assess lung colonisation by breast cancer cells.

EU Research Council awards Frank Glorius with "ERC Advanced Grant"

© Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

Award for top research: Chemist Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius from the University of Münster receives one of the prestigious "ERC Advanced Grants" from the European Research Council (ERC). The funding of 2.5 million euros is intended to enable the realization of an outstanding research project. Together with his team, Frank Glorius wants to develop methods of so-called energy transfer (EnT) photocatalysis with which new, pharmacologically relevant three-dimensional molecular structures can be produced - and this particularly efficiently and under mild reaction conditions that are not or hardly accompanied by undesired side reactions. The development of new synthetic methods is considered one of the most important areas of chemical research, as access to organic molecules is the basis for many applied sciences. These include medicinal chemistry and materials science. The production of increasingly complex molecular scaffolds has gained importance in recent years. Molecules with a precisely defined three-dimensional structure are particularly sought after, since the function of a molecule depends on its exact structure.

However, the synthesis of such molecular scaffolds remains extremely difficult. This is where the new ERC project comes into play. EnT catalysis is based on the use of visible light (photochemistry). A key step here is first the absorption of the light (its energy) by suitable photocatalysts. If successful, these can then release the energy to the molecules that are to react. These molecules then enter an excited, high energy  state. This allows the desired reaction sequences to start and lead to the formation of the desired products. In the course of the project, Frank Glorius' team will also develop a digital platform based on quantum chemical calculations and machine learning. The goal is to provide chemists with easily accessible tools and statistical analyses that provide new insights and impetus for planning chemical reactions.

Frank Glorius has been a professor at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at University of Münster since 2007. He has received numerous awards for his successful scientific commitment in research. The European Research Council has already honored his achievements with an ERC Starting Grant (2010) and an Advanced Grant (2018). Frank Glorius has also received, for example, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (2013) and the Gay Lussac Humboldt Prize of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research (2019). He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina, since 2021 and has been one of the most cited researchers in chemistry worldwide for more than 10 years. Frank Glorius coordinates the Priority Program 2363 "Molecular Machine Learning - From Fundamentals to Application and Beyond" of the German Research Foundation and, together with Prof. Dr. Martin Winter, the international research school BACCARA.

The "Advanced Grants" funding scheme is aimed at established scientists who have produced an outstanding body of scientific work over the past ten years. Other funding lines include "ERC Starting Grants" and "ERC Consolidator Grants". In total, there are almost 30 members of the University of Münster who have received at least one grant from the EU Commission in the course of their career.

Frank Glorius receives Otto Bayer Prize

© Bayer Foundation

Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius of the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the University of Münster (WWU) has been awarded the Otto Bayer Prize for Chemistry and Biochemistry 2022 by the Bayer Foundation in recognition of his pioneering achievements in catalysis research. The catalytic reactions developed by Frank Glorius enable the sustainable synthesis of organic molecules for medical and agricultural applications. The €75,000 prize has been awarded every two years since 1984 for pioneering achievements in chemistry and biochemistry.

Frank Glorius' research focuses on catalysis and functional materials. Catalysis represents an efficient and sustainable method of producing organic molecules that can be used as medicines or in agriculture. One research focus is the use of visible light as an energy source for the reactions. Using suitable catalysts, organic molecules can thus be activated in a particularly gentle manner. Another focus is on the hydrogenation of aromatic compounds. In this way, suitable catalysts are used to convert two-dimensional molecules into three-dimensional structures. These can be used for the synthesis of complex organic molecules such as drugs. In addition, the group develops compounds with tailored functions for application in biological systems or in material sciences and develops data-based computer models to simplify the planning of chemical syntheses.

Frank Glorius has been a professor at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at WWU since 2007. He has already received numerous awards for his successful scientific engagement in research, such as the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (2013) and the Gay Lussac Humboldt Prize of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research (2019). He has been one of the most cited researchers worldwide in chemistry for eight years.

Award of the Master Prize Chemistry 2022 to Fritz Paulus (here represented by Steffen Heuvel, center).
© Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

The Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster awarded the Master Prize to Fritz Paulus (Chemistry), Laureen J. Dahrendorf (Economic Chemistry) and Marlen C. Becker (Food Chemistry). The representatives of the sponsoring companies Grosse-Hornke Private Consult (Münster), Wessling (Altenberge) and Thescon (Coesfeld) presented the certificates for the awards, which are endowed with 1,000 euros, at the master's ceremony for the graduation year 2022 on Friday.

© Peter Grewer, Uni MS

Frank Glorius is a new member of the "Academia Europaea"

The "Academia Europaea" has accepted Prof. Frank Glorius, chemist at the University of Münster, as a new member. With this membership, the Academia Europaea honors scientists who have demonstrated "sustained academic excellence."

About the person

Frank Glorius has been a professor at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at WWU since 2007. He has already received numerous national and international awards, including the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 2013 and an "Advanced Grant" from the European Research Council in 2018. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina since 2021. The international ranking portal "Academic Influence" ranks Frank Glorius among the world's 50 most influential chemists from 2010 to 2022.

The Academia Europaea (AE)

Founded in 1988, AE is an independent and European society whose members are recruited from the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. Currently, the AE has about 4,500 members, including 72 Nobel laureates. Frank Glorius was admitted to the Chemical Sciences Section, where WWU is already represented by chemists Prof. Dr. Gerhard Erker, Prof. Dr. Bernt Krebs and Prof. Dr. Armido Studer.

Chemists use light energy to produce small molecular rings

Team led by Frank Glorius finds new synthesis route for producing sensitive molecules under mild reaction conditions

Among chemists, especially the synthesis of small ring systems from so-called aromatic compounds is considered to be difficult. Also, an especially large amount of energy is needed for the process. A further hurdle is that the energy has to be released selectively to the source materials, but not to the heat-sensitive products. Frank Glorius’ team has now developed a strategy in which visible light, as an inexpensive energy source, activates a photocatalyst which drives the reaction. The photocatalyst absorbs the light and transfers its energy to the source materials. In this way, it enables synthesis to take place which is highly efficient and mild and which has no, or hardly any, undesired side-reactions.
“We see our study as a breakthrough in synthesis chemistry,” says lead author Dr. Jiajia Ma. “It shows that light energy can be used in a targeted way to produce small ring systems. The fact that, by using different reaction partners, we can produce different ring systems provides numerous opportunities for the production of active agents.” For their source materials, the chemists used only easily available, inexpensive raw materials.
In the search for new active agents in medicine, molecules whose atoms are linked in rings are becoming increasingly important. Such ring systems have particularly suitable properties for producing such active agents and they are driving the development of innovative treatments for malignant tumours, as well as for neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. A team of chemists headed by Prof. Frank Glorius from the University of Münster has now succeeded in synthesising new and medically significant small molecular rings, which are difficult to produce because they are particularly sensitive. The team’s work has been published in the journal “Nature Catalysis”.

Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius (left) with Subhabrata Dutta, Tiffany O. Paulisch, Roman Kleinmans and Tobias Pinkert (from left) from the "Team Glorius".
© Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

In synthetic organic chemistry, so-called cycloadditions are a particularly important class of reactions. With this type of reaction, ring-shaped molecules can be constructed simply and efficiently by joining (“adding“) two compounds that each contain double bonds. A team led by Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius from the University of Münster has now succeeded in performing an unconventional cycloaddition in which a carbon-carbon double bond reacts with a carbon-carbon single bond. In double bonds, atoms are connected by two pairs of electrons; in single bonds, only one pair of electrons is involved. The key to success was the use of particularly "strained" single bonds. To enable mild reaction conditions, the chemists used a photosensitizer, a catalyst that drives the reaction using light energy. The study has now been published in the journal Nature.

"In addition to its conceptual and mechanistic importance, this method also has a synthetic benefit,” explains lead author Roman Kleinmans. “This is because we can use it to build polycyclic, three-dimensional carbon scaffolds that have been difficult or impossible to access. Such three-dimensional architectures are fascinating and play an increasingly important role in medicinal chemistry."

Further information: Original publication

Janssen Prize for Frank Glorius

© Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius, Professor of Chemistry at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster, is to receive the Janssen Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis. The award, endowed with 20,000 euros, recognizes internationally outstanding achievements in the research field of organic synthesis that are of particular importance for the development of new drugs. Frank Glorius is an internationally leading and particularly innovative scientist in the field of organic synthesis and catalysis, according to the jury's statement.

The Janssen Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis has been awarded every two years since 1986 at the "Belgian Symposium on Organic Synthesis" to a chemist under the age of 50. This year's symposium will be held July 3-8 in Namur, Belgium. The Janssen Prize is funded by the pharmaceutical research company Janssen Research & Development.

"We have to learn to understand chemistry as a data science"

Frank Glorius and Philipp Pflüger on the new research field of "Molecular Machine Learning"
© Marius Kühnemund, Uni MS

"Molecular Machine Learning" (MML) is a new branch of research with the potential to transform chemical research. In an interview with Christina Hoppenbrock, Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius, coordinator of the new Priority Program "Molecular Machine Learning", SPP 2363, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), and chemistry doctoral student Philipp Pflüger, who helped to develop the program, shed light on what MML means, what opportunities and challenges this new research field brings, and what tomorrow's professional world in the field of chemistry will look like.

Award for the Best Master Thesis of the Department in Chemistry 2021 for Marco Pierau

Companies award chemistry Master's thesis - outstanding theses honored at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy at Münster University
All award winners: f.l. Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Humpf, Prof. Dr. Jens Leker, Dr. Henning Kuchenbuch (Wessling), Fabian Weever, Prof. Dr. Melanie Esselen, Kathrin Kirchhoff, Prof. Dr. Joachim Jose (Dean), Sophie Pauline Vogel, Maria Nero, Prof. Dr. Uwe Karst, Catharina Erbacher, Silke Grosse-Hornke (grosse-hornke), Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius, Marco Pierau, Dr. Hans Klöcker (Thescon).
© Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

The Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster has honored six graduates for their outstanding final theses in the chemistry, food chemistry and industrial chemistry programs (Master of Science in each case). The department awarded the theses of Catharina Erbacher (2020) and Marco Pierau (2021) for the chemistry course, Fabian Weever (2020) and Sophie Pauline Vogel (2021) for the food chemistry course, and Kathrin Kirchhoff (2020) and Maria Nero (2021) for the business chemistry course. Representatives of the sponsoring companies Grosse-Hornke Private Consult (Münster), Wessling (Altenberge) and Thescon (Coesfeld) presented the certificates for the 1,000 euro awards during the master's ceremony for the graduation years 2020 and 2021. Due to the pandemic, the event had to be held as a hybrid event at short notice. Only a small group of participants was allowed to attend the presentation of the master's awards live in the lecture hall. In addition, the event was transmitted via zoom to the other graduates. The Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy once again congratulates all Master's graduates and wishes them every success in their future careers.

Prize for University Innovations of the GDCh Patent Law Division 2021 awarded for the first time

© Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker e.V. (GDCh) / German Chemical Society

The GDCh Patent Law Division congratulates the winners of the Prize for University Innovation 2021: Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius, Dr. Mario Wiesenfeldt, Dr. Zackaria Nairoukh. The prize was awarded on 31/08/2021 at the Virtual Science Forum Chemistry.

Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius is a new member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Academy honors scientific achievements in catalysis chemistry and development of functional molecules
Leopoldina National Academy admits chemist from Münster University
© Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

Great honor for Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius: The chemist of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster is a new member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. With this election, the oldest scientific and medical learned society in the German-speaking world honors his extraordinary scientific achievements in the field of catalysis chemistry and the development of functional molecules.

Frank Glorius has already made significant contributions to numerous current research areas. A central topic is the use of visible light. This allows - in the presence of suitable catalysts - a particularly gentle activation of organic molecules. Another focus is on the hydrogenation of aromatic compounds. In this difficult but equally important class of reactions, Frank Glorius' research group is considered a world leader. The resulting functionalized cyclic products are potentially important building blocks for various applications, such as the production of drugs. Research also focuses on the development and use of so-called N-heterocyclic carbenes, a particularly reactive class of organic compounds. In addition to applications in catalysis, the Glorius Group is a leader in the modification of surfaces with N-heterocyclic carbenes. This allows properties such as conductivity or catalytic activity of these materials to be modified.

This research is characterized by a strongly interdisciplinary approach and collaboration with many scientists in Münster, Germany and around the world. Increasingly, the approach involves not only the further development of catalysts based on mechanistic investigations, but also the application of modern techniques in the field of data science and machine learning. The latter is based on the efficient collection, processing and analysis of large amounts of data to develop computer-aided methods for solving chemical problems more efficiently.

Münster University receives two new research associations

German Research Foundation funds priority programmes in biology and chemistry
© Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved two new Priority Programmes (SPP) coordinated by the University of Münster: Biologist Prof Erich Bornberg-Bauer from the Institute of Evolution and Biodiversity is leading the project "Genomic Basis of Evolutionary Innovations (GEvol)", and Chemist Prof Frank Glorius from the Institute of Organic Chemistry is coordinating the project "Use and Development of Machine Learning for Molecular Applications - Molecular Machine Learning". Both programmes focus on informatics technologies in the natural sciences.
The focus of the chemical project, called "Utilization and Development of Machine Learning for Molecular Applications – Molecular Machine Learning", is on molecular problems such as the prediction of chemical reactions or the development of new algorithms for the modeling of molecular properties. The aim is to develop tools that on the one hand help to understand molecular relationships (ExAI, "explainable artificial intelligence") and on the other hand model molecular behavior in such a way that they support laboratory chemists in their everyday work. The long-term goal is to use artificial intelligence to process simple tasks automatically and comprehensibly, thereby accelerating the development of analytical methods, new reactions or drugs.
One core objective of this program in particular is collaboration and networking. Thus, Frank Glorius emphasizes "We already started in 2020 to bring the community together and got a lot of positive feedback. Now we want to use this program to give forward thrust to this increasingly important topic." Together with his co-initiators Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bajorath (B-IT, LIMES Institute, University of Bonn) and Prof Dr. Karsten Reuter (Fritz Haber Institute, Berlin), Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius (WWU) launched this initiative back in Spring 2020.

Breakthrough in the production of three-dimensional molecular structures

Chemists use this experimental setup for photochemical reactions.
© Dr. Jiajia Ma, Uni MS

A major goal of organic and medicinal chemistry in recent decades has been the rapid synthesis of three-dimensional molecules for the development of new drugs. These drug candidates exhibit a variety of improved properties compared to predominantly flat molecular structures, which are reflected in clinical trials by higher efficacy and success rates. However, they could only be produced at great expense or not at all using previous methods. Chemists led by Prof. Frank Glorius (University of Münster, Germany) and his colleagues Prof. M. Kevin Brown (Indiana University Bloomington) and Prof. Kendall N. Houk (University of California, Los Angeles) have now succeeded in converting several classes of flat nitrogen-containing molecules into the desired three-dimensional structures. Using more than 100 novel examples, they were able to demonstrate the broad applicability of the process. This study has now been published in the journal “Science”.
One of the most efficient methods for synthesizing three-dimensional architectures involves the addition of a molecule to another, known as cycloaddition. In this process, two new bonds and a new ring are formed between the molecules. For aromatic systems – i.e. flat and particularly stable ring compounds – this reaction was not feasible with previous methods. The energy barrier that inhibits such a cycloaddition could not be overcome even with the application of heat. For this reason, the authors of the "Science" article explored the possibility of overcoming this barrier through light-mediated energy transfer.
"The motif of using light energy to build more complex, chemical structures is also found in nature," explains Frank Glorius. "Just as plants use light in photosynthesis to synthesize sugar molecules from the simple building blocks carbon dioxide and water, we use light-mediated energy transfer to produce complex, three-dimensional target molecules from flat basic structures."

"We hope that this discovery will provide new impetus in the development of novel medical agents and will also be applied and further investigated in an interdisciplinary manner," explains Jiajia Ma. Kevin Brown adds: "Our scientific breakthrough can also gain great significance in the discovery of crop protection agents and beyond."
Using the method of light-mediated energy transfer, both Jiajia Ma/Frank Glorius (University of Münster) and Renyu Guo/Kevin Brown (Indiana University) had success, independently. Through collaborations with Kendall Houk and Shuming Chen at UCLA, both research groups learned of the mutual discovery. The three groups decided to develop their findings further together in order to share their breakthrough with the scientific community as soon as possible and to provide medicinal chemists with this technology to develop novel drugs.

Chemists succeed in synthesis of aminoalcohols by utilizing light

New method for generating the least accessible form of vicinal aminoalcohols / Study published in “Nature Catalysis”
© Uni MS - Glorius Group

Whether in beta-blockers to treat high blood pressure or in natural products: So-called vicinal aminoalcohols are high-quality organic compounds that are found in many everyday products. However, their production is difficult. For a long time, chemists are trying to develop efficient methods of synthesizing them. In their recent study published in the journal Nature Catalysis, scientists led by Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius of Münster University have found a solution for the production of a special variant of aminoalcohols. "The new method helps to study the properties of the substance and to find applications for these new compounds in the future", emphasizes Frank Glorius from the Organic Chemistry Institute at Münster University.

Molecular swarm rearranges surface structures atom by atom

New study: Nano-scientists develop a molecular tool to change the structure of a metal surface
The study was chosen for the cover of the print version of the journal.
© Wiley-VCH, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.

The surface of metals plays a key role in many technologically relevant areas, such as catalysis, sensor technology and battery research. For example, the large-scale production of many chemical compounds takes place on metal surfaces, whose atomic structure determines if and how molecules react with one another. At the same time, the surface structure of a metal influences its electronic properties. This is particularly important for the efficiency of electronic components in batteries. Researchers worldwide are therefore working intensively on developing new kinds of methods to tailor the structure of metal surfaces at the atomic level.

A team of researchers at the University of Münster, consisting of physicists and chemists and led by Dr. Saeed Amirjalayer and Prof. Frank Glorius, has now developed a molecular tool which makes it possible, at the atomic level, to change the structure of a metal surface. Using computer simulations, it was possible to predict that the restructuring of the surface by individual molecules – so-called N-heterocyclic carbenes – takes place similar to a zipper. During the process, at least two carbene molecules cooperate to rearrange the structure of the surface atom by atom. The researchers could experimentally confirm, as part of the study, this “zipper-type” mechanism in which the carbene molecules work together on the gold surface to join two rows of gold atoms into one row. The results of the work have been published in the journal "Angewandte Chemie International Edition". The study was chosen for the cover of the print version of the journal.

Baccara 2020
© Peter Leßmann, Uni MS

Battery Research Centre: new international research school opened

Longer ranges for electric vehicles and the effective storage of electricity from renewable energies – these are research topics for the future which PhD students in Münster will be working on in a new international Graduate School. The research centre for “Battery Chemistry, Characterization, Analysis, Recycling and Application” (BACCARA for short) was officially opened on August 5 at the MEET Battery Research Centre at the University of Münster. It was set up with the participation of Münster University’s Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy and the Helmholtz Institute Münster – an outstation of the Jülich Research Centre. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is providing 9.5 million euros of funding for the school over five years.

“Promoting junior researchers will be decisive for the future success of battery research at Münster and is therefore especially important for the NRW government,” said Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, NRW’s Minister of Culture and Science, as she presented the confirmation of funding at the MEET Battery Research Centre. “I very much hope that the BACCARA research school will be included in the CVs of many young researchers developing high-performance batteries of the future,” she added. She expressed her thanks to Prof. Martin Winter, the scientific director of the Battery Research Centre, Prof. Frank Glorius from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the University of Münster, and the technical and commercial director of MEET, Dr. Falko Schappacher, who, she said, “have developed this project with a high degree of commitment.”

© Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius

Frank Glorius receives award for catalysis science

For his work in the field of catalysis science, Frank Glorius has received the "2020 Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award". The prize, endowed with 5 million yen (the equivalent of almost 41,000 euros), is awarded every two years to outstanding chemists under 47 years of age. This year's focus is sustainability, to highlight the social issues including plastic waste management to which the chemical industry could contribute.
The committee honoured Frank Glorius especially for the development of so-called chemo- and enantioselective arene hydrogenation and of additional tools for improving synthesis.
Press release by Mitsui Chemicals

Maximilian Koy Podcast
© privat

WWU-Cast Spezial: Forschen in Zeiten von Corona

Wie kann Forschung während der Coronakrise funktionieren, wenn sich die Universität in einem eingeschränkten Betrieb befindet, Labore nicht zugänglich und Bibliotheken geschlossen sind? Maximilian Koy ist Doktorand in der Arbeitsgruppe von Prof. Frank Glorius am Organisch-Chemischen Institut. Im Podcast berichtet er, wie er die aktuelle Situation als Wissenschaftler erlebt, wie sich seine Arbeitsgruppe organisiert und wie er die Zeit für seine Promotion effektiv nutzt.

2020 Huang Nature Catalysis
© Bill Oxford/Unsplash

Activating palladium catalysis by light: teaching an old transition metal new tricks

In the production of compounds, chemists have the fundamental goal of finding strategies that are most selective and avoid waste products. Breakthroughs in this area serve, among other things, to drive industrial innovation and drug development. In this context, allylic substitution reactions using catalysts made of so-called transition metals have already led to significant advances in science. The catalysts cause that in a molecule a functional group is replaced by another group in allylic position, i.e. in direct proximity to a carbon-carbon double bond.
In particular, the so-called allylic functionalization by means of a catalyst based on the transition metal palladium has become a well-established strategy for constructing carbon-carbon or carbon–heteroatom bonds, and its utility has been demonstrated in natural product synthesis, drug discovery and materials science. Nevertheless, there are still considerable challenges in practice, especially with regard to the sustainability of the substances and their ability to undergo chemical reactions.
Now a team of researchers led by Prof. Frank Glorius from the University of Münster has developed a new approach to allyl functionalization and generated π-allylpalladium complexes using radical chemistry. The study has been published in the journal “Nature Catalysis”.

2020 Sandfort Chem
© Frederik Sandfort/Uni MS, pixabay

Predicting reaction results: Machines learn chemistry

Everyday life without artificial intelligence is barely conceivable in today's world. Countless applications in areas such as autonomous driving, foreign language translations or medical diagnostics have found their way into our lives. In chemical research, too, great efforts are being made to apply artificial intelligence (AI), also known as machine learning, effectively. These technologies have already been used to predict the properties of individual molecules, making it easier for researchers to select the compound to be produced.
This production, known as synthesis, usually involves considerable effort as there are many possible synthesis routes to producing a target molecule. Since the success of each individual reaction depends on numerous parameters, it is not always possible, even for experienced chemists, to predict whether a reaction will take place – and even less how well it will work. In order to remedy this situation, an interdisciplinary team of chemists and computer scientists from the University of Münster has joined forces and developed an AI tool which has now been published in the journal “Chem”.
The team - consisting of members of the Glorius group from the Institute of Organic Chemistry, supported by the Institute of Business Informatics and the Institute of Informatics - will continue to develop their programme further and equip it with new functions in the future. Prof. Frank Glorius is confident: “When it comes to evaluating large amounts of complex data, computers are fundamentally superior to us. However, our goal is not to replace synthetic chemists with machines, but to support them as effectively as possible. Models based on artificial intelligence can significantly change the way we approach chemical syntheses. But we are still at the very beginning.”

Eloisa+santanu 11 2019
© Peter Dziemba - Uni MS, Dr. Santanu Singha

Two chiral catalysts working hand in hand

Just as our left hand is not superposable to our right hand, the mirror image of certain molecules cannot be overlapped onto it, even when turned or twisted. These two mirror images are referred to by chemists as enantiomers and the molecule is said to be chiral. Chirality, which is a word derived from the ancient Greek word for hand, is important since it is present in our daily lives. For example, the stereoisomers of a molecule – i.e. compounds in which the binding pattern is the same but which differ in the spatial arrangement of the atoms – can produce different effects when interacting with a biological system.
The stereoisomers of a drug, for example, can have different or even opposite effects on the body making it crucial to produce certain stereoisomers of a pharmaceutical compound. A central task for chemists is to develop methods that are switchable and can selectively produce one or another stereoisomer, from simple and identical starting materials using tunable reaction conditions.
Eloisa and Santanu have succesfully developed a new synthetic method for the targeted synthesis of all four stereoisomers of so-called α,β-disubstituted γ-butyrolactones.
γ-Butyrolactones are widespread motifs in natural products that display a wide range of biological activities. One important example is pilocarpine, a drug used to treat glaucoma. The newly developed synthetic method is based on the combination of two chiral catalysts—an organocatalyst and a metal catalyst—which each independently activate one of the two reaction partners. Eloisa and Santanu use the different combinations of the two chiral catalysts to control the formation of only one of the four possible products, but are able to access any of the products. This is a quite rare feature that only few chemical processes exhibit.

Frank Glorius 2017
© Dr. Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher 2019

For the sixth time in a row, Frank Glorius has been named Highly Cited Researcher, according to the Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list from the Web of Science Group, released today.
The highly anticipated list identifies scientists and social scientists who produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field and year of publication, demonstrating significant research influence among their peers. The methodology that determines the who’s who of influential researchers draws on the data and analysis performed by bibliometric experts from the Institute for Scientific Information at the Web of Science Group.
In addition, Frank made it to the second place in this years nationwide "Professor of the year" competition (natural sciences & medicine). Congratulations!

Glorius Ma Chem 2019
© Dr. Jiajia Ma

Glorius group uses light to build biologically active compounds

Some of the most biologically active molecules, including synthetic drugs, contain a central, nitrogen-containing chemical structure called an isoquinuclidine. This core has a three-dimensional shape which means it has the potential to interact more favourably with enzymes and proteins than flat, two-dimensional molecules. Unfortunately methods to make isoquinuclidines and the related dehyrdoisoquinuclidines suffer from a number of drawbacks which make it more difficult for scientists to discover new medicinal compounds. The team of Prof. Frank Glorius has now published a new method of enabling this reaction. The study was published in the journal “Chem”.

Chemie Ist Kult(Ur)_2019
© Dr. Mara Hobbold

University Day 2019 - Chemistry is Cult(ure)

10 o'clock in the morning - starting signal in the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy: the pupil surged with big expectations into the lecture hall of chemistry - one hour of live experiments which are not belonging to the curriculum of a normal chemistry school lesson. With the motto "Chemistry is Cult(ure)" Prof. Frank Glorius easily achieved to incite the pupil to participate: he made them to be astonished, to laugh, to speculate, and even to hold their ears from time to time. After this great show lecture the students-to-be started to appreciate the numerous possibilities offered by the Department on this special day.

Roccat Ii Kathrin Nolte Wwu
© Kathrin Nolte, Uni MS

Symposium "ROCCAT-II: Rising Organic Chemists in CATalysis"

A special alumni reunion: Between 2007 and 2014, they worked as postdocs at the Organic Chemistry Institute of the University of Münster. The seven chemists now have their own research groups and are professors in China, India, France and Germany. The symposium "ROCCAT-II: Rising Organic Chemists in CATalysis" took them back to Münster. At the invitation of Prof. Frank Glorius from the Institute of Organic Chemistry, they exchanged information about their research projects and networked with current scientists at the University of Münster. The team spirit, the Mensa, the Aasee - the seven professors miss many things from their time in Münster.

© Dr. Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

Gay-Lussac Humboldt Prize for Prof. Frank Glorius

Prof. Frank Glorius has been awarded the Gay-Lussac Humboldt Prize for his outstanding research and his close links to France in his work. He received the prize in Paris on 7 May. The French Ministry of Higher Education and Research awards the prize to excellent German researchers, in all disciplines, who are seen as examples of special collaboration between the two countries. Once a year, two researchers are chosen who each receive 60,000 euros for the purpose of further extending the collaborations they have.
The Gay-Lussac prize has been awarded since 1981. It was initiated – on the recommendation of the German and French Ministers of Research – by the then President of France, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, and the German Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt. On the German side, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards a similar prize to French researchers who are proposed by German scientists.

Christmas Lecture on 13.12.2018 with Prof. Glorius and his Team

Fire & ice, scents and colors: This year's Christmas Lecture was a huge success, with 600 happy spectators being testament to it! This event, called "Chemie ist Kult(ur)" was jointly organized and run by Frank, Felix Strieth-Kalthoff and Peter Eggert and generously sponsored by BASF Coatings. For more information, see the photos below and also the following article:

Frank Glorius
© Peter Grewer, Uni MS

Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher 2018

Congratulations on being named a Highly Cited Researcher for 2018! Frank is again among an elite group recognized for exceptional research performance demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science. The distinction he has earned derives not from Clarivate Analytics but from his peers, who have time and again acknowledged the influence of his research contributions in their publications and citations.

Glorius Guldi News
© Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius

New Reaction Path Presented

A team of researchers led by Prof. Frank Glorius and Michael Teders from the University of Münster and by Prof. Dirk Guldi from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg have presented a new chemical reaction path which may prove to be of interest both for research and for the production of active ingredients in medicines. The new reaction leads to a splitting of bonds between two sulphur atoms. The chemists use a light-driven catalysis method (photocatalysis) to enable it. The results of the researchers’ work have been published in the latest issue of the journal “Nature Chemistry”.
The team of researchers at WWU led by Frank Glorius uses photocatalysts and visible light for the selective cleavage of sulphur-sulphur bonds. The colour of the reaction mixture after the reaction can give a first indication of the products formed (the right photo shows a plate with different reaction mixtures).
Press release of the WWU Münster

Frank Glorius
© DFG, David Ausserhofer

„Merck, Sharp & Dohme Award 2018“ of the Royal Society of Chemistry for Frank Glorius

Frank Glorius was awarded from the Royal Society of Chemistry with the „Merck, Sharp & Dohme Award“ for pioneering contributions on the use of N-heterocyclic carbene ligands in selective arene hydrogenation. Press Release of the WWU Münster
His research program focuses on the development of new concepts for catalysis and their implementation in organic synthesis. The group is especially interested in the chemistry of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), C-H activation, asymmetric arene hydrogenation, (asymmetric) NHC organocatalysis, photocatalysis, heterogeneous catalysis with common and with tailor-made, surface-modified nanoparticles and, the development of useful screening methodology.

Frank Glorius 2017
© Dr. Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

ERC Advanced Grant for Frank Glorius

One of our research fields is the hydrogenation of aromatic molecules. We would like to achieve the selective transformation of well available flat two-dimensional molecules of this type to valuable saturated three-dimensional molecules as they are found in natural products and active pharmaceutical drugs. One of the problems is the low reactivity of aromatic compounds in connection with sensitive functional groups in these molecules. The objective of this project therefore is to develop new and powerful catalyst systems, which will foster these transformation without effecting connected functional groups. With this ERC Advanced Grant we will be able to extend this research. This is the second ERC Grant for Frank Glorius after the ERC Starting Grant in 2010.

Mario Wiesenfeld Evonik Preis 2018
© Mario Wiesenfeldt

Evonik PhD Price for Mario Wiesenfeldt

Today Mario was awarded with the Evonik PhD price for his project on the hydrogenation of fluoro arenes. Congratulations!

News Poster Photocatalysis Symposium 29.2018.png
© Lena Pitzer, Felix Strieth-Kalthoff, Uni MS

Photocatalysis Symposium 2018

Photochemistry and photophysics got highlighted in the university magazine and online. Just in time for the photochemistry symposium that takes place today. Destinct speakers and leaders in the field are Eric Meggers, Licheng Sun and Stefan Hecht. We very much look forward to this event. Everybodies welcome!
Please read more on WWU News (in german).

Frank Glorius 2017
© Dr. Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

2017 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher

For the fourth time in a row, the Glorius group is ranking in the top 1% by citations for chemistry and publication year. Clarivate Analytics has assembled an updated list of highly cited researchers (HCR, formerly by Thomson Reuters). This list is based on publication and citation figures drawn from Essential Science IndicatorsSM (ESI), a component of the Web of Science™. Among its assorted features and metrics, ESI tracks papers published in the last decade that by citations rank in the top 1% for their respective years of publication in each of 22 main subject fields. Congratulations!

© Dr. Peter Dziemba, Uni MS

Science Paper on the Hydrogenation of Fluoroarenes Online

Our Science paper on the hydrogenation of fluoroarenes was just published online on FirstRelease: This allows the ready synthesis of valuable fluorinated building blocks for pharma, agro and materials. Remarkably, the Carbon-Fluorine bond remains intact during this transformation. Congratulations Mario, Zack and Wei! Keep going!!!
(from left: Prof. Frank Glorius, Dr. Wei Li, Dr. Zackaria Nairoukh, Mario Wiesenfeldt)
Press release of the WWU Münster

Glorius Ernst
© Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius

Two birds, one stone?

Two birds, one stone? We are very happy and proud that Johannes Ernst (Students Award) and Frank Glorius (Faculty Advisor Award) were selected for two prestigious awards of the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI). Both will attend the 41st IPMI Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Congratulations! 
Press Release of the WWU Münster

New Group Members

Many new group members (Max, Zack, Sara, Luca, Felix, Frederik, Marco and Tuhin) have recently joined the group: Welcome and enjoy!

50th Annual Catalysis Meeting in Weimar

Lena, Johannes, Andreas, Felix and Mirco attended the exciting 50th annual catalysis meeting in Weimar and had great fun. Johannes gave an excellent talk (on the main stage!) and Andreas was awarded a poster prize! Congratulations!

New Publications

This year is not only our official year of hydrogenation (keep going guys!), but will also become a very successful year with many significant breakthroughs. It is especially great to see that ALL our research fields are contributing to this success! Please, kindly check out our growing publication list.

Evonik Award for Best PhD Research Work

We just got the news: Andreas Rühling will receive the annual Evonik Award for best PhD research work in our Department! Congratulations!!! The award ceremony will be held on Monday the 6th of February, 17:15 and the award lecture will be given by Prof. Roth/FU Berlin on chocolate/Schokolade. We very much look forward to this!

Glorius Group Winter Party

We started the year with a really great Glorius group Winter party with a lot of wine, food, chatting, dancing and singing! Thanks everyone to make this a really enjoyable for everyone and a real group event. See you at the group's Summer party...

Synfact of the month

Congratulations to Johannes! His recent JACS paper was selected as Synfact of the month, a great honor!

Poster award at the "20th International Symposium on Homogeneous Catalysis" (ISHC)

Tobias Gensch wins a poster award at the "20th International Symposium on Homogeneous Catalysis" (ISHC) in Kyoto for his poster on "Cobalt-catalyzed Cross-Dehydrogenative C–H Thiolation". This work was done together with Felix Klauck. Congratulations!

Poster Award at the "1st Trans Pyrenean Meeting in Catalysis" (TraPCat)

Lena Rakers wins a poster award at the "1st Trans Pyrenean Meeting in Catalysis" (TraPCat) in Toulouse for her poster on "N-Heterocyclic Carbenes for Stabilisation of nanoparticles and their application in catalysis". In addition to Lena, this work was done by Angelique, Andreas, Kathryn, Christian and others. Congratulations everyone!

Frank Glorius
© Peter Grewer, Uni MS

Mukaiyama Award 2017 for Frank Glorius

The Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry of Japan has selected Prof. Glorius as winner of the Mukaiyama Award 2017, together with Prof. Nakao. This award acknowledges outstanding contributions in the field of synthetic organic chemistry. Specifically, Glorius’ pioneering investigations in the fields of C-H activation, and design and use of N-heterocyclic carbenes in catalysis and on-surface chemistry are highlighted. The award lecture will be given in Japan in September 2017.

Münster (upm/ch)

"Carbenes on the run.” Sorry: “on the roll.”

"Carbenes on the run.” Sorry: “on the roll.” Finally, our collaborative work with Prof. Doltsinis, Prof. Fuchs and his group got published in Nature Chemistry. Surprising ballbot-type motion of the NHCs on a gold atom was observed, elucidating a step of the formation of carbene monolayers on metal surfaces. The high resolution STM images are really exciting, check them out! We are very excited about the continuation of this work. Congratulations everyone! Publication, Press release WWU, Chemistry World

Poster Award at the "9th Asian-European Symposium on Metal-Mediated Efficient Organic Synthesis” (AES2016)

Adrián Gómez Suárez wins a poster award at the "9th Asian-European Symposium on Metal-Mediated Efficient Organic Synthesis” (AES2016) for his poster on "Accelerated Discovery in Photocatalysis using a Mechanism-based Screening Method". This work was done by Matt, Adrian, Michael, Basudev and Lena. Congratulations everyone!

Thomson Highly Cited
© Thomson Reuters

2016 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers

Great news! Thomson Reuter has just announced the 2016 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers - based on data analysis of the 1% most highly cited papers. For the third time, the Glorius group has been included in this list, a great honor. Congratulations to everyone!!!

Co Labore Rakers 2
© Petra Noppeney, WN

Exhibition "Art&Chemistry - co.labore" - a Successful Experiment

Our Art&Chemistry collaboration co.labore was displayed in the Schloss of Muenster at the end of June - a great success! PhD students from the SFB 858 ("Synergetic effects in chemistry") at the WWU Muenster, together with art students from the Kunstakademie Muenster interacted for several months, got to know each other and came up with interesting ideas. At the exhibition, jointly created pieces of art were flanked by scientific posters - a stimulating mixture that was well received by the general public. Well done! Thanks everyone for participating in this special and extremely successful experiment!

Aldrich Lecture Award 2016

Prof. Glorius was given the Aldrich Lecture Award 2016 at Imperial College, London. Congratulations!

Poster Award at the "Research of the Chemical Industry" (FoChIn) Symposium

Roman wins a poster award (1st place) at the "Research of the Chemical Industry" (FoChIn) symposium for his poster on "Trifluoromethylthiolation of N-Heteroarenes and Alkenes". The awardees were elected by representatives from leading companies of the chemical industry. The presented projects on the poster were done by Roman, Johannes, Aleyda and Matt. Congratulations!

Poster Award at the MS-CEC Meeting

Matt wins a poster award at the MS-CEC meeting for his poster on "Accelerated Discovery in Photocatalysis using a Mechanism-based Screening Method". This work was done by Matt, Adrian, Michael and Basudev. Congratulations everyone!

Springer Thesis Prize for PhD Thesis

Dr. Basudev Sahoo was awarded a prestigous Springer Thesis Prize for his PhD thesis in our group with the title "Visible Light Photocatalyzed Redox-Neutral Organic Reactions and Synthesis of Novel Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs)". We are very proud and happy. Congratulations!

Invited Lectures

In the last weeks, Prof. Glorius was giving the BMS Lecture at UPenn and the 3rd Ewha Distinguished Lectureship in Chemistry and Nano Science. Congratulations!

"Catalyst Speed Dating"

We are very proud on the development of a mechanism-based screening method for accelerated discovery - soon to appear in Angewandte Chemie. We predict that this fundamentally new screening approach will have an impact on (photo)catalysis research; please, take a close look! We are very happy that we were selected to illustrate the cover of Angewandte with this work, so also take a look at our "Catalyst Speed Dating" Front Cover. Enjoy!

SYNLETT Best Paper Award 2015

Our work on the asymmetric hydrogenation of 2-pyridones was awarded the SYNLETT Best Paper Award 2015: J. Wysocki, C. Schlepphorst, F. Glorius, Asymmetric Homogeneous Hydrogenation of 2-Pyridones, Synlett 2015, 26, 1557-1562. This work is said "To provide an original solution to a significant synthetic problem. The work of the Glorius team represents a new approach to the asymmetric hydrogenation of 2-pyridiones and provides an elegant access to enantiopure 2-piperidones." by the editor. These are very kind words and we are grateful for this distinction. Congratulations everyone!

Springer "BestMasters" Award for Lena and Andreas

This is great news! The Master theses of Lena Rakers and Andreas Lerchen were selected for inclusion in the Springer "BestMasters" program. With "BestMasters" the publisher Springer is featuring the best Master theses, prepared at renowned universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These theses were given the best marks and were recommended by referees. Congratulations Lena and Andreas!!!

  • News Archive

    October 2015
    After women power, now power. Dr. Eric Standley (USA), Felix Klauck (Germany) and Santanu Singha (India) have just joined the group. All the best for your start and: Welcome!

    September 2015
    Great news! Thomson Reuter has just announced the 2015 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers - based on data analysis of the 1% most highly cited papers. Once again, the Glorius group has been included in this list, a great honor. Congratulations to everyone!!!

    August 2015
    Women power! Dr. Lisa Candish (welcome back!), Lena Pitzer and Satobhisha Mukherjee have just joined the group. All the best for your start and: Welcome!

    July 2015
    Recently, many exciting manuscripts have been accepted for publication. Please, take a look at the updated publication list. To mention only three highlights:
    - NHC-organocatalysis: our most recent highly enantioselective conjugate umpolung of α,β-unsaturated aldehydes will appear in Nature Chem. soon. Valuable product motifs result, the reaction proceeds by a challenging dearomatization and the reactivity can be switched (formation of 6-membered vs. 5-membered rings). What more do you want?
    - NHCs in membranes? Our first joint paper with Prof. Galla on tailormade NHCs for applications in membranes has appeared. This exciting development might lead to a new field of application of NHCs.
    - sp3-C-H activation! We have achieved the first Rh(III)-catalyzed C-H activation of an unactivated sp3-C-H bond, providing new opportunities!

    Congratulations everyone!

    July 2015
    "Win some, lose some." Hiroshi Osaki, a PhD student from Shigehiro Yamaguchi's group at Nagoya University, Japan, has joint us for two months - working on an exciting collaborative project involving fluorescent molecules. On the other hand, Fabian Lied, a second year PhD student from our group, has moved to Mark Lautens' group at the University of Toronto, Canada. As a member of the IRTG 2027, Fabian is working a joint project in the field of C-H activation for the next 4 months. For both of you, good luck and have fun!

    July 2015
    Our annual Summer party took place on 18th of July and was a great success! Perfect weather, a beautiful spot and fun people -  we had a great time. Thanks for all the many former group members and partners who made the party really special - and for all the many helping hands. THANK YOU!!!

    May 2015
    We are proud to announce the successful securing of two attractive academic positions by two group members, Dr. Angelique Ferry and Dr. Junlong Li. In a very competitive selection process, Angelique Ferry came out top and was offered a position as Maître de conférences at the University of Cergy-Pontoise (close to Paris). Congratulations! We will continue to enjoy the final weeks together with you and wish you all the best for the time back in France.

    Similarly, Dr. Junlong Li has recently moved on back to China in order to become a Full Professor at the Sichuan Industrial Institute of Antibiotics (SIIA) of the University of Chengdu! Congratulations once again!

    We look forward to your steep academic career and our continuing friendship!

    March 2015
    NaCl? Is it possible to use table salt as catalyst? It is! Please, check out our most recent direct functionalization. Simple NaCl allows the efficient trifluoromethylthiolation of aromatic N-heterocycles such as pyrroles and indoles - transition metal-free! This method should prove especially valuable for applications in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industry. Well done, Roman and Johannes!

    February 2015
    Two great talents! Two former postdocs who are now full Professors back in China have been selected for the prestigous "Thousand Talents Program". Prof. Honggen Wang from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Sun Yat-sen University and Prof. Da-Gang Yu from the College of Chemistry of Sichuan University have both been selected in a very competitive procedure. This is a great honor and makes all of us proud! The Thousand Talents support will help them to rapidly build up an internationally visible research program. Congratulations, so well deserved!!!

    February 2015
    C-H Functionalization rules! Please, take a look at our most recent manuscripts that were just accepted by Angewandte Chemie (Zhao et al. and Vásquez-Céspedes et al.), JACS (Schröder et al.) and Chem. Sci. (Collins et al.). All four papers focus on challenging C-H functionalization reactions: the Co(III)-catalyzed C-H activation to form exciting fluorescent molecules (Zhao et al.), the Rh(III)-catalyzed C-H halogenation of electron-rich heterocycles (Schröder et al.), revealing a surprising dual role of the catalyst. In addition,  two other valuable transformations were realized under heterogeneous conditions: the C-H arylation of pi-extented arenes (Collins et al.) and also the sulfenylation of heteroarenes (Vásquez-Céspedes et al.). We are excited about this work and hope that these transformations will prove to be synthetically helpful. Congratulations everyone!!!

    December 2014
    "Drei auf einen Streich!" Please, take a look at our three most recent manuscripts that have just appeared in Angewandte Chemie (Zhao et al.) and in JACS (Guo et al. / Yu et al.). We report on our most recent successful attempts of switchable, highly asymmetric organocatalysis, of Co(III)-catalyzed C-H activation and of the formation of valuable aminoindoline products by Rh(III)-catalyzed C-H activation. Congratulations everyone!

    Frank Glorius was just awarded the "Goldener Brendel", the award for excellent teaching at the Department of Chemistry & Pharmacy. The award decision is based on the evaluation records of lectures and the decision is made by the students. Congratulations!

    November 2014
    This is great news! The Master thesis of Christoph Schlepphorst was selected for inclusion in the Springer "BestMasters" program. With "BestMasters" the publisher Springer is featuring the best Master theses, prepared at renowned universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These theses were given the best marks and were recommended by referees. Congratulations Christoph!!!

    September 2014
    Dr. Wei Li and Dr. Xiaoming Wang started their research stay in the Glorius group, both awarded with a Humboldt-Fellowship. Congratulations, Wei and Xiaoming! Both will spend two months on a German language course in November/December 2014.

    September 2014
    In the last weeks, Lisa, Kim, Adrian, Wei and Xiaoming have arrived in order to join the group. All the best for your start and: Welcome!

    September 2014
    Frank Glorius has started his Novartis Chemistry Lecture Tour. The first two trips will bring him to the US sites of Novartis (San Diego, San Francisco, Boston). In addition he will also visit Scripps, UC Berkeley, Harvard University and MIT and other places, giving a total of nine talks. A great time to meet friends and to talk science!

    July 2014
    Summer time - conference time! You can meet members from the Glorius group at the following conferences: Trilateral symposium MS-SH-HK in Hong Kong/China; 2nd International Symposium on C-H Bond Activation (ISCHA) in Rennes/France; International Symposium on Homogeneous Catalysis (ISHC) in Ontario/Canada; 14th Belgian Organic Synthesis Symposium (BOSS) in Louvain-la-Neuve/Belgium; International Symposium for Advancing the Chemical Science ISACS14 (Challenges in Organic Chemistry) in Shanghai/China; 8th Asian European Symposium on Metal-Mediated Efficient Organic Synthesis (AES MMEOS) in Iztech/Turkey; ORCHEM in Weimar/Germany AND the Reaxys Inspiring Chemistry Conference in Grindelwald/Switzerland. Hope to see you!

    June 2014
    Thomson Reuters has selected Frank Glorius as one of the 2014 Highly Cited Researchers for ranking in the top 1% most cited papers in the field of chemistry. This distinction was determined after examining the top 1% cited papers published in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Core Collection during an 11-year period spanning from 2002 to 2012. In total, only about 3000 individuals worldwide from all disciplines were selected as 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers. Congratulations to all former & present group members! Keep going!

    Congratulations to Michael Schedler for being selected as finalist for the 2014 Reaxys PhD Prize. Of nearly 540 submissions from around the world, 45 finalists were selected and will meet for the final selection at a Chemistry Conference in Switzerland in September. We keep our fingers crossed! Go NHC organocatalysis!

    March 2014
    Frank Glorius was selected for the prestigious Novartis Chemistry Lectureship Award 2014/15. Congratulations!

    Frank Glorius went on an exciting trip to China, in order to visit some of the worlds premier institutions for Chemical Research: the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry-CAS (SIOC), Nankai University and Peking University (PKU). He will give talks and meet old and new friends.

    December 2013
    Dr. Mélissa Boultadakis-Arapinis has received the prestigious "Prix solennel de la Chancellerie des Universités de Paris" award for her PhD work! This is very well deserved and constitutes a big encouragement for the future. We are proud and very happy for her. Congratulations!!!

    November 2013
    Dr. Olga García Mancheño has become Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Regensburg: Congratulations!!! This is so well deserved and we are happy for you, but also miss you a lot! All the best for your future, Professor Garcia Mancheno!

    September 2013
    Dr. Honggen Wang successfully finished his postdoctoral stay in our group and has just started his new position as an Associate Professor at Sun Yat-sen University. Congratulations on your new position at this excellent University!!! With this, Honggen is following several other former group members, who have recently started their own independent academic careers: Raphael, Keiichi, Congyang, Ranganath, Tatiana, Biju, Xavier, Frederic, Joanna, ... Have fun and all the best for all of you!

    August 2013
    Dr. Olga García Mancheño has received an offer (Ruf) for an Associate Professorship at the Universität Regensburg! This is very well deserved and we are very happy for her. Congratulations to her and her team!!!

    July 2013
    Congratulations to Dr. Olga García Mancheño and Dr. Karl Collins, who both received prizes at the 2013 European Symposium of Organic Chemistry in Marseille.
    Olga received the ACS Catalysis Oral Communication Award for her excellent presentation, and Karl was awarded the Thieme Poster Prize.

    June 2013
    Please, check out our most recent publications: several quite exciting manuscripts on asymmetric hydrogenation, C-H activation chemistry and reaction methodology have recently been published. Congratulations everyone!
    In addition, we are very happy that our benzothiophene arylation work (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 7450; Congratulations Daniel and Karl!) was the most accessed paper of JACS during the last month and that it was also highlighted by Nature (Nature 2013, 498, 275). Please, check it out!
    Finally, we are also very happy to have received so much positive feedback on our robustness screen (Nature Chem. 2013, 5, 597; Congratulation Karl!) and also to see it highlighted in the news & views section of Nature Chem. by an insightful article of Ian Churcher: Nature Chem. 2013, 5, 554.
    Congratulations everyone and: Keep on going!

    May 2013
    Two of our manuscripts have made it into Angewandtes most recent "most cited" list. Articles on this list are the most frequently cited ones among those published in 2010 or 2011. They have contributed the most to the journal's impact factor in 2012.

    Thomas Dröge, Frank Glorius,
    The Measure of All Rings—N-Heterocyclic Carbenes [Minireview],
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, vol. 49, pp. 6940–6952.


    Frederic W. Patureau, Tatiana Besset, Frank Glorius,
    Rhodium-Catalyzed Oxidative Olefination of C-H Bonds in Acetophenones and Benzamides [Communication],
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, vol. 50, pp. 1064–1067.

    Congratulations everyone!!!

    May 2013
    For three months each, Dr. Dennis Köster (short postdoctoral stay; formerly PhD student in group of Prof. Werz) and Mr. Matthew Lindale (exchange PhD student from the group of Prof. Liebeskind) have joined our group. We are excited about their arrival. Good luck and have fun!

    May 2013
    Please, check out our most recent publications: several manuscripts, we are very excited about, just appeared online! Congratulations to all contributors!!! And four more exciting manuscripts are under minor revision at the moment, so please, keep your fingers crossed!

    April 2013
    Nils Schröder has just started a 6-month stay in the group of Prof. Kenichiro Itami at Nagoya University, Japan.

    January 2013
    A few days ago the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) announced the winners of the Leibniz-Award 2013, "Germanys most important research award."

    ....and the Leibniz goes to... us!

    This is a great honor for all present and past group members, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Dezember 2012
    Please check this out: Two of our recent Angewandte Chemie manuscripts already made it among the "25 Most Accessed" papers of the last 12 months (11/2011 - 10/2012), with the Asymmetric Hydrogenation paper even being at the top of the list(!):

    N. Ortega, S. Urban, B. Beiring, F. Glorius,
    Ruthenium-NHC Catalyzed Highly Asymmetric Hydrogenation of Benzofurans,
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 1710-1713; Angew. Chem. 2012, 124, 1742-1745.

    N. Kuhl, M. N. Hopkinson, J. Wencel-Delord, F. Glorius,
    Beyond Directing Groups: Transition Metal-Catalyzed C H Activation of Simple Arenes,
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 10236-10254; Angew. Chem. 2012, 124, 10382-10401.

    Similarly, our most recent Organic Letters paper made it among the top 5 "Most Read Articles" of the last 12 months:

    F. W. Patureau, C. Nimphius, F. Glorius,
    Rh Catalyzed C–H Activation and Oxidative Olefination without Chelate Assistance: On the Reactivity of Bromoarenes,
    Org. Lett. 2011, 13, 6346-6349.

    Congratulations to everyone!!! And, please, check them out!

    November 2012
    Dr. Da-Gang Yu and Dr. Dongbing Zhao were awarded as Humboldt-Fellows at the same day. Congratulations, Da-Gang and Dongbing! Both will spend 2 months on a German language course during the first weeks in 2013.

    November 2012
    Dr. Da-Gang Yu joined the Glorius group as postdoctoral research fellow. Welcome Da-Gang!

    Oktober 2012
    Dr. Dongbing Zhao joined the Glorius group as postdoctoral research fellow. Welcome Dongbing!

    Oktober 2012
    Dr. Matthew N. Hopkinson, who has recently started in the Glorius group as a postdoctoral research fellow, was awarded as Humboldt-Fellow, and is now spending 2 months on a German language course. Congratulations Matt!

    September 2012
    Michael Schedler was awarded with a price for his oral communication on the "International Conference Catalysis in Organic Synthesis" (ICCOS 2012) in Moscow, Russia. Congratulations!

    August 2012
    Dr. Karl Collins joined the Glorius group as postdoctoral research fellow. Welcome Karl!

    July 2012
    Science Watch: Our C-H activation work was kindly highlighted online. Please, take a look!

    February 2012
    Slawomir (Slawek) Urban was awarded with the Procter & Gamble Award of the JungChemikerForum Münster. The ceremonial lecture was given by Prof. Georg Schwedt, University of Bonn:
    "From Sugar to Spicery - Food Chemistry Experiments with Supermarket Products". Congratulations!

    November 2011
    Christoph Grohmann had recently finished a Japanese languague intensive course at the LSI Bochum and has started his 6-month stay in the Tatsumi group in Nagoya/Japan.

    November 2011
    Dr. Zhuangzhi Shi has recently started research in the Glorius group as a Humboldt fellow, after spending 2 months on a German language course. Welcome Zhuangzhi!

    July 2011
    Thomas Dröge was awarded with the Poster Prize of Catalysis Science & Technology at OMCOS 16 Conference (Shanghai, PR China). Congratulations!