Awards and honors

Awards and honors 2022

Amir HOVEYDA awarded an ERC Advanced Grants 2021

New Catalysts for Synthesis of Stereodefined and Modifiable Tetrasubstituted Alkenes


Tetrasubstituted olefins are key to drug discovery, and the ability to access such entities is crucial. Pioneering studies have led to noteworthy advances but significant shortcomings remain. For example, it is especially challenging to access tetrasubstituted alkenes that contain four sizeable substituents or a fluorine atom and/or a trifluoromethyl group. The limited number of available protocols only afford one of the two possible isomers.Tetrasubstituted alkenes that containmultiple modifiable substituentsare particularly attractive, because they can serve as diversification points that lead to a large assortment of desirable compounds. Olefin metathesis offers a strategically distinct, efficient, and stereodivergent route to such entities. Yet, olefin metathesis catalysts that can be used to generate a wide range of tetrasubstituted olefins are yet to be introduced. We will use the new ERC Advanced Grant to design a new class of pivoting molybdenum and tungsten catalysts that can be used to promote ring-closing metathesis and cross-metathesis reactions that efficiently generate readily modifiable tetrasubstituted olefins. The unique design feature in these catalysts is that rotation of the ligands is synchronized, allowing a suitable binding pocket to become available that accommodates a highly substituted metallacyclobutane.We will also design an entirely new class of cyclic molybdenum and tungsten catalysts for cross-metathesis between easily accessible trisubstituted alkenes and polyhalogenated alkenes. A distinguishing feature of these catalysts is that intramolecularity plays a key role within the catalytic cycle. Stereodivergency will be achieved by stereoretentive processes with commercially available tetrasubstituted polyhalo olefins. The new complexes will represent another exciting new chapter in catalyst design, expanding the range of accessible tetrasubstituted alkenes.


Giulio Ragazzon, group leader of the Laboratory of Driven Chemical Processes, has secured an ERC Starting grant for the research project KI-NET – “Energy transduction in kinetically asymmetric catalytic networks’. When we open a bottle of sparkling water, the gas bubbles come out and never return to the bottle. This process has a preferential direction, and it is difficult to make the reverse process take place under the same conditions. Likewise, chemical reactions have a preferential direction. The reactions that form the basis of today’s chemical technology proceed in tha spontaneous direction. However, living systems can also perform chemical reactions in the reverse, non-spontaneous, direction. These processes are used to produce the chemical energy that our body uses, for example, to walk and read these words. The project KI-NET aims to reproduce the chemical reactions that our bodies use to produce energy in artificial systems. Learning how to perform these reactions can open up new avenues across disciplines, including medicine. Indeed when our cells cannot produce energy efficiently, diseases that are difficult to treat frequently arise.

Awards and honors 2021

Pawel Dydio was winner of the 2021: « Prix Guy Ourisson 2021 »

Since 2008, the Guy OURISSON prize has been awarded each year to researchers aged 40 or less carrying out promising research in Alsace. All disciplines are concerned. The Cercle Gutenberg was created in 2004 by Professor Guy OURISSON (1926 – 2006), eminent Alsatian chemist, founding president of the University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg who was, in 1999 and 2000, the first non-Parisian elected president of the Academy of Sciences since its creation in 1666 by Colbert. The objective of the Cercle Gutenberg is to strengthen the links between the Alsatian members of the Institut de France, the Collège de France, the Institut Universitaire de France (senior members) and the major French and foreign national academies living in Alsace. and to stimulate scientific research there.

Johannes Schachenmayer was awarded with a Scientific Prize: « Les Espoirs de l’Université de Strasbourg » .

As part of the implementation of the “Talent Management” lever of the Initiative of Excellence (IdEx), the University of Strasbourg wishes to reward, by awarding the « Les Espoirs de l’Université de Strasbourg » Prizes, the quality of the work and the career of young researchers forming the scientific potential of the Strasbourg site. The « Les Espoirs de l’Université de Strasbourg » Scientific Prizes aim to reward scientists who have demonstrated originality and dynamism in the implementation of their research and whose future developments look promising. Johannes Schachenmayer was awarded a Hope Prize from the University of Strasbourg during the re-entry ceremony which took place on Thursday 9 September at the Cavaillès amphitheater at the Patio.

Amir Hoveyda winner of the 2020 “Gutenberg Chairs”

Amir HOVEYDA, professor at the Boston College (USA), hosted at the Institute of Supramolecular Science and Engineering (ISIS) in Strasbourg (UMR 7006) to lead the project “Diversity-focused synthesis (DOS) to optimize the possibility of discovery of effective drugs ”holds a Cercle Gutenberg 2020 chair. The ceremony took place on June 11, 2021.

Paolo Samorì joins the elite of materials science

Paolo Samorì has been appointed as a Fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS), a first for a researcher from Strasbourg. This prestigious distinction recognizes his highly significant contributions to the advancement of materials science worldwide by developing novel high-performance multifunctional materials and devices for technologically relevant applications in (opto)electronics, energy and sensing.

Guido Pupillo et Shannon Whitlock sont lauréat Équipex

Equipex « équipement d’excellence », désigne en France des projets financés par le grand emprunt et destinés à développer et améliorer des infrastructures scientifiques et des grands équipements des laboratoires de recherche scientifique français. Parmi les 50 projets lauréats de l’appel à manifestations d’intérêt Équipements structurants pour la recherche Equipex+, 10 impliquent des Strasbourgeois dont un porté par l’Université de Strasbourg. Nommée aQCess, il s’agit d’une des premières plateformes publiques en physique quantique.

Dr. Artur Ciesielski has been admitted as new member of the Young Academy of Europe (YAE)

Dr. Artur Ciesielski has been admitted as new member of the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), pan-European initiative of outstanding young scientists for networking, advocacy, scientific exchange, and science policy. YAE is organised as a bottom-up initiative of a dynamic and innovative group of recognised European young scientists and scholars with outspoken views about science and science policy. YAE provides input and advice from a younger generation’s perspective – a vital input to shape EU-wide policy for the benefit of future European scholars and scientists.

Awards and honors 2020

Pawel Dydio is Dream Chemistry Award Top 5

Dream Chemistry Award is a unique contest in which a prize is awarded to a young scientist with a chemistry background for an idea of a scientific project in the field of chemistry or chemistry-related disciplines that she/he dreams to solve. The applications are assessed based on the originality of the proposal; the CV of the Candidate is considered as well. The Dream Chemistry Award contest was established in 2013 by the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IChF-PAN) with the aim of supporting young talent in pursuing their scientific dreams.

Paweł Dydio wants to utilize artificial intelligence for engineering networks of reactions. All reactions would act in parallel within the network, as in “real” biological reactions. Creating such a chemical “black box” would enable chemists to use the energy of one process to propel another or to eliminate the need to stabilize intermediate products. Machine learning would tell us which reactions work in concerto in such networks.

Jean-Pierre Sauvage has been decorated by the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star of Japan

Monday, December 21 2020 took place the ceremony of awarding the insignia of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, to three professors of the University of Strasbourg, Professor Alain BERETZ, Professor Jules A. HOFFMANN , and Professor Emeritus Jean-Pierre SAUVAGE.

Eminent professors and researchers at the University of Strasbourg, all three have contributed to strengthening bilateral relations and promoting mutual understanding through academic and research exchanges in the fields of medicine, physiology and chemistry. In his speech, the Consul General, while underlining the considerable contributions of the three laureates, retraced the long history of the circulation of knowledge between Japan and Alsace, and mentioned the new perspectives that are emerging, even today, from these relationships.

Joseph Moran awarded an ERC consolidator grant
Joseph Moran, a professor and group leader at the Institute of Supramolecular Science and Engineering, is one of the 27 French researchers awarded with a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) in 2020. Having already held a ERC Starting Grant, the ERC Consolidator Grant, entitled “MetabolismOrigins”, will enable Moran to continue his research into a new approach to metabolism-guided prebiotic chemistry. His team aims to understand how and why the biochemistry of life emerged using the fundamental principles of catalysis and organic chemistry. The grant will finance a team of 4 to 5 people for a period of 5 years.
Joseph Moran has received the 2020 “Forcheurs Jean-Marie Lehn” prize together with Harun Tüysüz (Max–Planck-Institut for Coal research, Mülheim, Germany) for their collaborative work on transition metals in prebiotic chemistry.

The prize supports promising collaborations between young French and German researchers in the areas of health, pharmacology or chemistry. The prize is co-organized by the French Embassy in Berlin and the Université Franco-Allemande, and generously sponsored by BASF France and Sanofi Deutschland. A ceremony was held in Berlin on September 29, 2020.

Paolo Samorì has been nominated Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF)

By order of the “Ministère de lʼEnseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de lʼInnovation” dated June 23, 2020, Paolo Samorì is appointed Senior members of the University Institute of France as of October 1, 2020, for a period of 5 years

The Royal Society of Chemistry/Société Chimique de France Joint Lectureship in Chemical Sciences 2020 has been awarded to Paolo Samorì

Professor Paolo Samorì’s research strives to address technologically relevant questions with perspectives of applications in everyday life, ultimately contributing to the well-being of citizens and the advent of a true knowledge-based society. This includes the development of wearable, faster and better performing electronics and sensing devices, as well as more efficient energy storage and conversion. He combines chemically programmed low-dimensional nanostructures (including metallic nanoparticles, graphene and related 2D materials) in hybrid multicomponent materials, with each component providing a distinct property, thereby fabricating multifunctional coatings, composites and devices.

The University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study (USIAS) has awarded a 2020 Fellowship to Paolo Samorì

The 13 projects awarded in 2020 involve 15 high-level academics. Fellowships are awarded to excellent researchers from Strasbourg, and to leading international scholars to work on ambitious, high quality research projects that focus on topics from all scientific domains.

The new 2020 Fellows will work on a wide range of topics, including the impact of sleep loss on depression, experimental evolution, human rights in the area of food, oscillatory organisation in the hippocampus, European social jurisprudence, Quantum Hall states, and poetry and social class in ancient Greece.

A new European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept Grant has been awarded to Paolo Samorì

Seventy-six top researchers will receive ERC Proof of Concept grants of €150,000 each. This top-up funding is awarded to ERC grantees to explore the innovation potential of their scientific discoveries and bring the results of their frontier research closer to market. This final injection of €11.4 million pushes the total number of ERC Proof of Concept funded projects for 2019 to 200. With the additional money researchers can, for example, investigate business opportunities, establish intellectual property rights or conduct technical validation for their frontier research findings.

Awards and honors 2019

The “Ministère de lʼEnseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de lʼInnovation” has awarded the “Stars of Europe” trophy to the European project iSwitch and to Paolo Samorí, its coordinator .

The “Étoiles de l’Europe” prize rewards European research and innovation projects coordinated by French organizations and honors their coordinators who have made the choice of Europe and demonstrated their ability to lead large-scale networks. This year’s 12 “Stars of Europe” have been selected by a high-level jury for the scientific quality and international dimension of the project, the economic, technological and societal benefits generated, the multidisciplinary and inclusive aspect of the project, especially for women and young researchers, as well as the strategic dimension of the project (accessibility of results, regional development).

Thomas Ebbesen awarded the CNRS Gold Medal for 2019

This year’s CNRS Gold Medal, one of France’s most prestigious scientific prize, has been awarded to the Franco-Norwegian physical chemist Thomas Ebbesen. He specializes in nanosciences, a cross-disciplinary field that covers a variety of scientific areas that include carbon materials, optics, nano-photonics and molecular chemistry.

Jean-Marie LEHN has been decorated by the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star of Japan

Mr. Jean-Marie LEHN, Professor at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study (USIAS) has been decorated by the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star of Japan for his contribution to mutual understanding and promotion of university exchanges between Japan and France in the field of chemistry.

Luisa De Cola has been awarded the 2019 Izatt-Christensen Award

Luisa De Cola has been awarded the 2019 Izatt-Christensen Award. The award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in Supramolecular and Macrocyclic chemistry, is sponsored by IBC Advanced Technologies. Prof. De Cola will receive the award at the 14th International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry, in June 2019. The Izatt‐Christensen Award in Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry, since 1991 recognizes excellence in macrocyclic and supramolecular chemistry. It is one of the most prestigious awards in chemistry. The Awardee is invited to present a lecture at the annual meeting of the International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry (ISMSC). The ISMSC and predecessor symposia date from the first Symposium on Macrocyclic Chemistry organized in Provo, Utah by Reed M. Izatt and James J. Christensen in 1977.

Awards and honors 2018

Paolo Samorì has been elected Foreign Member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB)
Joseph Moran was selected as part of the 2018 class of the “Talented Twelve” by Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN)

Joseph Moran was selected as part of the 2018 class of the “Talented Twelve” by Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the official publication of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The award is given to young researchers under the age of 40 “who will be influencing the future of chemistry”.

Joseph Moran has been awarded the 2018 Prix Jean Normant de la Division de Chimie Organique de la Société Chimique de France

The prize is awarded to Joseph Moran, an outstanding assistant professor working in organic chemistry in France who is less than 8 years into his/her career.

Thomas Ebbesen  has been awarded l’E-MRS “the Quinquennial Annniversary Award”

Thomas Ebbesen  has been awarded l’E-MRS  “the Quinquennial Annniversary Award”,  Read more.

Thomas Ebbesen  has been awarded the Grand Prix de la Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie

Thomas Ebbesen  has been awarded for his work in the field of the nanosciences and in particular for the development of a new said chemistry ” polaritonique ” which plays on the interactions light-material to modify the chemical reactivity and excite the properties of the molecular materials. He is the third strasbourgeois who has beeb awarded , this price was awarded to Guy Ourisson and Jean-Pierre Sauvage. Read more.

Paolo Samorì has been awarded the Pierre Süe Prize

Prof. Paolo Samorì has been awarded the Pierre Süe Prize by the French Chemical Society for his outstanding contribution to the field of nanosciences, nanotechnologies and organic electronics. Read more.

Paolo Samorì has been awarded the Blaise Pascal Medal

Prof. Paolo Samorì has been awarded the Blaise Pascal Medal in Materials Science by the European Academy of Sciences in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of functional nanomaterials and nanodevices exhibiting new electronic, optical and sensing capabilities. Read more.

Paolo Samorì has been awarded the Surfaces and Interfaces Award

Prof. Paolo Samorì has been awarded the Surfaces and Interfaces Award by the Royal Society of Chemistry for his groundbreaking contributions to the field of nanostructured surfaces and interfaces, where he has applied supramolecular approaches to create multicomponent materials and multifunctional optoelectronic devicesRead more. UNISTRA, CNRS Alsace and FRC press releases.

Joseph Moran has been awarded the 2017 Prix Guy Ourisson

The prize is awarded each year by the Cercle Gutenberg to one or two top researchers under 40 in Alsace in any field.