To allow the synthesis of molecules with supreme complexity and with a plethora of specific functions, nature has evolved its synthetic tools over billions of years with high levels of efficiency and elegance. Our research is inspired by nature’s approach, but takes a next step finding efficient synthetic methodologies and strategies that out-perform processes in biology while taking advantage from the broad range of functionalities available in biobased building blocks.

To achieve our mission we focus on cascade syntheses, sustainable catalysis and multicomponent reactions (MCRs). The robust cascade sequences are based on in-house MCRs using diversity and biology oriented design strategies. Rapid complexity generation and advanced scaffold diversification are combined with sustainable catalysis addressing selectivity, efficiency and potential scale-up.

This is elaborated in the following research lines:

  • Design, develop, and explore one-pot cascade syntheses based on state-of-the art multicomponent reaction chemistry using bio-based building blocks as feedstock
  • Develop chemo-, regio- and stereoselective procedures using sustainable resource efficient base-metal-, organo- or bio-catalytic systems
  • Employ biobased isocyanides as versatile C1-building building blocks in cross-coupling chemistry

Selected Prizes & Awards

  • 2003: VU TALENT-award for young and promising researchers
  • 2005: NWO-VICI award
  • 2007: KNCV-Backer Prize for PhD work Dr. Robin Bon
  • 2009: INNOLEC lectureship award in bio-organic chemistry of the Czech Chemical Society
  • 2010: HRSMC Dick stufkens Prize for PhD work Dr. Niels Elders
  • 2012: Gold Badge for contribution to World Science by the International Science Foundation of Ukraine
  • 2014: HRSMC Dick stufkens Prize for PhD work Dr. Tjøstil Vlaar