Confirmed Speakers

Distinguished plenary speakers


Alois Fürstner, Max Planck Institute, Germany
The scientific work of Alois Fürstner is focused on organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis, including applications thereof to target oriented synthesis. Notable lines of research include his extensive investigations on alkene- and alkyne metathesis, pioneering contributions to the field of pi-acid catalysis based on platinum and gold, as well as the development and mechanistic study of iron-catalyzed cross coupling reactions. These methods opened concise and flexible entries into many bioactive natural products of utmost structural complexity. For a short personal account, see: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 8587.

Ian Manners, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Ian's research group focuses on the development of new synthetic approaches involving ring-opening reactions, catalysis, and self-assembly and their applications in molecular chemistry, polymer and materials science, and nanoscience with a particular (but not exclusive) emphasis on exploiting the interesting features of main group and transition elements.

Masakatsu Shibasaki, University of Tokyo, Japan

Georg Süss-Fink, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland
The research interests of Professor Süss-Fink focus on organo-ruthenium chemistry, ranging from catalytic to biological applications, the priority being fundamental research for the development of a future rutheno-therapy for cancer treatment.

Maria Christina White, University of Illinois, USA



Young plenary speakers

Thibault Cantat, Saclay Institute of Matter and Radiation, France
Research in the group of Dr. Cantat is focused on the development of novel catalytic reactions for the efficient reduction of CO2 and biomass. Dr. Cantat develops molecular organic and organometallic catalysts, from mechanistic studies to applications in catalysis, for the recycling of CO2 and waste lignin. His research interests therefore span organometallic chemistry of the transition metals and the f–elements to homogenous catalysis and computational chemistry.

Oleg Filippov, Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Russian Federation
Scientific interests include transition-metal and main-group element hydrides, structure-reactivity relationships; intra- and intermolecular interactions, hydrogen bonding and proton transfer; reaction mechanisms; quantum chemical calculations.
Current work includes variable temperature spectroscopic and theoretical studies of mechanisms of reactions involving migration of hydrogen ions (proton transfer, hydride transfer), bonding between two hydride complexes working as proton donor and proton acceptor, non-specific (polarity) and specific (hydrogen bonding) solvent effects on these reactions and mechanistic studies of transition metal hydrides catalysed (de)hydrogenation and amine-borane dehydrocoupling
Peter Fristrup, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
My research interests are focused on the use of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis for the conversion of biomass to chemical building blocks.
We enjoy using a variety of both experimental and theoretical techniques, such as in-situ IR, NMR in combination with for example isotopic labelling. Our theoretical studies involves DFT-based calculations of entire catalytic cycles for transition metal-based catalysts. Our current main interests are zeolite-catalyzed conversion of glucose and transition metal-catalyzed deoxydehydation.


Giuliano Giambastiani, Institute of Chemistry of Organometallic Compounds, CNR, Italy
One of his main research topics deals with the design, synthesis and characterization of single-site organometallics based on late/early transition or lanthanide metals. The study of their most relevant structure-reactivity relationship as well as their application as catalysts in several homogeneous processes, including industrial key-methods like polymerization, oligomerization and co-polymerization, represent an ultimate goal of this research field. In addition, a further interest of his current research activity consists of the organic functionalization of complex 1D and 2D carbon nanomaterials, their characterization and their application as “metal-free” heterogeneous electrocatalysts capable of fostering reactions at the heart of renewable technology.
Franziska Schoenebeck, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
The Schoenebeck group is interested in understanding reactivity and mechanisms, ultimately seeking the design of new catalysts and the development of novel applications in organic, bioorganic and materials chemistry. The current research emphasis primarily involves studies of organometallic catalysis, applying experimental organic chemistry and state-of-the-art computational methods.


Keynote speakers


Miquel S. Costas, University of Girona, Spain
My research interest lay in the fields of bionorganic, supramolecular Chemistry and catalysis. I sought to obtain fundamental understanding of the mechanisms by which the O-O bond is broken and formed at transition metals with biological relevance. This knowledge is fundamental towards the development of bioinspired oxidation catalysts to carry out selective oxidation reactions under environmentally benign conditions.
In the supramolecular chemistry area, my goal is to develop nanoscopic scale molecules that could act as nanovessels, nanoreactors or functional materials, via self-assembly directed by coordination to metal ions.

Cornelis J. Elsevier, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
In order to understand and extend the knowledge in catalysis and organometallic chemistry. More specifically, I am very interested in the following interrelated topics: synthesis of new metal compounds with specific properties, constructing new catalysts from these, finding new catalytic reactions and improve existing catalysis, design catalytic systems that can work in environmentally benign solvents, study how these reactions proceed and learn from it how to steer a reaction in a desired direction, use spectroscopy to study structures of compounds, also under high pressure.


Gerhard Erker, Westfäl Wilhelms University of Münster, Germany
Gerhard Erker has an ongoing interest in Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis, especially with using Zirconium compounds.  Recently his group has developed a strong interest in main group element containing systems with a focus on the development of the unique 1,1-carboboration reaction and on frustrated Lewis pair (FLP) chemistry. The Erker group has synthesized a variety of intramolecular FLPs for small molecule activation. This includes heterolytic splitting of dihydrogen under mild conditions by the cooperative action of their active Lewis acid and base components and the use of such systems as metal-free hydrogenation catalysts. Erker’s FLP chemistry involves reactions of a great variety of small molecules including alkenes and alkynes, carbonyl compounds, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and even nitrogen monoxide. The Erker group has developed a variety of new reactions that are taking place at FLP templates including carbon monoxide reduction or the chemistry of e.g. methylene phosphonium systems or borata-alkenes.

Gilles Gasser, University of Zürich, Switzerland
The main focus of the group of Gilles Gasser at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Zurich is to use metal complexes for medicinal and biological purposes. Gilles’ group is particularly interested in using organometallic compounds to treat the parasitic disease schistosomiasis, which is responsible for up to 250’000 deaths per year worldwide. Gilles’ team could recently demonstrate that chromium derivatives had in vitro activity in the same range than Praziquantel, which is the organic drug currently employed to treat this disease but which has several drawbacks including low metabolic stability and inactivity against juvenile schistosomes.


Richard A. Layfield, University of Manchester, UK
Research in the Layfield group is concerned with fundamental and applied aspects of organometallic chemistry, with emphasis on the rare-earth elements and on 3d transition metals. Two main topics are pursued: firstly, we are interested in the dynamic magnetic properties of lanthanide organometallics and their applications in single-molecule magnetism; secondly, we are interested in the N-heterocyclic carbene chemistry of base metals, particularly iron and cobalt, and their applications in small-molecule activation and unusual catalytic reactions.

Giulia Licini, University of Padova, Italy
The Licini group is interested in catalysis and molecular recognition. The discovery of new metal based systems, the study of their reactivity and mechanism of action is central in our research.  The main projects are currently directed towards the use of molecular design and synthesis aiming at new catalysts, for selective transformations of organic compounds (oxygen transfer, oxidative C-C cleavage) hybrid materials and functional molecules.



Stuart A. MacGregor, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK
Stuart Macgregor's research uses computational chemistry to model the structure and reactivity of transition metal systems, often of relevance to homogeneous catalysis and metal-mediated organic synthesis. He is particularly interested in bond activation processes, especially those involving challenging C-H and C-F bond cleavage.  Techniques employed are based on high-level quantum mechanics, primarily density functional theory and hybrid QM/MM approaches. Much of his work is performed in close collaboration with experimentalists.



Clément Mazet, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Reactions developed in the Mazet group are equally methodology-driven and target-oriented. On one hand, the challenges associated with novel reactivity and selectivity often stimulates the interest for a given transformation. On the other hand, our selection of (asymmetric) target reactions is guided by the objective of synthesizing molecules that could serve as versatile building blocks. Hence, accessing structural motifs that are highly prevalent in synthesis but which – paradoxically – lack general preparation methods, provides a strong stimulus to our research program. In this context, we place a particular emphasis on asymmetric catalysis, driven by the devise of new reactivity patterns and unprecedented reaction mechanisms.

Georgii I. Nikonov, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
He is interested in the organometallic chemistry, transition metal and main-group element catalysis, reaction mechanisms, non-classical interactions, and the reactivity of main-group element compounds in low oxidation states.



Kohtaro Osakada, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan
Kohtaro Osakada has been interested in organometallic chemistry and catalysis.  His research covers mechanistic study of transmetalation of organotransition metal complexes, multinuclear group 10 transition metal complexes with Si- and Ge-ligands, supramolecular assembly of organometallic molecules, and olefin polymerization catalyzed by late transition metal complexes.  Very recent achievements of the second topic, crystalline phase transition behavior of the ferrocene derivatives, will be selected for this conference.