Paolo Melchiorre

Institut Català d'Investigació Química (ICIQ)

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Paolo Melchiorre is an ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) in Tarragona. Paolo, born in 1973 in Camerino, Italy, studied Chemistry at the University of Bologna where he graduated in 1999. Then he began his doctoral studies in Chemistry working in the area of enantioselective catalysis. Before obtaining his PhD in 2003, he spent a research period in Denmark working with Prof. Karl Anker Jørgensen at the "Center for Catalysis", Århus University, where his studies centered on asymmetric organocatalysis. Afterwards, he worked as a postdoctoral associate at the Industrial Chemistry Faculty of the Bologna University. There, he began his studies on the development of novel organocatalytic asymmetric transformations. In October 2007, he took a permanent position as an Assistant Professor at Bologna University. In September 2009, Paolo moved to Catalonia as ICREA Research Professor and ICIQ Group Leader.

Research interests

My main research interest is on the discovery and mechanistic elucidation of new asymmetric organocatalytic and photochemical processes that address unsolved problems in synthetic methodology. The final goal is to develop environmentally respectful and innovative catalytic methods that will find widespread use in modern organic synthesis. My approach is based on the combination of two powerful fields of molecule activation, visible light photocatalysis and metal-free organocatalysis, to efficiently realize fundamental carbon-carbon bond-forming transformations in an environmentally respectful way. The motivation is that the use of light excitation to bring a molecule from its ground state to an electronically excited state could open new dimensions to chemistry.

Selected publications

– Bahamonde A & Melchiorre P 2016, ‘Mechanism of the Stereoselective alpha-Alkylation of Aldehydes Driven by the Photochemical Activity of Enamines’, Journal of The American Chemical Society, 138, 25, 8019 – 8030.

– Hepburn HB, Dell’Amico L & Melchiorre P 2016, ‘Enantioselective Vinylogous Organocascade Reactions’, Chemical Record, 16, 4, 1787 – 1806.

– Murphy JJ, Silvi M & Melchiorre P  2016, ‘Enamine-mediated Catalysis’ Chapter 17 in Lewis Base Catalysis in Organic Synthesis, Editors: E. Vedejs and S. Denmark – Wiley-VCH.

– Murphy JJ, Bastida D, Paria S, Fagnoni M & Melchiorre P 2016, ‘Asymmetric catalytic formation of quaternary carbons by iminium ion trapping of radicals’ Nature vol. 532, 218–222.

– Hepburn H B & Melchiorre P 2016, ‘Brønsted acid-catalysed conjugate addition of photochemically generated α-amino radicals to alkenylpyridines’ Chem. Commun. vol. 52, 3520–3523.

– Dell’Amico L, Vega-Peñaloza A, Cuadros S & Melchiorre P 2016, ‘Enantioselective Organocatalytic Diels–Alder Trapping of Photochemically Generated Hydroxy o-Quinodimethanes’ Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. vol. 55, 3313–3317

Selected research activities

* Prize for Scientific Excellence from the Royal Spanish Chemical Society (RSEQ)

* Start of the 5-year project “CATA-LUX” (2016-2021) within the frame of ERC Consolidator Grant

* Member of the International Advisory Boards of ChemCatChem (Wiley), Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis (Wiley) and ChemPhotoChem (Wiley).

* PM has delivered lectures at 7 International congresses (e.g. 12th International Symposium on Organic Free Radicals, ISOFR 12 – Shanghai, China; JCO 2016: Journées de Chimie Organique – Paris, France; Athens International Catalysis Symposium – Athens, Greece).