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Paolo Melchiorre

Paolo Melchiorre

Institut Català d'Investigació Química

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Paolo Melchiorre is an ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) in Tarragona. Paolo studied Chemistry at the University of Bologna (Italy) where he graduated in 1999. 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, 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 independent 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 Senior Group Leader.  

Research interests

My main interest is on the discovery and mechanistic elucidation of new enantioselective organocatalytic and photochemical processes that address unsolved problems in synthetic methodology. My research on light-driven stereocontrolled processes aims at increasing process efficiency and sustainability using a mechanistically-guided approach, controlling reaction selectivity, and reducing the environmental impact of chemical synthesis. My approach is based on the combination of two powerful fields of molecule activation, visible light photocatalysis and metal-free organocatalysis, to develop fundamentally new strategies to asymmetric catalysis via the intermediacy of light-mediated open-shell redox processes and excited-state reactivity patterns. The motivation is that the use of light excitation to bring a molecule from its ground state to an electronically excited state can unlock previously inaccessible reaction pathways, thereby creating new synthetic opportunities.

Selected publications

– Berger M, Carboni D & Melchiorre P 2021 ‘Photochemical Organocatalytic Regio- and Enantioselective Conjugate Addition of Allyl Groups to Enals‘, Angew.Chem. Int. Ed. 60, 26373–2637.

– Le Saux E, Ma D, Bonilla P, Holden CM, Lustosa D & Melchiorre P 2021, ‘A General Organocatalytic System for Enantioselective Radical Conjugate Additions to Enals‘, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 60, 5357–5362.

– Crisenza GEM, Faraone A, Gandolfo E, Mazzarella D & Melchiorre P 2021, ‘Catalytic asymmetric C-C cross-couplings enabled by photoexcitation‘, Nature Chemistry, 13, 575–580.

– de Pedro Beato E, Spinnato D, Zhou W & Melchiorre P 2021, ‘A General Organocatalytic System for Electron Donor-Acceptor Complex Photoactivation and Its Use in Radical Processes‘, Journal of The American Chemical Society, 143, 31, 12304 – 12314.

– Laroche B, Tang X, Archer G, Di Sanza R & Melchiorre P 2021, ‘Photochemical Chemoselective Alkylation of TryptophanContaining Peptides‘, Organic Letters, 23, 2, 285 – 289.

Selected research activities

–  Associate Editor of Chemical Science, the flagship journal of RSC.

– The 2021 Pedler Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) “for the development of asymmetric photocatalytic methodologies based on excited state intermediates”

– 2 of his students received the doctoral degree in Chemistry.

ICREA Memoir 2021