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 postdoc 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 at Bologna University. In Sept. 2009, Paolo moved to Catalonia as ICREA Research Professor and ICIQ Group Leader. From October 2022, Paolo is on leave of absence.

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

- Melchiorre P 2022, 'Introduction: Photochemical Catalytic ProcessesChem Rev122 (2), 1483-1484.

- Wong THF, Ma D, Di Sanza R & Melchiorre P 2022, 'Photoredox Organocatalysis for the Enantioselective Synthesis of 1,7-Dicarbonyl Compounds'Org Lett, 24 (8), 1695-1699.   

- Balletti M, Marcantonio E & Melchiorre P 2022, 'Photochemical organocatalytic enantioselective radical γ-functionalization of α-branched enals'Chem Commun, 58, 6072-6075.

- Zhou W, Wu S & Melchiorre P 2022, 'Tetrachlorophthalimides as Organocatalytic Acceptors for Electron Donor-Acceptor Complex Photoactivation', J Am Chem Soc, 144, 20, 8914-8919. 

- Georgiou E, Spinnato D, hen, K, Melchiorre P. Muñiz K 2022  'Switchable Photocatalysis for the Chemodivergent Benzylation of 4-Cyanopyridines', Chem. Schi. 2022, 13, 8060-8064.

- Tseliou V, Faraone A, Kqiku L, Vilim J, Simionato G & Melchiorre P 2022, 'Enantioselective Biocascade Catalysis with a Single Multifunctional Enzyme', Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. e202212176

- Le Saux, E, Zanini, M & Melchiorre, P 2022, 'Photochemical Organocatalytic Benzylation of Allylic C–H Bonds', J. Am. Chem. Soc., 144, 3, 1113-1118.

- Hartley W.C., Schiel, F, Ermini, E & Melchiorre P 2022, 'Lewis Base-Catalysed Enantioselective Radical Conjugate Addition for the Synthesis and Enantioenriched Pyrrolidinones',  Angew Chem Int Ed, 61 (26), e202204735.  

Selected research activities

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

– Scientific advisory board of IASOC | Ischia Advanced School of Organic Chemistry, Ischia, Italy September 2022 (international conference, 180 delegates)

- organizer of the Chemical Science symposium 2022 on ‘Sustainable synthesis and catalysis’, 10 - 11 November 2022, London, United Kingdom (international conference, 120 delegates)

– 2 of his students received the doctoral degree in Chemistry