Syuzanna Harutyunyan

Associate professor of Synthetic organic chemistry
University of Groningen

Within ARC CBBC, I wish to accomplish…

My research is centered around homogeneous catalysis, organometallic chemistry and synthesis, with the aim to increase the efficiency of current, often stoichiometric, chemical processes, reducing the economic and environmental cost. I believe that CBBC  provides the ideal, collaborative framework for conceptual and technological breakthroughs  which would allow to tackle major challenges that chemistry currently faces with a potential for further industrial implementation.

In my scientific career, I am most proud of…

Scientific dogma often stands in the way of progress. In 2011 I made a fundamental discovery, breaking an 80 year old paradigm in organic chemistry, namely that 1,2-additions to carbonyl compounds and 1,4-additions to activated carbon-carbon double bonds are mechanistically distinct. This established an entirely new role of Cu(I)-based catalysts in asymmetric synthesis, leading to a powerful methodology for the highly enantioselective alkylations of enolisable carbonyl compounds and imines – a challenge, that had confounded asymmetric catalysis for decades – and allows radical improvement of existing synthetic strategies.

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