Otto Hahn Medal for Dr. Lucas Schreyer: Former PhD student at the MPI receives award for his development of a general Mukaiyama-aldol reaction of acetaldehyde enolsilanes with aldehydes
Dr. Lucas Schreyer receives the second major award in his still young research career. The young scientist has now been awarded the Otto Hahn Medal at the annual meeting of the Max Planck Society in Hamburg for his contributions to the development of a general Mukaiyama-aldol reaction of acetaldehyde enolsilanes with aldehydes. The award comes along with a recognition prize of 7500 euros and is intended to motivate particularly talented young scientists to a later university or research career.
About Dr. Lucas Schreyer
Dr. Lucas Schreyer conducted research for his doctoral thesis in the Department of Homogeneous Catalysis, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Benjamin List at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung and was awarded a doctorate with distinction (summa cum laude) from the University of Cologne in September 2018. His doctoral thesis in the field of organocatalysis deals with asymmetric carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions. In the beginning of this year, the 30-year-old scientist changed to the department of Organometallic Chemistry of Prof. Dr. Alois Fürstner. In the award-winning work, Schreyer et al. applied a class of catalysts recently introduced by the List group,1 to the targeted (carbon-carbon bond-forming) aldol reaction. Its difficulty lies in the preservation of the reactive functional group already present in one of the substrate molecules, which typically results in (here unwanted) polymerization. However, the selectivity towards the desired single addition and the stereochemical outcome of the reaction were successfully optimized through systematic modifications of the catalyst structure. This transformation significantly simplifies access to valuable synthetic intermediates frequently employed in the syntheses of biologically active natural products and pharmaceuticals.
About the Otto Hahn Medal
Every year since 1978, the Max Planck Society has awarded the Otto Hahn Medal to young scientists for outstanding scientific achievements, which they have generally achieved in connection with their doctoral thesis. This year, a total of 28 scientists from Max Planck Institutes received the Otto Hahn Medal; they are presented in the brochure "Outstanding". Since 1978, the Max Planck Society has already awarded an Otto Hahn Medal to more than 1000 scientists.
Photo: Dr. Lucas Schreyer with Vice-President of the Max Planck Society, Professor Ferdi Schüth, during the award ceremony in Hamburg © Ausserhofer/MPG