Alois Fürstner receives the Prix Mondial Nessim-Habif in Geneva

October 20, 2019

During a festive academic ceremony on the occasion of the annual “Dies academicus” on October 11, the Rector of the University of Geneva bestowed the “Prix Mondial Nessim-Habif” on Professor Alois Fürstner, Director of the Department of Organometallic Chemistry at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung. Inaugurated in 1963, this prize represents one of the highest distinctions of the University of Geneva; since all Faculties have the right to nominate Laureates, the field of Natural Sciences is usually considered only every four years. This prize honors personalities of international stature for scientific excellence and creativity in their respective field.

The prize is named after the wealthy benefactor Nessim Habif, who made substantial donations not only to the University of Geneva but also to other academic institutions. Thus, there exists a Nessim-Habif Award for French literature (Royal-Belgian Academy) as well as a Nessim-Habif award in Engineering Science (Société des Ingénieurs Arts et Métiers, ParisTech).

About Alois Fürstner

Alois Fürstner is renowned for numerous fundamental contributions to organometallic chemistry and catalysis research. He earned his doctoral degree at the Technical University of Graz, Austria. After a postdoctoral stint with the late Professor Oppolzer in Geneva, he returned to Graz for his Habilitation. In 1993 he joined the MPI für Kohlenforschung as a group leader but was promoted as early as 1998 to the rank of Director at this Institute. His important work on metathesis, the chemistry of platinum and gold catalysts, iron-catalyzed coupling reactions as well as metal-carbene chemistry earned him an international reputation. He also proves to be a master of total synthesis of complex natural products and pharmacologically relevant targets, which often showcase the power of the synthetic methods developed in his laboratory. He has already been honored with numerous national and international awards, including the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Prize of the German Science Foundation, the Otto-Bayer-Prize, the French/German Gay-Lussac/Alexander-von-Humboldt Award, the Mukaiyama Award, Japan, the Prelog Medal of the ETH Zürich, the Karl-Ziegler-Prize of the German Chemical Society, as well as the H. C. Brown Award for Creativity in Synthetic Methods of the American Chemical Society. He is member of the National Academy of Sciences “Leopoldina”.

A video of the award ceremony can be found here

Photo: Prof. Yves Flückiger, Rector of the University of Geneva with Prof. Alois Fürstner © University of Geneva

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