Renowned chemist to establish new research group at CATRIN - Catrin

Renowned chemist to establish new research group at CATRIN

A new research group led by the world-renowned chemist Alexander Dömling, focused on automation and miniaturization of synthetic chemistry, will start working at the Czech Advanced Technology and Research Institute – CATRIN of Palacký University in February. It is enabled by the ERA Chair project ACCELERATOR, which has received a grant of approximately €2.5 million from the Horizon Europe program.

The aim of ERA Chair projects is to attract a top senior scientist, create a new research group around him/her and use mutual synergies to increase research excellence, competitiveness in international grant competitions, commercialization of scientific results, visibility of the University in the European research area and increase its attractiveness for foreign researchers.

 “I am very pleased that we have agreed to cooperate with Professor Dömling, who will move to Olomouc from Groningen in the Netherlands. I believe that he will not only bring new research topics, but thanks to his vast experience he will also strengthen the institutional elements of science and research management at our institute. Professor Dömling’s group will be integrated into CATRIN-CRH, however its research focus further deepens the synergies between all three CATRIN research units, and intensive collaboration between all these divisions is foreseen. The project is therefore another important step in the integration of research capacities at UP,” said CATRIN Director Pavel Banáš.

The hitherto unresolved issue of automation in synthetic chemistry, innovative compound-based whole plant screening technologies for food security, new antibacterial agents addressing the problem of growing antimicrobial resistance and breakthrough materials for batteries and supercapacitors enabling energy storage from renewable sources are just some of the challenges to be tackled by the ACCELERATOR project.

In addition to being a world-renowned leader in the field of miniaturization and automation of synthetic chemistry, Alexander Dömling also has extensive experience in commercializing research results. He has been awarded more than 60 patents and co-founded six biotechnology companies. Major industrial partners with whom he has long-standing collaborations include Sanofi, Bayer, Novartis, J&J, Astra Zeneca, Genentech, UCB and Carmolex.

“To support the submission of the ACCELERATOR project, Palacký University has signed several joint letters of intent with industrial companies, namely FARMAK, TEVA, Syngenta, NEWCO and the spin-off company of UP AgroBioChem, based on an agreement with Professor Dömling. A more efficient system of commercialization of scientific results and the establishment of new industrial partnerships are among the other goals of the project,” added Banáš.

The project, called ERA Chair for Accelerated Synthetic Chemistry Technologies at Palacký University Olomouc (ACCELERATOR), will run until the end of January 2028. It is a project with the largest financial contribution for UP that the University has received so far from all EU framework programs.

Funded by the European Union under project no. 101087318. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Martina Šaradínová
Karolina Zavoralová
January 9, 2023