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Syuzanna Harutyunyan wins KNCV Gold Medal

14 July 2016

On December 7 the KNCV Gold Medal will be awarded to University of Groningen associate professor Syuzanna R. Harutyunyan. The KNCV Gold Medal is the most prestigious, Dutch recognition for chemical talent, and will be awarded during the chemical conference CHAINS, which takes place from 6 - 8 December 2016.

Professor Syuzanna Harutyunyan | Photo Harutyunyan lab
Professor Syuzanna Harutyunyan | Photo Harutyunyan lab

Harutyunyan is currently an Associate Professor in Synthetic Organic Chemistry at the University of Groningen. Her research aims at the development of new catalytic methods and concepts in asymmetric synthesis. Before joining the Stratingh Institute of Chemistry for in Groningen, she carried out research in Armenia, Russia, Poland, Belgium, both in academia and in industry. In 2011 Harutyunyan won the prestigious Solvias Ligand Contest Prize. Furthermore, she received a NWO Vidi grant in 2012 and two NWO ECHO grants in 2014 and 2016.

Very recently, Harutyunyan and her group developed a method to append alkyl groups in a single mirror-image orientation to substituted C=C double bonds dangling from nitrogen-containing hetrocycles. This major success was published in Science earlier this year. She is especially praised because of her careful analysis of the problem and the ingenious chemical process she subsequently designed to solve this. Chiral heteroaromatics are very important building blocks in pharmaceutical chemistry, but efficient synthetic routes are hard to find. Therefore, Harutyunyan’s method is seen as a major breakthrough. According to the jury the KNCV Gold Medal is the crowning achievement of an all-round career with multiple highlights in catalytic methods, enantioselective synthesis and total synthesis of target molecules. “Therefore Syuzanna is a deserving winner that will do the Dutch chemistry sector proud.”

The KNCV Gold Medal is awarded annually to researchers who have distinguished themselves in one field of the chemical sciences. For this award only researchers younger than 40 are considered whom are expected to be dominant contributors in their areas of expertise. As of 1963 Dutch Chemical talent is recognized and honoured with the KNCV Gold Medal.

The official ceremony of this prestigious price takes place during CHAINS (CHemistry As INnovating Science,) a three day conference – from December 6 until December 8 - with an industrial and scientific scope.

Last modified:15 July 2016 12.53 p.m.

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