Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Part of University of Groningen
Science Linx News

2023 Izatt-Christensen Award for Prof. Sijbren Otto

08 March 2023

Sijbren Otto, professor of systems chemistry at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, has received the 2023 Izatt-Christensen Award for being a pioneer of supramolecular systems chemistry, taking supramolecular chemistry into completely new directions. The award will be presented to Otto at the 17th International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry that will be held in Reykavík, Iceland at the end of June this year.

Otto joined the University of Groningen in 2009, where he rapidly rose through the ranks to his current position as full professor. His research focusses on the interplay between noncovalent interactions and chemical reactivity. Otto has developed supramolecular systems with life-like properties. His ultimate aim is to create life de-novo, not by attempting to re-create life as we know it, but by putting together a completely new system that harbours all the essential characteristics of life.

Sijbren Otto | Foto RUG
Sijbren Otto | Foto RUG

Leading role

The quality of his work has attracted substantial funding (e.g. ERC StG and AdG, NWO Vici), involvement in large initiatives (e.g. Functional Molecular Systems Gravitation Programme), multiple prizes (e.g. RSC Supramolecular Award) and membership (e.g. KNAW membership).

Since the beginning of his independent career, Otto has served a leading role in establishing the young field of systems chemistry: he chaired two consecutive EU COST Actions, rallying >95 European research groups around this topic. He coordinated two ITNs (EU-based training networks for PhD students), co-founded the first journal in the field (J. Syst. Chem.), and co-initiated and (vice)chaired the Gordon Conference series on systems chemistry.

Chemistry curriculum

He also played a key role in setting up the Dutch Origins Center. In Groningen, in collaboration with colleagues from biochemistry, he introduced systems chemistry in the chemistry curriculum, setting up a new course entitled “Synthetic biology and systems chemistry”.

Among previous winners of the Izatt-Christensen Award were Jean-Pierre Sauvage (1991) and J. Fraser Stoddart, who shared in the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Ben Feringa.

More information about the work of Sijbren Otto is found on the University web pages.

Last modified:08 March 2023 2.10 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 14 February 2023

    Lift to the inclusive workplace

    There is plenty of work, and yet people with a disability are still often sidelined. One plus one is two, or so you’d think: this is the perfect time to help this group of workers find a job. The intention is there, also within the University, but...

  • 15 December 2022

    Groningen contributes to major research initiative into energy-efficient information technology

    The Dutch science funding agency NWO recently awarded a large research project into new concepts for energy-efficient information technology of no less than ten million euros

  • 05 December 2022

    Frans J. Sijtsma new Director Agricola School

    On the recommendation of the Board of the University of Groningen, Dr Frans J. Sijtsma has been appointed as academic director of the Rudolf Agricola School for Sustainable Development with effect from 1 February 2023. This concerns a 0.5 FTE...