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Professor François Diederich (born 9 July 1952, in Ettelbruck) is a Luxembourgian chemist specializing in organic chemistry. He obtained both his diploma and PhD (first synthesis of Kekulene) from the University of Heidelberg in 1977 and 1979, respectively. After postdoctoral studies with Prof. Orville L. Chapman at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and habilitation at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, he became Full Professor of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry at UCLA in 1989. In 1992 he was appointed Professor of Organic Chemistry at ETH Zurich.
His research interests cover a wide range of topics:
- Molecular recognition in chemistry and biology.
- Modern medicinal chemistry: molecular recognition studies with biological receptors and X-ray structure-based design of nonpeptidic enzyme inhibitors. Examples of targets: plasmepsin II, IspE and IspF in the non-mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis (malaria); t-RNA guanine transglycosylase (shigellosis); trypanothione reductase (African sleeping sickness).
- Supramolecular nanosystems and nano-patterned surfaces.
- Advanced materials based on carbon-rich acetylenic molecular architecture: new organic super-acceptors and their inter- and intramolecular charge-transfer complexes, opto-electronic materials for molecular electronic circuitry, chiral macrocyclic and acyclic alleno-acetylenes, amplification of chirality and its transfer from the molecular to the macroscopic scale.
Honors and awards
- Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society (1979)
- Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award (1987)
- ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1992)
- Otto Bayer Prize in Chemistry (1993)
- Janssen Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis (2000)
- Havinga Medal (2000)
- Myron L. Bender & Muriel S. Bender Distinguished Summer Lecturer at Northwestern University (2004)
- Humboldt Prize (2005)
- Burckhardt Helferich Prize (2005)
- August Wilhelm von Hofmann-Denkmünze of the German Chemical Society (2006)
- ACS Ronald Breslow Award for Achievements in Biomimetic Chemistry (2007)
- Adolf-von-Baeyer-Denkmünze of the German Chemical Society (2011)
- Honorary Doctoral Degree, Technion, Haifa (2012)
- Ernst Hellmut Vits-Preis (2014)
- Prix Paul Metz by the Institut Grand Ducal, Luxembourg (2014)
- EFMC Nauta Award for Pharmacochemistry and for outstanding results of scientific research in the field of Medicinal Chemistry (2016)
Memberships in scientific academies
- Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina
- Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
- American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Foreign Honorary Member)
- Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (Spain, foreign member)
- US National Academy of Sciences (Foreign Associate)
- Diederich, F.; Stang, P. J.; Tykwinsky R. R. (Eds.) "Modern Supramolecular Chemistry: Strategies for Macrocycle Synthesis", Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2008.
- Diederich, F.; Stang, P. J.; Tykwinski, R. R. (Eds.) "Acetylene Chemistry”, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2004.
- Diederich, F.; de Meijere, A. (Eds.) "Metal-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling Reactions II”, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2004.
- Diederich, F.; Stang, P. J. (Eds.) "Templated Organic Synthesis", Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 1999.
- Diederich, F.; Künzer, H. "Recent Trends in Molecular Recognition", Springer, Berlin 1998.
- Diederich, F.; Stang, P. J. (Eds.) "Metal-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling Reactions", Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 1998.
- Diederich, F.; Stang, P. J. (Eds.) "Modern Acetylene Chemistry", VCH, Weinheim, 1995.