Joseph Moran

After obtaining his degree in chemistry from the University of Ottawa, Joseph Moran stayed there to carry out his PhD in organic synthesis. He then turned to chemical biology at the National Research Council Canada before moving to Texas to work on transition metal catalysis for his post-doctoral research. He came to Strasbourg in September 2012 to run the chemical catalysis laboratory.

.« Strasbourg is an historic city for chemistry with countless opportunities thanks to the LabEx (Laboratories of Excellence) and Idex (Excellence Initiatives) subsidies. It’s an ideal setting for research and is the best way to push oneself and become one of the greats.

Strasbourg’s international reputation for chemistry intrigued me and the senior members of the ISIS institute show great prowess in their research results. Having colleagues like them is an inspiring experience for a young scientist. I think that chemistry is important in all aspects of our lives.

We are chemistry!

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In my research, I’m generally interested in the way complex concepts can be linked to the catalysis and synthesis of organic components. We have developed new selection methods, known as screening, for catalysts from complex mixes of catalytic components. This has led to us discovering a large number of new catalysts and interesting chemical transformations. In some cases, we haven’t totally understood how these new discoveries work, so discovering their chemical mechanisms is another important part of the work.

We are also looking at the origins of life with an original synthetic approach and our catalytic expertise. We have recently started a research programme to try to create a cyclical sequence of chemical reactions which resembles biological metabolism. The project was financed by the ERC Starting Grant, a European subsidy. I hope this work will help us find new answers to the origins of life. »

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