Louis Fensterbank - Biography#

Prof. L. Fensterbank was trained in “École Supérieure de Chimie Industrielle de Lyon”. During year 3, he chose the graduate program of New York State University at Stony Brook and joined with enthusiasm, as a PhD student, Teaching and Research Assistant, the young group of Prof. Sieburth (PhD 1993, organosilicon derivatives).

Back to France, he was hired as teaching assistant in the Organic Chemistry Laboratory (1994, Prof. Malacria) as teaching at P. et M. Curie University and then as CNRS fellow (1995).

Leader of a small scientific team, he developed radical chemistry and tackled new reactivities and reaction mechanisms (cascade reactions, cyclization on carbonyl derivatives, radical asymmetric synthesis).

He launched also the electrophilic catalysis with noble metals (Pt, Au), a field little explored at that time, but which eventually revealed extremely fruitful in a range of applications (total synthesis of natural products, new polymerization processes, asymmetric catalysis).

In 2004, he was hired as Professor (Radical Organic Chemistry) at UPMC. He has taught at all academy levels, managing several courses (theoretical and practical). He created new courses, including a new Chemistry Master program at the Centre of Paris (450 students), headed from 2007 to 2014.

To drive organic chemistry towards cleaner and eco-efficient methods has led Prof. Fensterbank to develop photochemical activation by photocatalysis, for instance the mild generation of alkyl radicals by photoredox catamysis under visible light, the exploration of new paths in heterochemistry and the use of catalytic nanomaterials.

Prof. Fensterbank is the head of the team “Methods and applications in organic chemistry” within the “Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire”, CNRS Unit (100 staff, 100 students) which he headed from 2017 to 2022.

In 2023 he accepted the rare privilege to head a Chair “Activation in Molecular Chemistry” at College de France, a unique place in the world, most notorious French Institution for Teaching of Advanced Research “Docet Omnia”, free and open to all.

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