KYOTO Rising-Star Lectureship Award Winner

KYOTO Rising-Star Lectureship Award Winner


Dr. Da-Gang Yu
(Professor of Chemistry, College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, China)
Prof. Dr. Da-Gang Yu was born in Jiangxi Province, China. He received his B.S. from Sichuan University in 2007 and Ph.D. from Peking University in 2012 (with Prof. Dr. Zhang-Jie Shi). Then he carried out postdoctoral research with Humboldt fellowship in Muenster University (with Prof. Dr. Frank Glorius). Since 2015, he has been working independently in College of Chemistry, Sichuan University with support from “The Thousand Young Talents Plan” (2015) and National Natural Science Foundation of China--Outstanding Young Scholars (2018). His research interests mainly focus on organic transformations of CO2. His group has achieved selective radical-type carboxylation and carboxylative cyclizations with CO2, especially with the strategies of “visible-light photoredox-catalyzed successive single electron transfer (SSET) reduction” and “visible-light-driven single-electron activation of CO2 (by using iron/sulfur complex and charge-transfer complex)”. His group has also realized selective carbonylation of C-H bonds with CO2 with the concept of "CO2 = CO + [O]" (using CO2 as a combination of toxic CO along with stoichiometric oxidant), transition-metal-catalyzed asymmetric transformations with CO2 to synthesize chiral bioactive compounds and natural products, as well as the dicarboxylation with CO2 to give dicarboxylic acids as monomers for related functional polyesters. During his independent career, he has published 68 papers and authorized 15 Chinese patents. He received many awards and honors, including Thieme Chemistry Journal Award (2017), Asian Core Program Lectureship Award (to Japan, 2017), Chinese Chemical Society Youth Award (2018), Science China Chemistry Emerging Investigator (2020), Chemical Communications Emerging Investigator (2020) and Chinese Catalytic Rookie Award (2021). He was appointed as the associate editor of Chem. Syn. as well as (young) member of editorial boards of Chin. J. Catal., Sci. China Chem., Asian J. Org Chem. and so on. As a co-guest editor, he has organized 3 special issues on CO2 chemistry for Chin. J. Chem., Green Chem. and Chin. J. Catal.. Moreover, he has also been invited to contribute 4 book chapters on CO2 chemistry for Wiley, RSC and Elsevier.


Dr. Josep Cornella
(Max-Planck Research Group Leader, Department of Chemistry, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung)
Dr. Josep Cornella (Pep) was born in La Bisbal del Penedes, a small town in south Catalunya (Spain) and studied chemistry at the University of Barcelona. In 2008, he moved to the UK to pursue doctoral studies in the group of Prof. Igor Larrosa (UK). After completing his PhD in 2012, he obtained a Marie Curie Fellowship to pursue postdoctoral studies first in the group of Prof. Ruben Martin at the ICIQ (Spain) and subsequently in the group of Prof. Phil S. Baran in The Scripps Research Institute (USA). In spring 2017, he was selected as a Max Planck Research Group Leader to start his independent career in the Department of Organometallic Chemistry at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (Germany), where he founded and currently leads the Sustainable Catalysis Laboratory. During these initial years, the group of Dr. Cornella has pioneered the development of methodologies based on bismuth, by unlocking its ability to revolve between different oxidation states during catalysis. In addition to fundamental studies on bismuth redox catalysis, Dr. Cornella group has provided a solution to years of sensitive Ni catalysis by providing a family of Ni(0) complexes that can be handled open to air. During his independent career, the group of Dr. Cornella has published 15 original research papers, which span from development of new reactivity to the development of reagents for practical and simple organic synthesis. Recent accomplishments include an ERC Starting Grant 2020, Dozentenpreis des Fonds from the Verband der Chemischen Industrie, Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Preis 2021 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft-BMBF, ORCHEM Young Talent Award 2020, Bayer Early Career Excellence in Science Award 2020 and C&EN Talented 12-2020.


Dr. David Sarlah
(Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Dr. David Sarlah is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He was born in Slovenia, where he earned his B.S. degree from the University of Ljubljana. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2011 with Professor K. C. Nicolaou at The Scripps Research Institute, and then joined the laboratory of Professor Erick M. Carriera at ETH Zürich. In 2014, he returned to the United States to start his independent laboratory at UIUC, which explores both the chemical synthesis of biologically active natural products and method development. Namely, his signal achievement is the development of a highly imaginative, photochemical dearomatization of benzenes that allows for a rapid incorporation of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon functionality with exquisite stereocontrol. At UIUC, he has published 14 papers that illustrate this remarkable transformation and the myriad pathways to transform the photocycloadducts into stereochemically rich building blocks. Three elegant total syntheses of Amaryllidaceae alkaloids and a total synthesis of a tetracycline have been described that deliver gram quantities of the products. Recently, he joined the University of Pavia as an adjunct associate professor, initiating a research program based on medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. Some of his recent accomplishments include an NSF Career Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 2019 Grammaticakis-Neumann Award, 2019 BMS Unrestricted Grant Award in Synthetic Chemistry, 2019 Amgen Young Investigator Award, 2019 Eli Lilly Organic Chemistry Award, and 2020 FMC New Investigator Award.