LECTURE: Prof. Stefan Matile (UNIGE) on Mar 26 at 15:15 in Aud I (coffee & cake at 15:00)

On March 25-27 2015, professor Stefan Matile (Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Geneva, Switzerland) will visit Gothelf lab. He will give a talk in Aud I (Department of Chemistry) as a part of the Chemistry Seminar Lectures on March 25 at 15:15 (coffee and cake at 15:00).


This lecture will describe some synthetic supramolecular systems with interesting functions.  All functions covered emerged from an original interest to learn how to transport ions or molecules across lipid bilayer membranes.  From there, sensors, photosystems and detectors for more “exotic” interactions evolved as main lines of research.  Topics of current interest include the integration of these exotic interactions into functional supramolecular systems.  Lessons from transport with anion-π interactions are applied to catalysis, with examples reaching from Kemp elimination to unpublished highlights on enolate chemistry.[1]  The existence of ionpair-π interactions on push-pull surfaces are probed with spectral tuning.[2]  The construction of functional surface architectures of highest possible sophistication will be achieved with up to three orthogonal dynamic covalent bonds used in concert.[3]  Ring tension is applied to dynamic covalent disulfide-exchange chemistry to find new ways to enter into cells.[4]  Mechanosensitive bonds, finally are introduced to build fluorescent probes that change color like lobsters during cooking and feel central characteristics of lipid bilayer membranes such as tension, potential and disorder.[5]


1.   Y. Zhao, C. Beuchat, J. Mareda, Y. Domoto, J. Gajewy, A. Wilson, N. Sakai, S. Matile, “Anion-π Catalysis,” J. Am. Chem. Soc.2014, 136, 2101-2111.

2.   K. Fujisawa, C. Beuchat, M. Humbert-Droz, A. Wilson, T. A. Wesolowski, J. Mareda, N. Sakai, S. Matile, “Anion-π and Cation-π Interactions on the Same Surface,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2014, 53, 11266-11269.

3.   H. Hayashi, A. Sobczuk, A. Bolag, N. Sakai, S. Matile, “Antiparallel Three-Component Gradients in Double-Channel Surface Architectures,” Chem. Sci.2014, 5, 4610-4614.

4.   G. Gasparini, E.-K. Bang, G. Molinard, D. V. Tulumello, S. Ward, S. O. Kelley, A. Roux, N. Sakai, S. Matile, “Cellular Uptake of Substrate-Initiated Cell-Penetrating Poly(disulfide)s,”J. Am. Chem. Soc.2014, 136, 6069-6074.

5.   M. Dal Molin, Q. Verolet, A. Colom, R. Letrun, E. Derivery, M. Gonzalez-Gaitan, E. Vauthey, A. Roux, N. Sakai, S. Matile, “Fluorescent Flippers for Mechanosensitive Membrane Probes,” J. Am. Chem. Soc.2015, 137, 568-571.


Stefan Matile received both Diploma (1989) and PhD (1994) from the University of Zurich for research on the bioorganic chemistry of porphyrins under the direction of Wolf Woggon.  After a postdoc on the circular dichroism spectroscopy of porphyrins with Koji Nakanishi at Columbia University, New York (1994-1996), he joined the faculty of Georgetown University, Washington DC, as an Assistant Professor.  In 1999, he moved to the University of Geneva, where he is currently Full Professor in the Department of Organic Chemistry and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) in Chemical Biology.  He is an ERC Advanced Investigator.

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