Prof. Dr. Henry Dube new at the Department

Portrait Henry Dube
(Photo: LMU/Christoph Olensinski)

Chair of Organic Chemistry I reappointed

The Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy welcomes Prof. Dr. Henry Dube, who accepted the call to the Chair of Organic Chemistry I at the start of the summer semester in April 2020. The chair had been vacant since Prof. Dr. Tykwinski’s return to Canada and was last represented by Prof. Dr. Evgeny Kataev.

Prof. Dr. Henry Dube studied chemistry at Philipps University, Marburg, and at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich. In 2008 he received his doctorate from ETH Zurich in Switzerland at Prof. Dr. Francois Diederich’s group on the topic “Synthetic Models for Heme Proteins”. After a three-and-a-half year research stay at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA, he returned to LMU, where he was most recently head of an Emmy Noether research group. In 2019 he received a call to the University of Cologne, but then decided to accept the W3 Professorship for Organic Chemistry at FAU.

“FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg and the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy offer exceptional development and networking opportunities for my working group and our future research. Together with the ambitious student community, the extraordinary resources and the special interdisciplinary infrastructure at the research site, this was the critical factor for my decision to come to FAU.”

In his academic career, Mr. Dube has received various awards, including the Swiss National Science Foundation’s Postdoctoral Fellowship for the Promotion of Scientific Research, the Feodor Lynen Scholarship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the Liebig Scholarship of the German Chemical Industry and inclusion in the DFG’s Emmy-Noether Program. In 2017, he was awarded the Young Investigator Award of the Römer-Stiftung and in 2018 with the Arnold Sommerfeld Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. As part of his scientific work, he has so far raised more than EUR 2.7 million in third-party funding.

Henry Dube’s research deals with organic synthesis, photochemistry, physical organic chemistry as well as supramolecular and biological chemistry. His working group builds responsive molecular machines for the ultimate miniaturization of technology, including novel molecular motors powered by non-harmful visible light. In the field of supramolecular chemistry, his working group has produced various photoswitchable receptors that can be controlled in their properties by external stimuli. The aim of this research is to go beyond the sole establishment of molecular recognition processes and to produce smart molecular elements for complex emergent behavior of nanosystems. For this purpose, Prof. Dube’s team investigates various fundamental photochemical processes that form the basis of charge transfer, vision or vitamin production. Recent breakthroughs are the first direct observation of hula twist photoproducts and the establishment of Hemiindigo as novel photoswitch. These findings form the basis of intelligent molecules and nanomaterials for the conversion and utilization of light energy and for information processing on the smallest scales.