Pierre Hansjacob (COHA team) receives the 2nd René Dabard thesis prize from the ENSCR Foundation

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Awarded by the ENSCR Endowment Fund, this prize aims to reward young researchers whose work, of high scientific quality, has contributed to the advancement of scientific knowledge, technological innovation and a better understanding of social and environmental issues.


Pierre HANSJACOB completed his thesis at the Laboratory of Molecular Innovation and Applications (LIMA - UMR7042) - Strasbourg under the supervision of Morgan Donnard and Frédéric Leroux. 
His research focused on the synthesis and application of original 2-aminoacrylonitrile synthons.

"Molecules of interest to living organisms are generally synthesised from the assembly of small compounds, which serve as the building blocks of organic chemistry. However, it is not always easy to precisely control their arrangement, which would enable us to achieve a high degree of selectivity. The latter would be used to obtain the product of interest with the desired properties only. The main objective of my thesis work was to develop new reactions that selectively combine simple and widely available building blocks called ynamides with silicon derivatives for the stereocontrolled construction of polysubstituted alkenes of the 2-aminoacrylonitrile type. Alkenes are unsaturated hydrocarbons, present in many natural products and representing basic building blocks with numerous applications as reagents in organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, materials chemistry and fine chemistry. These synthons can adopt two configurations (Z and E), often with completely different biological properties. Whatever their field of application, controlling the configuration of alkenes is a key factor. With this in mind, two innovative tools - bond activation by organometallic catalysis and the use of polarised small molecules - have been employed, in particular to control the selectivity of the reaction for introducing functional groups in order to move efficiently and in a single step towards the desired alkene of defined geometry. More efficient than assembling materials in bulk and then sorting them out, this complementary strategy is an integral part of green chemistry and, at the same time, very atom-efficient. In addition, the new, highly functionalized building blocks formed in this way acted as precursors for a varietý of original heterocycles, i.e. chemical compounds characterised by a cyclic chain, containing one or more atoms other than carbon. Although their properties have not yet been studied, these unique molecular architectures could find more than promising applications in the pharmaceutical and phytosanitary fields and are currently the subject of work within the laboratory."