Plenary Speakers

Chemistry in Biology

Professor Timothy J. Egan  

Professor Timothy EganDepartment of Chemistry
University of Cape Town
South Africa

Tim Egan graduated with a PhD degree in bioinorganic chemistry from WITS University in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1988 (supervised by Helder M. Marques and David A. Baldwin). He then completed a post-doc in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York with Dr Philip Aisen studying the interaction of human serum transferrin with its receptor. He returned to South Africa in 1993 as a medical scientist at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, before being appointed lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cape Town in 1996. He became full Professor in 2006 and took up the Jamison Chair of Inorganic Chemistry in 2011. He received the Bayer-Miles Award for the best paper in clinical biochemistry in South Africa in 1996, became a distinguished teacher of the University of Cape Town in 1999 and was elected a fellow of the University of Cape Town in 2011. In 2013 he was the recipient of a Japan Society for the Advancement of Science short-term fellowship and in 2016 he was awarded the gold medal of the South African Chemical Institute. His research centers mainly on the bioinorganic chemistry of the malaria parasite and in particular on the formation of malarial pigment or haemozoin and its inhibition by antimalarials.

Professor Laura L. Kiessling

Professor Laura KiesslingDepartments of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
United States of America

Laura L. Kiessling, PhD is the Novartis Professor of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Laura received her undergraduate training in Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There she conducted undergraduate research in organic synthesis with Professor Bill Roush. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Yale University where she worked with Stuart L. Schreiber on the synthesis of anti-tumor natural products. Her postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology in the research group of Peter B. Dervan led her to explore the recognition of duplex DNA through triple helix formation. She began her independent career in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991.

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and National Academy of Sciences. Laura’s honors and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an ACS Frances P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal, a Harrison-Howe Award, an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, the Hudson Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry, the Alfred Bader Award in Bioorganic or Bioinorganic Chemistry, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She is also the founding editor-in-chief of ACS Chemical Biology.

Her interdisciplinary research interests focus on elucidating and exploiting the mechanisms of cell surface recognition processes, especially those involving protein-glycan interactions. Another major research interest is multivalency and its role in recognition, signal transduction, and direction of cell fate.

Green Chemistry

Professor Avelino Corma

Instituto de Tecnología Química

Avelino Corma, Professor and founder of the Instituto de Tecnología Química (CSIC-UPV) in Valencia (Spain), he has been carrying out research in heterogeneous catalysis in academia and in collaboration with companies for nearly 35 years. He has worked on fundamental aspects of acid-base and redox catalysis with the aim of understanding the nature of the active sites, and reaction mechanisms. With these bases he has developed catalysts that are being used commercially in several industrial processes. He is an internationally recognized expert in solid acid and bifunctional catalysts for oil refining, petrochemistry and chemical process, especially in the synthesis and application of zeolite catalysts. He has published more than 900 research papers, and inventor on more than 130 patents.  Corma earned his BS in Chemistry at Valencia University, PhD at Madrid, and spent two years postdoc at Queen´s University.

He is a Member of Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain; Member of Royal Academy of Exact Sciences, Physics and Natural Science of Spain; Foreign Member of National Academy of Engineering NAE (USA); Foreign Member of French Academy of Sciences; Foreign Fellow of the Royal Society (UK); and Member of Academia Europea, Chemical Science Section. He has received numerous scientific awards and holds twelve Doctorate Honorary Degrees.

Professor Doug Stephan

Department of Chemistry
University of Toronto

Douglas W. Stephan FRSC, FRS (PhD, University of Western Ontario, 1980). After NATO postdoctoral studies with R.H. Holm at Harvard in 1980-82, he was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor, ultimately being appointed Full Professor in 1992. In 2008, he took up a Canada Research Chair and Professorship at the University of Toronto. Author of >450 scientific articles and over 85 patents, Stephan’s research exploits fundamental studies to target innovative technologies for transition metal and main group catalysis. His most notable work has included catalysts for polymerization, hydrogenation and metathesis, as well as “Frustrated Lewis Pairs” and “electrophilic phosphonium cations”. He has won a number of National and International awards and been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC, 2005) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the UK (FRS, 2013) as well as corresponding member of the NRW Society for Arts and Sciences in Germany (2014). He was named to the Thompson-Reuters highly cited list in 2014-2016 and to the list of the 2015 “Most Influential Scientific Minds”.

Materials & Nano Chemistry

Professor Fernando Galembeck

Institute of Chemistry (retired, Guest Professor)
University of Campinas

Fernando Galembeck was born in São Paulo and received his B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of São Paulo. He conducted his postdoctoral studies at the University of Colorado Medical Center and the University of California, Davis before spending a year as a research fellow at the Unilever Research Port Sunlight Laboratory in the United Kingdom. He then returned to Brazil to take a position as Instructor at the University of São Paulo. In 1980 he began working at the University of Campinas where he was made a Professor of Chemistry. His work focuses on materials chemistry, nanotechnology, and chemical electrostatics. At the University of Campinas he served as Head of the Institute of Chemistry from 1994-1998 and Vice-Rector from 1998-2002. From 2011-2015 he served as Director of the Brazilian National Nanotechnology Laboratory. Presently, he is an invited lecturer to universities in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Italy. He also serves as an advisor to funding agencies and consultants for many multinational companies. He has published over 230 peer-reviewed articles, 17 book chapters, and holds patents licensed to four companies. He has received many awards for his research and contributions including the Almirante Alvaro Alberto Award for Science and Technology—the most important prize given for a scientist in Brazil. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.

Professor Galo Juan de Avila Arturo Soler-Illia

Galo Juan de Avila Arturo Soler-IlliaDean and founder of the Instituto de Nanosistemas
National University of San Martín (INS-UNSAM)

Galo Juan de Avila Arturo Soler-Illia obtained his degree and Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), and performed postdoctoral work at University of Paris VI (C. Sanchez group). He is the Dean and founder of the Instituto de Nanosistemas at the National University of San Martín (INS-UNSAM). He is Principal Researcher at CONICET, Associate Professor at UBA, and member of ANCEFN. He has published more than 140 papers and reviews in the fields of materials chemistry and physical chemistry, with particular focus in understanding the mechanisms of formation of complex materials. He leads national and international scientific, networking and industrial projects, having produced several patents. He obtained national prizes (Houssay, KONEX, ANCEFN) and has been a fellow of CONICET, CNRS, UBA and Fundación Antorchas. His current interest is the development of intelligent multifunctional materials through soft chemistry for applications in adsorption, sensing, catalysis, and responsive coatings.

Physical & Analytical Chemistry

Professor Aziz Amine

Faculty of Sciences and Techniques
Hassan II University of Casablanca

Professor Aziz Amine, was Head of Department of Chemical Engineering and Environment of the Hassan II University of Casablanca from 1999-2003. His research over the last 25 years has focused on sensors and biosensors and their use in Analytical Chemistry. He is author of more than 120 papers and has served as coordinator of several national and international research projects. He is a reviewer for several international scientific journals and serves as an editor of the International Journal “Biosensors and Bioelectronics”. He is chairman of the International Workshop “Biosensors for Food Safety and Environmental Monitoring” organized every two years in Morocco, and he has been an invited speaker at several international congresses.

Doctor Jorge Peón Peralta

Department of Physical Chemistry
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Dr. Jorge Peón obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the National Autonomous University of México, and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from The Ohio State University. He conducted his postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology. In 2003 he joined the Institute of Chemistry at the National University of Mexico. His current work is focused on studying the dynamics of electronically excited states of molecules, including: ionization phenomena, internal conversion, energy transfer, electron transfer, proton transfer and photochemical transformations. He has been an invited speaker at several international conferences on femtochemistry and photochemistry.