UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Dr Matt Powner wins the Thieme Chemistry prize

18 December 2014

Matt Powner

Dr Matt Powner (UCL Chemistry) has been awarded the 2015 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award. The award is to recognise promising young professors at the beginning of their career and is made by the editorial boards of the journals Synlett, Synthesis, and Synfacts.

Powner works on the chemical processes that may have been involved in the emergence of life on Earth.

A chemical origin of life has been postulated in response to the biochemical unity of life. Understanding the predisposed reactivity that could have led from a chemical system to biological organisation is a question almost without parallel for the scientific understanding of the natural world.

The Powner group works towards understanding the chemical origins of life by exploring chemical selectivity and reactivity. It seeks to understand what chemical pathways could have led to biological form and function.

The Powner group also develops novel green (efficient, protecting-group-free, chromatography-free and environmentally benign) industrially applicable reaction strategies and new chemical methodologies in water.