Research group


The group’s research interests are broadly based on the use ofasymmetric organocatalysis (which involves only organic elements in the active principle) to create new synthetic opportunities and conceptual perspectives for successfully attacking major challenges connected with the preparation of chiral molecules.

The main focus is on the discovery and mechanistic elucidation of new asymmetric organocatalytic and photochemical processes that address unsolved problems in synthetic methodology. The final aim is to develop environmentally friendly and innovative catalytic methods that can find widespread use in modern organic synthesis.

Topics addressed

  • Targeting structural and stereochemical complexity by cascade catalysis
  • Asymmetric catalysis of photochemical reactions driven by visible light


“Asymmetric Vinylogous Aldol Reaction via H‑Bond-Directing Dienamine Catalysis”
Org. Lett. (2013), 15, 220–223
D. Bastida, Y. Liu, X. Tian, E. Escudero-Adán, P. Melchiorre

“Synthesis of 9-amino(9-deoxy)epi cinchona alkaloids, general chiral organocatalysts for the stereoselective functionalization of carbonyl compounds”
Nature Protocols (2013), Volume: 8, Pages: 325-344
C. Cassani, R. Martín-Rapún, E. Arceo, F. Bravo, P. Melchiorre

“When Asymmetric Aminocatalysis Meets the Vinylogy Principle”
Chem. Commun.(2013), 49, 4869-4883
I. Jurberg, I. Chaterjee, R. Tannert, P. Melchiorre

“Control of Remote Stereochemistry in the Synthesis of Spirocyclic Oxindoles by Means of Vinylogous Organocascade Catalysis”
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2013), 52, 5360–5363
X. Tian, P. Melchiorre

“Controlling the Molecular Topology of Vinylogous Iminium Ions by Logical Substrate Design: Highly Regio- and Stereoselective Aminocatalytic 1,6-Addition to Linear 2,4-Dienals”
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2013), 52, 10780-10783
M. Silvi, I. Chatterjee, Y. Liu, P. Melchiorre