Group Leader stories

New Group Leader on board

Alexandr Shafir joined ICIQ after being selected throught the ICIQ Starting Career Programme, a new programme launched in 2013 with the aim to attract new talent and help young researchers (post-doc level) to start their independent careers.

He plans to develop a research line in on-target olefin oligomerization, exemplified by the synthesis of 1-hexene from ethylene. Processes of this type are expected to gain importance, with α-olefins already constituting one of the most important commodity chemicals worldwide. The new group will study the ability of certain Cr and Ti catalyst classes to switch from the classical olefin polymerization to selective oligomerization.

Alexandr Shafir was born in Kharkov, Ukraine (USSR at the time). He got his PhD from the UC Berkeley followed by a postdoctoral stay with Prof. S. L. Buchwald (MIT). In 2007, Alex was awarded a Ramón y Cajal scholarship to work at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (with R. Pleixats and A. Vallribera) where he has been up until now.

Ruben Martin, new ICREA Professor

Rubén Martín was appointed ICREA Research Professor.  ICREA (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) is a foundation supported by the Generalitat de Catalunya which aims to recruit top scientists for the Catalan R&D system.

Martín’s research focuses on the activation of relatively inert molecules and chemical bonds. During his time at ICIQ, he has received the 2010 RSEQ Young Investigator Award, the 2011 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, the Eli Lilly Young Research Investigator Award 2011 and the JSP Fellowship 47th Bürgenstock Conference 2012.

In 2011 he received an ERC Starting Grant awarded by the European Research Council.