Deutsch Intern
Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy

New Strategies for Sustainable Organic Synthesis


Joanna Wencel-Delord has been appointed to a W2 professorship for Organic Chemistry. Remarkably, she left the highly prestigious Université de Strasbourg, where she already had been a CNRS research director, to join the Institute of Organic Chemistry at JMU.

Prof. Dr. Joanna Wencel-Delord (Photo: private)
Prof. Dr. Joanna Wencel-Delord (Photo: private)

Joanna Wencel-Delord was born in Poland. She did her undergraduate and graduate studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes and the University of Rennes (France), followed by PhD studies with Christophe Crévisy and Marc Mauduit. She then decided to join the group of Frank Glorius at the University of Münster for a postdoctoral stay. There she worked on transition metal-catalyzed C-H activation and the development of rhodium-catalyzed dehydrogenative arylation and halogenation reactions.

Becoming an Expert in C-H Activation

In 2012, after her very successful postdoctoral stay in Germany, she got the chance to go back to France and bring the C-H activation topic to the highly prestigious Université de Strasbourg where she joined the group of Philippe Compain as a temporary assistant professor. Soon after, in 2013, she joined the SynCat team of Prof. Françoise Colobert as an associate researcher at CNRS (Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique).

Joanna Wencel-Delord rapidly became an expert in C-H-activation herself, developing new methodologies and raising great interest in her research by students and by the international scientific community. Publications in top journals, exceptionally successful acquisition of research funding, and several awards and distinctions finally resulted in becoming the leader of the SynCat team and a CNRS director in 2021. Being a mother of four children she undoubtedly is a role model for female students and junior scientists, too.

At the Heart of Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Currently, her research focuses on the development of new methodologies for modern and sustainable organic synthesis. Not surprisingly, she is still strongly interested in transformations implying the activation of latent C-H bonds using both, organometallic chemistry, and metal-free approaches. In parallel, her group is exploring the chemistry of rare hypervalent compounds. A special focus is also put on the asymmetric synthesis of valuable chiral molecules for potential applications in medicinal chemistry and material science.
The University of Würzburg is providing excellent facilities for all these research projects, with plenty of lab space, modern equipment, and great possibilities for research collaborations. Also, students which a strong interest in synthetic organic chemistry will be happy attending her lectures and working in her lab.

Welcome Joanna and all the best wishes! We look forward to more exciting scientific contributions!


Prof. Dr. Joanna Wencel-Delord, Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Würzburg,

By C. Stadler