These are the 'Group Leader' and 'Young Researcher 2023' categories, which recognize the work of this researcher who leads the Sustainable Organic Chemistry Group, focused on developing simplified methods to access important and functional molecules in significant quantities and in a more efficient way
The researcher at the Institute of Molecular Science (ICMol), located in the scientific area of the Science Park of the University of Valencia, Abraham Mendoza Valderrey, has won two awards, as a young researcher, granted by the Royal Spanish Society of Chemistry (RSEQ), in the category of 'Group Leader', and the pharmaceutical company Lilly, together with the RSEQ, in the category of 'Young Researcher 2023', which distinguishes excellence in the careers of young Spanish scientists under 40 years of age.
The Lilly/RSEQ 'Young Investigator' 2023 award recognizes Mendoza's work aimed at improving the sustainability of organic synthesis and limiting the impact on the environment by reducing the number of chemical reactions required to obtain complex molecules. One of his most notable successes corresponds to the development of a new reagent, called NHPI-DA, a modular carbon source that allows significantly shorter synthetic sequences to be used. "With this new technology we not only use fewer natural resources and reduce the human teams involved, but also accelerate the process of developing new medical treatments, which have already been transferred to private sector R&D," explains the ICMol researcher, whose outstanding work as head of a research team has also been recognized with the 'Group Leader' award, in the framework of the RSEQ's 'young researchers' category.
The development of the new NHPI-DA reagent, a modular carbon source that allows the use of shorter synthetic sequences, means using fewer natural resources, reducing human teams and speeding up the development process of new medical treatments, which have already been transferred to private sector R&D
With a degree in Chemistry from the University of Oviedo, Mendoza began his career at this institution. After graduating, he obtained a master's degree and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Enrique Moles University Institute of Organometallic Chemistry. After completing this stage, he moved to California (USA), where he spent two years researching the synthesis of antitumor products at The Scripps Research Institute.
His passion for organic chemistry and catalysis prompted him to further develop his career at the University of Cambridge (UK), and in 2013 he started leading his own research team at Stockholm University (Sweden), where he had funding for his group from the Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation -the largest philanthropic institution supporting science in Sweden-, the Swedish Research Council and the European Research Council (ERC) through its Starting Grant program.
The award ceremonies will take place during the Biennial Chemistry Meeting and the RSEQ Young Researchers Symposium in June and November, respectively
In 2022 he returned to Spain and joined ICMol with the support of the Generalitat Valenciana through its CIDEGENT scientific program of excellence for senior group leaders. At the institute he leads the Sustainable Organic Chemistry Group, focused on "developing simplified methods to access important and functional molecules in significant quantities and in a more efficient way," Mendoza says.
In the 22 previous editions of these awards, there is little precedent for the same scientist to receive both the RSEQ group leader and Lilly young researcher awards in the same year. The award ceremonies will take place during the Biennial Chemistry Meeting and the RSEQ Young Researchers Symposium in June and November, respectively.