Horst Pracejus Prize for Oliver Trapp

Horst Pracejus Prize for Oliver Trapp

Author: ChemistryViews

Oliver Trapp, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Germany, has received the Horst Pracejus Prize 2023 from the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society). The prize, which is endowed with EUR 7,500, recognizes outstanding work in the fields of enantioselectivity or chirality. The award was presented at the Chemiedozententagung 2023 on March 13, 2023. 

Oliver Trapp is honored for his fundamental contributions to self-amplification in asymmetric catalysis, to enantioselective autocatalysis, and to the determination of absolute configuration by direct methods. With his development of the first self-reinforcing asymmetric reactions and the elucidation of the mechanism of asymmetric autocatalysis, he showed for the first time that such chemical processes are a general phenomenon and can even be designed rationally. He identified generic principles of autocatalysis and made its enormous potential accessible both conceptually and experimentally.


Career and Research

Oliver Trapp was born in 1973 and studied chemistry at the University of Tübingen, Germany, where he completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2001. After a postdoctoral stay at Stanford University, CA, USA, from 2002 to 2004 and time as an Emmy Noether Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, from 2004 to 2008, he completed his habilitation at the Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany. In 2008, he moved to the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where he served as Professor of Organic Chemistry. Since 2016, he has served as Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.  In 2010, Trapp founded the company Trapp ChemTech, which develops software tools for data processing and data management in chemical, pharmaceutical, and environmental analysis.

Among many other awards, Oliver Trapp has received the ADUC-Prize of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) for the Best Habilitation Thesis, the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Award of the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the Innovation Award of the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Innovations, Germany, all in 2008.

Oliver Trapp’s research interests include the design and synthesis of self-amplifying enantioselective catalysts, as well as stereochemically flexible ligands and catalysts, prebiotic chemistry, the high-throughput screening of catalysts, the high-throughput determination of kinetic and thermodynamic parameters of catalyzed reactions, the development of multiplexing techniques for the high-throughput analysis of catalytic reactions, the development of on-column reaction chromatography and electrophoresis, (noble metal) nanoparticles for catalysis, and enantioselective dynamic chromatography and electrophoresis and development of tools for kinetic evaluations of dynamic profiles.

Selected Publications



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