Mark Lautens

Mark Lautens, University Professor, is the leading organic chemist of his generation in Canada and one of the top people in his field worldwide. His specialty is to develop ways to streamline the synthesis of medicinal agents using catalysts and reduce the environmental impact during their manufacture. He has worked closely with industry, in particular the pharmaceutical industry. He was awarded an Industrial Research Chair {IRC) with Merck and NSERC (2003-2013) and has recently been appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of Alphora Inc. a CRO based in Mississauga that has recently grown to become an international player in making Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APl's).

Lautens has trained an exceptionally large number of highly qualified researchers who have moved on to positions in the pharmaceutical industry and in academia. More than 125 of his former group members (MSc, PhD, and PDFs) work in industry in Canada, in the USA, in Europe, and in Asia. Twenty seven (27) of his former coworkers now hold positions in academia including 9 in Canada, 2 in the USA, 6 in France, 2 in Germany, 2 in Hong Kong, 3 in China, and 3 in Japan.

Lautens has published 345 papers which have been cited a total of 21,000 times (11,000 in the past 5 years). He has lectured 385 times at conferences, universities and to industry around the world (19 countries). He has also taught short courses in Europe, Asia, and to industry. He is a Board member of the SSPC Ireland, OM COS and OM&Cat, three international groups promoting catalysis and pharmaceutical research.

Mark Lautens has served diverse roles within the University of Toronto including most recently his appointment to the Governing Council. Prior to this appointment he was Associate Chair Research, he served on the Connaught Committee as well as Dean of the A&S Search Committee (2x) and the Architect Selection and Design and Implementation Committee for the Davenport Building. He spearheaded a large CFI grant for the renewal of essential equipment for the Chemistry Department. He was Chair or member of every search committee during the growth of the organic chemistry group within the Department of Chemistry. He is currently the Technical Program Chair of the lOOth Canadian Chemistry Conference to be held in Toronto in May/June 2017.

As a consequence of his exceptional accomplishments, he has been widely recognized both nationally and internationally. Some of his recent honours include being appointed as Officer of the Order of Canada (2014), Doctor of Science, honoris causa, University of Guelph (2016), Faculty Award, University of Toronto (2016), Killam Fellowship {2012), Humboldt Awardee (2009), CIC Medal (2013) and Catalysis Award {2016). He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 2001. He had been identified early in his career as a rising star with a Sloan Fellowship, Steacie Fellowship, Cope Award, and numerous CSC Awards (Bader, Lemieux, Merck Frosst).

Mark Lautens runs a large research group (18-22) consisting of undergraduates, visiting undergraduate and graduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting professors. Approximately half his group is successful at obtaining fellowships and 75-80% of his postdoctoral fellows secure funding from their home country.

Lautens' research program has three main pillars all with the goal of improving efficiency in organic synthesis applied to medicinal agents. He seeks to discover novel chemical reactions or devise strategies that reduce the number of steps, reduce waste, and simplify the preparation of the target molecules. Among the areas where he has made seminal studies are C-H activation of aromatic molecules, isomerization reactions, and multicatalyst reactions that mimic the selectivity of Nature. All his studies rely on metal catalysts to promote chemical reactions under milder conditions.