The development of a “green”, environment-friendly, organocatalytic (metal-free) photochemical organic transformation for the synthesis of ketones from the reaction between aldehydes and unactivated olefins was reported by the group of Assistant Professor Christoforos Kokotos. The publication entitled: «Green Metal-Free Photochemical Hydroacylation of Unactivated Olefins», which was carried out by PhD candidate Errika Voutyritsa and Assistant Professor Christoforos Kokotos in the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry of the Department of Chemistry of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, was published in the highly ranked international journal Angewandte Chemie. Angewandte Chemie, a journal of the Wiley publishing house, constitutes a top international journal in Chemistry with a high impact factor (12.24). Publication Link:

The methodology describes a novel organic reaction that employs a small organic molecule (phenylglyoxylic acid) as the photoinitiator, water as the solvent and is carried out under very mild conditions by irradiation employing either household lamps or sunlight. The reaction constitutes a novel C-H activation methodology that does not require metal catalysts or directing groups and can be employed in a plethora of subtrates. The reaction and its products are of high importance for the Chemical Industry and especially the Pharmaceutical Industry. Key role in the success of the work was the study of the reaction mechanism in detail. This new synthetic methodology is expected to open new avenues in Organic Synthetic Chemistry and will find applications in the synthesis of high added value chemicals and pharmaceuticals, as well as in the synthesis of natural products.

European Commission’s Innovation Radar Prize 2019 was awarded to a research project in which participates a research group from the Department of Chemistry of NKUA

The Innovation Radar is a European Commission initiative, which identifies high-potential innovations in EU-funded research and innovation projects. 36 of the best EU-funded innovators were identified to compete in four categories for the Innovation Radar Prize 2019.

The project LUMIBLAST: A paradigm shift in cancer therapy – using mitochondria-powered chemiluminescence to non-invasively treat inaccessible tumours, won the first prize in the category “Innovative Science 2019”.

LUMIBLAST aims at the development of a groundbreaking therapy, which will treat, in a non-invasive manner, difficult to reach tumors, such as glioblastoma multiforme (brain cancer). This therapeutic approach will use the energy produced from the mitochondria of the cancer cells to enable their self-fueled destruction. The goal of the NKUA research team is to design and synthesize the innovative molecules which will enable this therapy.

Besides the research team of the Department of Chemistry of NKUA, with Principal Investigator Assistant Professor Georgios C. Vougioukalakis, the other LUMIBLAST research groups come from Oslo University Hospital (PI: Prof. K. Berg), Universitat Politècnica de València (PI: Prof. M. Miranda), University of Oslo – School of Pharmacy (PI: Prof. H. H. Tønnesen) and Knight Scientific Limited from UK (PI: Dr. J. Knight). The LUMIBLAST concept has been submitted for intellectual property protection, in a patent application with co-inventors researchers from NKUA, Oslo University Hospital, and Universitat Politècnica de València.

For more information on LUMIBLAST, refer to the project’s webpage and the webpage of the research group of Assistant Professor Georgios C. Vougioukalakis

Skip to content