Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science

Advanced Organic Synthesis Research Team

Team Leader: Laurean Ilies (Ph.D.)
Laurean  Ilies(Ph.D.)

Our team aims at the development of “next generation synthesis” and its utilization for the creation of functional organic molecules. Our vision of “next generation synthesis” is inspired by the highly efficient reactions the Nature uses: direct and highly selective coupling of organic molecules without prefunctionalization with reactive groups. We envision that by precise design of ligands, efficient and selective catalysts enable the rapid assembly of complex functional molecules from simple building blocks. Also, we are particularly interested in the development of sustainable catalysis based on Earth-abundant metals such as manganese, iron, cobalt, copper, etc.

Main Research Field


Related Research Fields

Complex systems / Engineering


  • Organic synthesis
  • Earth abundant metal catalysis
  • Functional materials
  • C-H bond activation

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. *Zhou, B., Sato, H., Ilies, L., and Nakamura, E.
    “Iron Catalyzed Remote Arylation of Aliphatic C-H Bond via 1,5-Hydrogen Shift”
    ACS Catal., 8, 8 (2018).
  2. *Ilies, L., Isomura, M.; Yamauchi, S., Nakamura, T., and Nakamura E.
    “Indole Synthesis via Cyclative Formation of 2,3-Dizincioindoles and Regioselective Electrophilic Trapping”
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 23 (2017).
  3. *Yoshida, T., Ilies, L., and Nakamura, E.
    “Iron-Catalyzed Borylation of Aryl Chlorides in the Presence of Potassium t-Butoxide”
    ACS Catal., 7, 3199 (2017).
  4. *Shang, R., Ilies, L., and Nakamura, E.
    “Iron-Catalyzed ortho C–H Functionalization of Aromatics Bearing a Simple Carbonyl Group with Methylaluminum and Tridentate Phosphine Ligand”
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138, 10132 (2016).
  5. *Shang, R., Ilies, L., Asako, S., and Nakamura, E.
    “Iron-Catalyzed C(sp2)–H Bond Functionalization with Organoboron Compounds”
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 136, 14349 (2014).
  6. *Ilies, L., Matsubara, T., Ichikawa, S., Asako, S., Nakamura E.
    “Iron-Catalyzed Directed Alkylation of Aromatic and Olefinic Carboxamides with Primary and Secondary Alkyl Tosylates, Mesylates, and Halides”
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 136, 13126 (2014)
  7. *Matsubara, T., Asako S., Ilies, L., and Nakamura, E.
    “Synthesis of Anthranilic Acid Derivatives through Iron-Catalyzed Ortho Amination of Aromatic Carboxamides with N-Chloroamines”
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 136, 646 (2014).
  8. *Chen, Q., Ilies, L., and Nakamura, E.
    “Cobalt-Catalyzed ortho-Alkylation of Secondary Benzamide with Alkyl Chloride through Directed C–H Bond Activation”
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 133, 428 (2011).