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RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science Advanced Organic Synthesis Research Team

Team Leader: Laurean Ilies (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

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 Fields

  • Chemistry

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. B. Ramadoss, Y. Jin, S. Asako, L. Ilies,
    "Remote steric control for undirected /meta/-selective C–H activation of arenes"
    Science2022, 375, 658–663
  • 2. O. Kuleshova, S. Asako, L. Ilies,
    "Ligand-Enabled, Iridium-Catalyzed /ortho/-Borylation of Fluoroarenes"
    ACS Catal.2021, 11, 5968–5973.
  • 3. S. Asako, I. Takahashi, T. Kurogi, Y. Murakami, L. Ilies, K. Takai,
    "Birch Reduction of Arenes Using Sodium Dispersion and DMI under Mild Conditions"
    Chem. Lett.2021, 51, 38–40.
  • 4. S. Asako, I. Takahashi, H. Nakajima, L. Ilies, K. Takai,
    "Halogen–Sodium Exchange Enables Efficient Access to Organosodium Compounds"
    Commun. Chem. 2021, 4, 76.
  • 5. P. B. De, S. Asako, L. Ilies, Recent Advances in the Use of Sodium Dispersion for Organic Synthesis" (review)
    Synthesis2021, 53, 3180–3192.
  • 6. *T. Doba, L. Ilies, W. Sato, R. Shang, E. Nakamura,
    "Iron-Catalysed Regioselective Thienyl C–H/C–H Coupling"
    Nat. Catal.2021, 4, 631–638.
  • 7. L. Ilies,
    "C–H Activation Catalyzed by Earth-Abundant Metals" (account) Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn. 2021, 94, 404–417.
  • 8. S. Asako,* L. Ilies,*
    "Olefin Synthesis by Deoxygenative Coupling of Carbonyl Compounds: From Stoichiometric to Catalytic" (highlight review)
    Chem. Lett.2020, 49, 1386-1393.

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Laurean Ilies
Team Leader

Core members

Sobi Asako
Senior Scientist
Yuichiro Mutoh
Senior Scientist
Ikko Takahashi
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Pinaki Bhusan De
Postdoctoral Researcher
Akash Tathe
Postdoctoral Researcher
Justin Steven Lamb
Postdoctoral Researcher

Contact Information

Bioscience Building, 2F, room N211,
2-1 Hirosawa,
Wako, Saitama
351-0198, Japan

Email: laurean.ilies [at] riken.jp