Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung
Alois Fürstner is a native of Austria, where he obtained his doctoral degree in 1987 from the Technical University of Graz. After a postdoctoral stint with the late Prof. Oppolzer in Geneva, Switzerland, and a Habilitation in Graz, he joined the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (1993), Germany, where he was promoted to the rank of Director in 1998. From 2009-2011 he served as the Managing Director of this Institute, a duty that he resumes in 2016.
His research interests focus on organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis, including applications to the total synthesis of structurally complex and biologically significant natural products. Topics of particular interest comprise the metathesis of alkenes and alkynes, the development and use of carbophilic Lewis acids based on platinum and gold, as well mechanistic and synthetic studies in the field of iron catalysis. More recently, this portfolio is complemented by studies into mechanistically unorthodox trans-addition reactions to alkynes. These methods opened concise and flexible entries into many bioactive natural products.