Joseph Moran

Joseph Moran is a Professor at the Institut de Science et d’Ingénierie Supramoléculaires of the University of Strasbourg & CNRS. After completing his Ph.D. studies in organic chemistry (Prof. André Beauchemin, Ottawa), he took postdoctoral positions to learn chemical biology (Prof. John Pezacki, NRC Canada) and transition metal catalysis (Prof. Michael Krische, Texas). He moved to France as an assistant professor in 2012. Since winning the Guy Ourisson Prize in 2017, he was promoted to full professor in 2018 and the same year was selected as one of C&EN’s Talented 12. His research interests include prebiotic systems chemistry, supramolecular catalysis, and the use of vibrational strong coupling in organic chemistry.

Recent Awards and Honours

  • C&EN Talented 12 (2018)
  • Jean Normant Prize for Assistant Professors, SCF (2018)
  • Guy Ourisson Prize, Cercle Gutenberg (2017)
  • RC Starting Grant (September 2015-August 2020)

Recent Key Publications

  • Preiner, M.; Igarashi, K.; Muchowska, K. B.; Yu, M.; Varma, S. J.; Kleinermanns, K.; Nobu, M. K.; Kamagata, Y.; Tüysüz, H.*; Moran, J.* Martin, W. F.* “A hydrogen dependent geochemical analogue of primordial carbon and energy metabolism” Nature Ecol. Evol. 2020, 4, 534-542
  • Muchowska, K. B.; Varma, S. J.; Moran, J.* “Synthesis and breakdown of universal metabolic precursors promoted by iron” Nature 2019, 569, 104.
  • Thomas, A.; Lethuillier-Karl, L.; Nagarajan, K.; Vergauwe, R. M. A.; George, J.; Chervy, T.; Shalabney, A.; Devaux, E.; Genet, C.; Moran, J.*; Ebbesen, T. W.* “Tilting a Ground State Reactivity Landscape by Vibrational Strong Coupling“ Science 2019, 363, 615-619.
  • Chatelain, P.; Sau, A.; Rowley, C. N.; Moran, J.* “Suzuki−Miyaura Coupling of (Hetero)Aryl Sulfones: Complementary Reactivity Enables Iterative Polyaryl Synthesis” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 14959-14963.
  • Varma, S. J.; Muchowska, K. B.; Chatelain, P.; Moran, J.* “Native iron reduces CO2 to intermediates and end-products of the acetyl CoA pathway” Nature Ecol. Evol. 2018, 2, 1019-1024.
  • Muchowska, K. B.; Varma, S. J.; Chevallot-Beroux, E.; Lethuillier-Karl, L.; Li, G.; Moran, J.* “Metals promote sequences of the reverse Krebs cycle” Nature Ecol. Evol. 2017, 1, 1716-1721.
  • Vukovi?, V. D.; Richmond, E.; Wolf, E.; Moran, J.* “Catalytic Friedel-Crafts Reactions of Highly Electronically Deactivated Benzylic Alcohols” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 3085-3089.


Selected Media

  •  “Joseph Moran – Searching for the Origins of Life” Today’s Science, April 2020 (pdf)
  • “Earth’s first life may have fuelled itself with a metal metabolism” New Scientist, April 16, 2020 (pdf)
  • “Was this life’s first meal?” Science Magazine, March 2, 2020
  • “Iron can catalyze metabolic reactions alone” C&EN, May 6, 2019 (pdf)
  • “Mirrors in the dark enable chemical control” Chemistry World, February 8, 2019 (pdf)
  • “Who Will Win the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry” C&EN Online, September 28, 2018
  • “Talented 12 – Joseph Moran” C&EN, August 13, 2018 (pdf)
  • « La science est aussi créative que l’art », September 30, 201