The 14th Hirata Award Winner

Prof. Rubén Martín


Professor Rubén Martín selected as the winner of the Hirata Award,

a Japanese Award in organic chemistry


Professor Rubén Martín of the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) in Spain has been selected to receive the 14th Hirata Award on October 4, 2018 at Nagoya University in Japan. The Hirata Award is an international award presented each year to a rising star in the field of organic chemistry. Professor Martín receives the award in recognition of his research contribution to the “discovery and development of synthetically useful organometallic methodologies”.


Originally established as the Hirata Memorial Lecture, the award was established in memory of the great achievements of the late Dr. Yoshimasa Hirata, Honorary Professor of Nagoya University. Dr. Hirata is known for the discovery of many natural products, including tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin found in puffer fish, and has contributed greatly to the advancement of natural product chemistry. He has also been the supervisor of many prestigious organic chemists, such as Nagoya University’s University Professors: Dr. Osamu Shimomura (2008 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry), Dr. Koji Nakanishi (Colombia University), and Dr. Yoshito Kishi (Harvard University). Throughout the years, the Hirata Memorial Lecture has invited many distinguished young chemists and has grown to become an internationally recognized honor in organic chemistry. From 2015, the Lecture has changed its name to the Hirata Award, and is being organized by the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University.


Previous winners of the award are: Professors Justin Dubois (2004), David R. Liu (2005), Phil S. Baran (2006), Peter H. Seeberger (2007), Scott J. Miller (2008), Jeffrey W. Bode (2009), Jin-Quan Yu (2010), Mohammad Movassaghi (2011), Tobias Ritter (2012), Martin D. Burke (2013), Ashraf Brik (2015), Emily Balskus (2016), and David A. Nicewicz (2017).


The Hirata Award Committee is pleased to present the award to Professor Martín, and acknowledges his research on the development of new catalytic methods for the synthesis of relevant molecules through the activation of inert entities, such as carbon dioxide and C–H, C–C or C–O bonds. The catalytic methodologies developed by Professor Martín are highly desirable, as traditional methods require stoichiometric amounts of metal complexes or harsh conditions. Furthermore, Professor Martín likes to provide insight into the mechanism of these metal-catalyzed reactions, which will be relevant for devising applications of his chemistry.


Having started his independent career in 2008, Professor Martín has already been rewarded with highly recognized awards including the 2010 RSEQ Young Investigator Award, 2011 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, Eli Lilly Young Research Investigator Award 2011, 2015 RSEQ Excellent Research Award, 2017 OMCOS Award. More recently, he has received the 2018 Bristol-Myers-Squibb Lectureship and the 2019 Novartis Chemistry Lectureship Award.


The award lecture and ceremony are scheduled to take place on October 4, 2018 at the Noyori Conference Hall in Nagoya University.


Hirata Award Committee Members:

Daisuke Uemura (Chair), Takashi Ooi, Shigehiro Yamaguchi, Jeffrey W. Bode, Cathleen M. Crudden, Kenichiro Itami