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Prof. Dr.

François Diederich

Year of election: 1998
Section: Chemistry
City: Zurich
Country: Switzerland
CV Francois Diederich - PDF (English)


François Diederich is an expert in chemical and biological molecular recognition.

In a multi-dimensional approach, his research group deciphers and quantifies weak intermolecular interactions such as aromatic-aromatic and dipolar interactions. The gained insight benefits the structure-based development of nonpeptidic enzyme inhibitors that is pursued in his group, in particular targeting new therapeutic leads against tropical diseases.

Another focus of his research are supramolecular nanosystems, such as switchable receptors, and nano-structured surfaces with guest-hosting properties. François Diederich is a leading scientist in carbon-rich materials, such as fullerenes and acetylenic networks. His work is highly synthesis-driven and characterized by a blend of advanced physical-organic analysis, involving numerous international collaborations.


  • 1992 Professor of Organic Chemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) Zürich
  • 1989-1992 Professor of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry, University of California, USA
  • 1987-1989 Associate Professor, University of California, USA
  • 1985-1987 Acting Associate Professor, University of California, USA
  • 1981-1985 Habilitation, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1981-1985 Research Associate, Max Planck Institute for medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1979-1981 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, USA, Otto Hahn Medal, MPG
  • 1979 Postdoc, Max Planck Institute for medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1977-1979 Ph.D., University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1977-1979 Ph.D., Max Planck Institute for medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1976-1977 Scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service
  • 1971-1977 Studies of Chemistry, University of Heidelberg, Germany


  • 2006-2010 PRAIRIES, Marie Curie Research Training Network in FP6
  • 2001-2013 Nanoscale Science Center, Basel, Member and Module Co-leader


  • since 2011 Member of the Strategy Board, Hamburg School of Food Science, Germany
  • since 2011 Deputy Chairman, Kuratorium of the Fonds of the Chemical Industry, Germany
  • since 2011 International Committee on Scientific and Strategic Orientation (COSS), Collège de France
  • 2011-2012 Vice President, GDCh
  • since 2009 GDCh Commission “Perspektiven der Chemie”
  • since 2008 Member of the Conseil Supérieur de Recherche et d’Innovation (CSRI) Government of Luxembourg         
  • since 2008 German Research Board of the Control Group “Pilotstudie Forschungsrating”
  • since 2009 Member of the Komitee August Wilhelm von Hofmann Commemorative Coin
  • 2008-2015 Member of the Board, GDCh
  • 2005-2007 Chairman of the Vorsitzender der Valuation Group “Chemie für das Forschungsrating des Deutschen Wissenschaftsrates“
  • since 2004 Research Board, Kuratorium of the Fonds of the Chemical Industry, Germany
  • since 2002 Conseil Scientifique, ISIS, Strasbourg, France
  • 1998-2008 Member of the Roche Research Foundation Board
  • 1998-2003 Member of the Kuratorium of the Fonds of the Chemical Industry, Germany
  • 1998-2006 Member of the Award Kommittee, Bayer und Fischer Medals
  • 1994-2001 Chairman of the New Swiss Chemical Society
  • 1994-2000 Member of the Conseil Scientifique, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
  • 1994-2000 Commission member for Further Education, GDCh
  • 1994-1998 Chairman of the Foundation for Scholarships in the field of Chemistry, Basel, Switzerland
  • 1994-1996 Research Board Member of the  Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1992-1994 Member of the New Swiss Chemical Society
  • 1991-1993 Chairman NATO Science Committee on Supramolecular Chemistry   

Honours and Memberships

  • 2012 US National Academy of Sciences, Foreign Associate
  • 2012 Honorary Doctoral Degree; Technion, Israel
  • 2011 Adolf von Baeyer Commemorative Coin, Germany
  • 2011 Honorary Membership of the Israel Chemical Society
  • 2007 ACS Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry
  • 2007 Inhoffen Medal, University of Braunschweig, Germany
  • 2006 August Wilhelm von Hofmann Commemorative Coin, Germany
  • 2005 Humbolt Research Award
  • 2005 Officier, Ordre du mérite, Grand-Duché du Luxembourg
  • 2005 Real Academia de Ciencias, Exactas, Fisicas y Naturales, Spain; Foreign Member
  • 2002 Member of the The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Germany
  • 2000 Janssen Prize for Creativity in Synthesis
  • 2000 Havinga Medal, University of Leiden, Germany
  • 1999 Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 1998 Member of the German Academy of Science
  • 1995 Sammet Foundation Guest Professorsip, University of Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1994 August Wilhelm von Hofmann Lecture, Germany
  • 1993 Otto Bayer Award in Chemistry
  • 1992 ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award
  • 1990 McCoy Research Award, UCLA
  • 1990 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 1989 Glen T. Seaborg Research Award, UCLA
  • 1987-1991 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
  • 1986 Merck Sharp & Dohme Career Development Award
  • 1986 Dupont Young Faculty Award, UCLA
  • 1979 Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society




Emil-Abderhalden-Str. 35
06108 Halle (Saale)

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 122
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 139
E-Mail archiv @leopoldina.org

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