The chemist Prof. Dr. Peter R. Schreiner from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) has been awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2024 by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The award, which is endowed with 2.5 million euros, is considered the most important German research funding prize and is awarded once a year to outstanding scientists. According to the DFG, Prof Schreiner, holder of the Liebig Chair at JLU and head of the CNTR's “Chemical and Biological Weapons Control” research group at PRIF, received the award “for his outstanding work in physical-organic chemistry, with which he has made groundbreaking contributions to reaction control”. Through his research, he has had a lasting influence on the overlapping areas of organic, physical and theoretical chemistry.
Prof. Schreiner himself emphasized: “The award recognizes and highlights in a special way the many creative moments and the hard work of my colleagues over the last 25 years or so. I am overjoyed to accept this award on behalf of everyone and look forward to what is yet to come.” The prizewinner's work has had a lasting impact on several areas of organic chemistry in recent decades. He was one of the first chemists to recognise the broad potential of thioureas in organocatalysis. The chemist and head of the Institute of Organic Chemistry conducts research in the field of metal-free catalysis, nanodiamonds and quantum mechanical tunnelling to develop and improve sustainable chemical methods at the Centre for Materials Research.
Prof. Schreiner is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. His research work has been recognized and funded many times, for example with the Adolf von Baeyer Medal of the German Chemical Society (2017) and an ERC Advanced Grant (2022). He received one of the highest US prizes for organic chemistry from the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award 2021. Prof. Schreiner has earned an outstanding scientific reputation with almost 500 publications in renowned international journals (including “Science” and “Nature”). After studying chemistry at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and in the USA, the Nuremberg-born scientist completed his doctorate in both organic chemistry (Erlangen, Dr. rer. nat.) and a doctorate in theoretical chemistry (Computational Chemistry, USA, University of Georgia, Athens, Doctor of Philosophy).
The aim of the DFG's Leibniz Program, which was established in 1985, is to improve the working conditions of outstanding researchers, expand their research opportunities, relieve them of administrative workloads and make it easier for them to employ particularly qualified younger researchers. The decision on the award winners is made by the DFG's Joint Committee on the basis of a recommendation from the Nomination Committee for the Leibniz Programme. The prize money is to be used by the Leibniz Prize winners within seven years for specific projects, including the promotion of young researchers.
More information on the award and prizewinner's work can be found on the website of the JLU Giessen.