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Starting 1 July 2024, Bas de Bruin will be the new scientific director of the University of Amsterdam's Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences. De Bruin, Professor of Bio-inspired Sustainable Catalysis, succeeds Wybren Jan Buma, Professor of Molecular Spectroscopy. The appointment is for a period of four years.
Prof. Bas de Bruin. Image: FNWI.

In the coming years, Bas de Bruin is committed to promoting interesting and relevant molecular research within a financially healthy, socially secure and future-proof institute. He thanks his predecessor Wybren Jan Buma, who has overseen a number of important issues in recent years, such as the self-evaluation according to the protocol of VNSU, KNAW and NWO, and the appointment of a new institute manager.

The Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences conducts both curiosity-driven and application-driven research to find answers to current challenges in society and industry. It focuses on the general topics of complex systems, sustainability and biomolecular systems. The mission of the internationally renowned institute is to contribute to ground-breaking molecular science and provide high-quality education and training to the new generation of chemists.

De Bruin realises that solutions to current problems often require focused collaboration between multiple (sub)disciplines. "However, to me such collaboration cannot be an end in itself. It does offer unique opportunities for new research, education and valorisation. But we have to realise that successful multidisciplinary research builds on the expertise and quality of the collaborating mono-disciplines. I will therefore also work to ensure that high-quality monodisciplinary chemistry research continues to receive sufficient attention in the coming period."

Bas de Bruin studied Chemistry at Radboud University Nijmegen, where he obtained his master's degree in 1994 and his PhD in 1999. He then became an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Bio-Inorganic Chemistry in Mülheim a/d Ruhr (Germany). In 2000, he was appointed as Assistant Professor at Radboud University Nijmegen. In 2005, he moved to the University of Amsterdam (UvA) where he became Associate Professor in 2008 and Full Professor of Bio-Inspired Sustainable Catalysis in 2013. In 2008, Bas de Bruin obtained an ERC Starting Grant and in 2012 an NWO VICI grant.In 2015 he was elected Teacher of the Year by the UvA students. His current research focus is on the development of new tools in homogeneous catalysis, using metals in unconventional oxidation states and unconventional ligands, specifically aiming at the development of new catalytic reactions. In recognition of his scientific work, Chemistry Europe appointed Bas de Bruin as Fellow in 2020.

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