Stefan Matile  


stefanStefan Matile is a Full Professor in the Department of Organic Chemistry at the University of Geneva, a founding member of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Chemical Biology and a founding member of the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering. He currently holds a CH-ERC Advanced Grant (2022) and an SNSF Excellence Grant (2021, by invitation). In 2010, he became an ERC Advanced Investigator, in 2017 an SNSF Level-1 Investigator. He is the co-author of more than 360 publications, many in top society-based journals (65 JACS/Au, etc), and has delivered over 300 lectures all over the world. About half of the more than 120 junior researchers he has trained so far (PhD, postdoc) are now active in academia (China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Spain, South Korea, USA, etc); others preferred a career in industry (Firmenich, Roche, Novartis, Nestle, Siegfried, DuPont, Bachem, BASF, JT, etc), or elsewhere. Educated at the University of Zurich (PhD, with Wolf Woggon) and Columbia University in New York (postdoc, with Koji Nakanishi), he started his independent academic career as an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, Washington DC, before moving to Geneva

Web of Science ResearcherID AFL-7826-2022

Video Portrait (UGe, on the occasion of SNSF-ERC Advanced Grant, 2022)

Research Interests  

Translational supramolecular chemistry, at the interface of synthetic organic chemistry, chemical biology and materials chemistry. Recent highlights are the discovery of mechanosensitive probes to image physical forces in biology (fluorescent flippers), catalysis with anion-π interactions, chalcogen and pnictogen bonds, and dynamic covalent exchange cascades to enter into cells and hinder viruses to do the same.

Recent Key Publications  

Chen, X.-X.; Bayard, F.; Gonzalez-Sanchis, N.; Pamungkas, K. K. P.; Sakai, N.; Matile, S. “Fluorescent Flippers: Small-Molecule Probes to Image Membrane Tension in Living Systems,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023, 62, ‍e202217868 (account introducing this topic).

Laurent, Q.; Martinent, R.; Lim, B.; Pham, A.-T.; Kato, T.; López-Andarias, J.; Sakai, N.; Matile, S. “Thiol-Mediated Uptake,” JACS Au 2021, 1, ‍710–728 (account introducing this topic).

Zhao, Y.; Cotelle, Y.; Liu, L.; López-Andarias, J.; Bornhof, A.-B.; Akamatsu, M.; Sakai, N.; Matile, S. “The Emergence of Anion-π Catalysis,” Acc. Chem. Res. 2018, 51, ‍2255–2263 (account introducing this topic).

Humeniuk, H. V.; Gini, A.; Hao, X.; Coelho, F.; Sakai, N.; Matile, S. “Pnictogen-Bonding Catalysis and Transport Combined: Polyether Cation Transporters Made in Situ,” JACS Au 2021, 1, 1588–1593.

López-Andarias, J.; Eblighatian, K.; Pasquer, Q. T. L.; Assies, L.; Sakai, N.; Hoogendoorn, S.; Matile, S. “Photocleavable Fluorescent Membrane Tension Probes: Fast Release with Spatiotemporal Control in Inner Leaflets of Plasma Membrane, Nuclear Envelope, and Secretory Pathway,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202113163.

Shybeka, I.; Maynard, J. R. J.; Saidjalolov, S.; Moreau, D.; Sakai, N.; Matile, S. “Dynamic Covalent Michael Acceptors to Penetrate Cells: Thiol-Mediated Uptake with Tetrel-Centered Exchange Cascades, Assisted by Halogen-Bonding Switches,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202213433.

Laurent, Q.; Martinent, R.; Moreau, D.; Winssinger, N.; Sakai, N.; Matile, S. “Phosphorothioate Oligonucleotides Enter Cells by Thiol-Mediated Uptake,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, ‍19102–19106.