About Institute

The Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IOC PAS) was established in 1964, when the Department of Organic Synthesis of the Polish Academy of Sciences was advanced to the rank of a Research Institute.

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Synthesis – Catalysts – AI

The Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IOC PAS) is a research unit of category A+ according to the parameterization of the Ministry of Education and Science. According to the national rankings the IOC PAS, is first in the category of scientific institutes conducting research in the field of organic chemistry and second in the category of research on chemistry. In 2022 in the international ranking of the quality of scientific institutions, SCImago Institutions Rankings (SIR), the IOC PAS took first place in terms of innovation among scientific institutions in Poland and twelfth in the overall SIR ranking.

On July 24, 2017, the Institute of Organic Chemistry received the HR Excellence in Research award from the European Commission, confirming the presence of excellent conditions for employment and conducting scientific research by scientists. The distinction is awarded to scientific institutions with internal staff policies and recruitment procedures that are compatible with activities including the “European Charter for Researchers and a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”.

For dozens of years globally innovative synthesis technologies have been developed and elaborated on, such as: methods for the synthesis of simple sugars (Zamojski, 1970s), vicarious nucleophilic substitution of hydrogen (Mąkosza, 1978-2005), the synthesis of aza-crown ethers (Jurczak, 1980-2000), elaboration of new catalysts for olefin metathesis (Grela, 2000-2005), the synthesis of corroles (Gryko, 2000-2006) and the planning of organic syntheses through the software program CHEMATICA (Grzybowski, 2016) etc. These findings have helped cement the institute’s place at the forefront of both Polish and European science, where it remains to this day.

Since its inception in 1964, the mission of the Institute has been to conduct scientific research at the highest level in the field of broadly understood organic chemistry and related fields, and to educate young scientific staff. Currently conducted research at the IPC PAS concern the most important problems and issues of contemporary organic synthesis, catalysis and the search for new materials.

Besides the basic research programs, the Institute conducts various projects related to applied organic chemistry and technology. These are often aligned with, and involve collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry. These collaborations have produced the kidney stone treatment Debelizyna (manufactured by Herbapol Pruszków) as well as two β-lactam antibiotics; generic cephalosporin Tarcefoksym and a new original cephalosporin named Tarcevis (both in collaboration with Tarchomin Pharmaceutical Company Polfa SA). The institute offers a doctoral research program which can be pursued in combination with industrial partners. Graduates are internationally recognized and have gone on to work at prestigious universities and companies around the world.

The Institute successfully applies for research grants, both domestic and foreign. Group leaders from our Institute have won three prestigious TEAM grants (funded by the Foundation for Polish Science), 60 grants from the National Science Center and 7 Ministry of Science and Higher Education, including 4 “Diamond Grants”, in the last 5 years. Currently, three winners of the Foundation for Polish Science Prize – the most prestigious scientific award in Poland (M. Mąkosza – 2012, K. Grela – 2014, D.T. Gryko – 2017 and B.Grzybowski 2022) and 4 members of the Polish Academy of Sciences work at the Institute.

The IOC PAS participates in many international research projects. Currently, the Institute is part of the consortia implementing 4 ITN and 1 RISE projects under the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Horizon 2020 program – NOAH, PhotoReact, CHAIR, Micro-4-Nano and OLIGOMED projects. In 2023 prof. Daniel Gryko receives an ERC Advanced Grant for the project: ARCHIMEDES “Approaching 20% emission efficiency in the NIR-II region with radical chromophores”.

Among the scientific activities of the Institute, the organization of the international and countrywide scientific conferences and seminars has to be noted. The most important of these is the series of symposia entitled “Poland-Korea Joint Organic Chemistry Conference” organized every 4 years and gathering the best specialists from Poland and Republic of Korea. Other conferences organized periodically are “Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, Physics and Biological Sciences”, “Symposium on Asymmetric Synthesis”, “The Polish-German Conference on Organic Chemistry” and “Conference of the Polish Mass Spectrometry Society”.

The Institute runs a four-year PhD study program, which has operated continuously since 1966 and was the oldest of its kind in the country. It has the right to confer PhD and DSc (habilitation) degrees in the field of organic chemistry. During its teaching activity, the Institute educated 444 doctors and 74 habilitated doctors. Along with the statutory changes in Poland, in 2019 the IOC PAS, together with other scientific units, established the Warsaw Doctoral School of Natural and Biomedical Sciences [Warsaw-4-PhD].

The Institute is also active in teaching students (summer training, internships in laboratories in IOC) and schoolchildren (workshops for high school students under the auspices of the National Children’s Fund).