Professor Véronique Gouverneur
Academic position: Waynflete Professor of Chemistry
Véronique has spent her independent research career in Oxford, and her innovative work in organofluorine chemistry commenced twenty years ago, resulting in the major part of her published scientific achievements over the last fifteen years. She has received prestigious national and international prizes, and was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society in 2019.
Her laboratory has invented many fluorination reactions including novel labelling methodologies for the production of radiotracers with cyclotron-produced F-18 (Nature 2022). These methods have accelerated pharmaceutical drug discovery as well as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging programs for the improvement of patient healthcare worldwide. Her work has enhanced our fundamental understanding of fluoride reactivity, and has led to the invention of hydrogen bonding phase transfer catalysis (HBPTC), a novel concept opening new opportunities in organic chemistry (Science 2018). Fundamental understanding of reactivity and selectivity is at the core of her research programme, with new directions including synergistic catalysis featuring HBPTC, catalytic defluorination and the development of molecular editing processes applied to complex fluorochemicals. Her research portfolio was recently extended to innovative approaches towards circular fluorochemistry. She has recently demonstrated that naturally occurring fluorspar (CaF2) can be directly converted into complex fluorochemicals with a process bypassing the production of toxic and highly dangerous hydrofluoric acid (Science 2023). This discovery has the potential to change profoundly how fluorochemicals are manufactured worldwide.
Selected publications can be found via: https://gouverneur.chem.ox.ac.uk/publications.aspx and here