Laboratory of Chemical Synthesis Methodology

The research in our laboratory is aimed at the development of new, efficient methodologies for synthetic organic chemistry.

Currently, our research interests concentrate on the use of hypervalent iodine, whose unique properties allow for performing advanced oxidation reactions, which involve the formation of new chemical bonds and lead to a large increase in the molecular complexity. These include group-transfer processes, wherein a substituent is transferred from a stoichiometric hypervalent iodine reagent onto an organic acceptor, as well as hypervalent iodine-promoted oxidations that may be carried out using a catalytic amount of the iodine-containing compound. Recently, we have also initiated research into the application of electric energy for driving the oxidation of organic substrates, using iodoarenes as electrocatalysts.

A key element of our work are also investigations of chemical reaction mechanisms, which are conducted both using experimental and computational approaches.

Please visit our Group Website  for more details.

Marcin Kałek, PhD, DSc
phone: +48 22 55 43730
room: 03.45


2016–present   Assistant Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Chemical Synthesis Methodology
    University of Warsaw, Centre of New Technologies
2013–2015   Postdoctoral Fellow
    California Institute of Technology, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
    (with Prof. Gregory C. Fu)
2011–2013   Postdoctoral Fellow
    Stockholm University, Department of Organic Chemistry
    (with Prof. Fahmi Himo)
2006–2011   Ph.D. Student
    Stockholm University, Department of Organic Chemistry
    (with Prof. Jacek Stawinski)
Jan 2006–Sep 2006   Marie Curie Early Stage Research Training Fellow
    University of Southern Denmark, Nucleic Acid Center
    (with Prof. Jesper Wengel)
2002–2005   M.Sc. Student
    University of Warsaw, Centre for Interfaculty Individual Studies in Mathematical and Natural Sciences/Faculty of Chemistry (with Dr. Janusz Stepinski/Dr. Jacek Jemielity)




University of Warsaw Rector’s Distinction

2018   M. Mąkosza Foundation Scientific Award
2017   Minister of Science and Higher Education Fellowship for Outstanding Young Scientists

Swedish Reasearch Council International Postdoc Fellowship

2009   AstraZeneca Nils Löfgren Memorial Award
2005   Marie Curie Fellowship for Early Stage Research Training

Group Leader:
Marcin Kałek, PhD, DSc

Postdoctoral Fellows:
Ajit Jha, PhD
Somayyeh Sarvi Beigbaghlou, PhD
Bernard Sebastine, PhD

PhD students:
Natalia Wojciechowska, MSc
Robert S. Yafele, MSc


Ireneusz Tomczyk, BSc

Kacper Szczepański, BSc

Szymon Różański

Synthesis of aryl sulfides by metal-free arylation of thiols with diaryliodonium salts under basic conditions
Sudeep Sarkar, Natalia Wojciechowska, Adam A. Rajkiewicz, Marcin Kałek
Eur. J. Org. Chem.
Second generation of nucleotide analogues
Justyna Gołębiewska, Agnieszka Bartoszewicz, Marcin Kałek, Jacek Stawiński
Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Silicon and the Related Elements
Benzoxazepine-Derived Selective, Orally Bioavailable Inhibitor of Human Acidic Mammalian Chitinase
Andryianau, G., Kowalski, M., Piotrowicz, M. C., Rajkiewicz, A. A., Dymek, B., Sklepkiewicz, P. L., ... & Mazur, M. (2020)
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 11(6), 1228-1235.
Mg2+-Dependent Methyl Transfer by a Knotted Protein: A Molecular Dynamics Simulation and Quantum Mechanics Study
Kałek, M., Perlińska, A., Sułkowska, J. (2020)
ACS Catalysis (10), 8058-8068
Mechanism of iodine(III)-promoted oxidative dearomatizing hydroxylation of phenols: evidence for radical-chain pathway
Kałek, M., Kraszewski, K., Tomczyk, I., Bieńkowski, K., Solarska, R. (2020)
Chem. Eur. J. (26), 11584-11592
Synthesis of Pummerer’s ketone and its analogs by iodosobenzene-promoted oxidative phenolic coupling
Kałek, M., Sarkar, S., Ghosh, M., Kałek, M. (2020)
Tetrahedron Lett. (61), 152459
Transition Metal-Free and Regioselective Vinylation of Phosphine Oxides and H-Phosphinates with VBX reagents
Castoldi, L., Rajkiewicz, A. A., & Olofsson, B. (2020)
Chemical Communications, 56(92), 14389-14392
Organocatalytic Group Transfer Reactions with Hypervalent Iodine Reagents
Ghosh, M. K., Rajkiewicz, A. A., & Kalek, M. (2019).
Synthesis, 51(02), 359-370.
Transition metal‐free aryl‐aryl cross‐coupling: C–H arylation of 2‐naphthols with diaryliodonium salts
Ghosh, M. K., Rzymkowski, J., & Kalek, M. (2019)
Chemistry-A European Journal, 25(41), 9619-9623
Mechanistic Insight into Enantioselective Palladium-Catalyzed Oxidative Carbocyclization-Borylation of Enallenes
Qiu, Y., Mendoza, A., Posevins, D., Himo, F., Kalek, M., & Bäckvall, J. E. (2018).
Chemistry-A European Journal, 24(10), 2433-2439.
Elucidation of Mechanisms and Selectivities of Metal-Catalyzed Reactions Using Quantum Chemical Methodology
Santoro, S., Kalek, M., Huang, G., & Himo, F. (2016)
Accounts of Chemical Research, 49(5), 1006-1018.