Prof. Wim DEHAEN

Department of Chemistry
Celestijnenlaan 200F,
B-3001 Leuven
Office 016 32 74 39
Lab 016 74 26




1984 K. U. Leuven, Licentiate chemistry

  • 1988 K. U. Leuven, Ph D Chemistry (Prof. Dr. G. L'abbé)
  • 1988-90 Postdoctoral Fellow , Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan (Israël) in the group of Prof. Dr. A. Hassner
  • 1990 Guest Lecturer, Odense University (Denmark) in the group of Prof. Dr. J. Becher
  • 1991-96 Postdoctoral Fellow, K. U. Leuven in the group of Prof. Dr. G. L’abbé.
  • 1992-95 Postdoctoral Fellow National Fund for Scientific Research
  • 1994 Study leave (3 months), University of Birmingham (UK) in the group of Prof. Dr. J.F. Stoddart
  • 1996-98  Doctor-assistent K. U. Leuven
  • 1998-2001 “Hoofddocent” K. U. Leuven
  • 2001-2004 “Hoogleraar”(Associate Professor) K. U. Leuven
  • 2004 “Gewoon hoogleraar” (Full Professor) K. U. Leuven
  • 2009 Head of Division, Molecular Design and Synthesis, Department of Chemistry

Teaching experience

  • 1993-2006 : Seminar “Combined spectra IR, MS, NMR”, as a part of the lab. course Organic chemistry 1st Lic. Chemistry K.U. Leuven.
  • 1995-2004 “Supramolecular Chemistry I”, undergraduate course and “Supramolecular Chemistry II” , a graduate course at K. U. Leuven.
  • 1996-2008 “Synthetic aspects of Heterocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry”, undergraduate course at K.U. Leuven
  • 1999 and 2004 “Functional dendrimers”, graduate course at U. C. Louvain and UL Brussels
  • 2002-2007 “Organometallic Chemistry”, undergraduate course at K. U. Leuven
  • 2003-2007 “Organic Chemistry I and II” : third year undergraduate course at K. U. Leuven
  • 2006-present “Molecular recognition” , third year bachelor course K.U.Leuven
  • 2007-present “Advanced organic chemistry” 1st master course at K.U.Leuven
  • 2007-2013 “Organometallic Chemistry”, 1st or 2nd master chemistry at K.U.Leuven
  • 2008-present “Supramolecular Chemistry”, 1st Master University of Antwerp
  • 2008-present “Synthetic strategies” and “Advanced organic chemistry” doctoral course, Astana, Kazachstan, visiting professor
  • 2008-present “General chemistry”, 1st bachelor Pharmacy
  • 2008-present “Synthetic strategies”, 2nd master chemistry at K.U. Leuven
  • 2013-present “Metal and Catalysis” 3rd bachelor environmental Chemistry, USTH Hanoi, Vietnam

Research Domains

  • Supramolecular chemistry, focusing on crown ethers, porphyrins and calixarenes; Novel methodology to produce these host systems. Molecular recognition of anions and neutral compounds,
  • Synthesis and properties of functionalized dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers;
  • Use in catalytic conversion of biomass to useful chemicals.
  • Fluorescing dyes (e.g. BODIPY) and organic materials (e.g. indolocarbazoles, pyrroloindoles) for solar cells.
  • New synthetic methods for ionic liquids. Material synthesis in ionic liquids.
  • Synthesis and applications of homochiral heterocyclic helicenes,
  • Chemistry of heterocyclic compounds with medicinal relevance and their synthesis by new multicomponent reactions; Fused five-and six-membered heterocycles by inter- and intramolecular cycloadditions,
  • Functionalisation of natural products (mostly di- and triterpenoids) with biological activities.


  • Laureat of the “Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en schone Kunsten”, 1997
  • Editorial advisory board of Open Natural Product Journal, Current Organic Synthesis, Current Organic Chemistry (Bentham), Chemical Society Reviews


Research projects

  • FWO G.0511.07 (2006-2011), “Synthese van lineaire, dendritische en hypervertakte macromoleculen en studie van hun supramoleculaire structuur door Hyper-Raleigh-verstrooing” W. Dehaen, spokesperson (84.500 euro + extension 44.000 euro)
  • FWO G.0399.09 (2009-2012) “Synthese van macromoleculen met indolo[3,2-d]carbazool als bouwsteen”, W. Dehaen, spokesperson (budget 60.000 euro)
  • FWO WOG “Heterocyclic Synthesis in Medicinal and Supramolecular Chemistry” : W. Dehaen, coordinator (from 2007) budget 12.500 euro/year
  • FWO WOG “Supramolecular chemistry and materials” (from 2014) : W. Dehaen : coordinator, budget 12.500 euro/year
  • Partner in GOA project GOA/11/003 “Engineering interfaces for smart applications” (M. Van der Auweraer, spokesperson, 2011-2016)
  • SBO project (Ionic Liquids, 2009-2014) W. Dehaen in consortium with K. Binnemans, spokesperson, 667.875 euro for consortium Moleculair Design and synthesis

List of finished Ph D theses

[1] 1998 Grete Van Wuytswinckel “Gebruik van de 1,3-dipolaire cycloadditiereactie als synthesestrategie in de supramoleculaire chemie”

[2] 1999 Bart Forier “Ontwikkeling van nieuwe synthesestrategieen in de organische dendrimeerchemie”

[3] 1999 Erik Ceulemans “Ortho halogeengesubstitueerde aldehyden in de synthese van azidothiazolen, polyheterocyclische verbindingen en c-gefusioneerde pyridinen”

(2000 en later)

[4] 2000 : M. Smet “Synthese en toepassingen van nieuwe bouwstenen voor de opbouw van fotoactieve dendrimeren”

[5] 2000 : S. Smeets “Synthese van gemodificeerde porfyrinen en multiporfyrinesystemen”

[6] 2001 : R. Goossens, “Zuurgekatalyseerde ringsluitingsreacties in de opbouw van macromoleculaire systemen”

[7] 2001 : B. Verheyde “Convergente synthese van stikstofhoudende heterocylische dendrimeren”

[8] 2003 : S. Depraetere, “Synthese en complexatiegedrag van gesubstitueerde calix[4]pyrrolen en oligopyrroolderivaten”

[9] 2003 : A. Hameurlaine “Nitrogen-containing heterocycles for ring closure reactions and the synthesis of dendrimers”

[10] 2004 : E. Dolusic, “Synthesis and application of functionalized macrocyclic oligopyrroles”

[11] 2004 : P. Appukkuttan “Microwave-assisted metal-catalysed reactions in the synthesis of medium-sized natural product analogues and fused heterocyclic systems”

[12] 2005 : W. Maes, “Synthese en toepassing van dendrimeren opgebouwd uit porfyrinen en andere heterocyclische bouwstenen”

[13] 2005 : B. Metten “Synthese van 5-aryloxopyrroolderivaten en exploratie ter vorming van potentiële NNRTI’s, fluoroforen en op APTRA gebaseerde Ca2+-indicatoren”

[14] 2006 : Dimitri Janssen, “Self-assembling monolayers for organic thin-film transistors”

[15] 2006 : Chantal Van Oosterwijck,”Synthese en karakterisering van hypervertakte polyaryleenoxindolen met een vertakkingsgraad van 100 %”

[16] 2006 : Natalie Vets “Synthesis of pentacene derivatives and their application in organic thin-film transistors”

[17] 2007 : Taoufik Rohand “Functionalisation and photophysical properties of highly fluorescent boradiazaindacene (BODIPY) derivatives”

[19] 2007 : Maarten Kostermans, “Anionbinding van N-omgewisselde calix[4]pyrrolen en acyclische analoga”

[20] 2007 : Tine Van Neck, “Synthese van polyazaheterocyclische verbindingen met potentieel biologische activiteit”

[21] 2008 : Kris Metten, “ Synthese van hypervertakte polymeren op basis van Diels-Alder adducten van anthraceen door middel van atoomtransfer radicalaire polymerisatie”

[22] 2008 : Rong Gu, “Facile synthesis of 6-mono and 6,12-disubstituted 5,11-dihydroindolo[3,2-b]carbazoles and their derivatives”

[23] 2008 : Annelies Vandendriessche, “The use of the 3-oxindole building block for hybrid macromolecules, dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers”

[24] 2009 : Wienand Nulens, “Benzo[1,2-b;4,3-b’]dithiofeen en thieno[3,2-e]indool als bouwstenen voor de synthese van heterohelicenen”

[25] 2009 Tiny Deschrijver, “Synthesis of mimetics of the antibody 82D6A3 : a new class of antithrombotics”

[26] 2010 Volker Leen “Synthesis and application of reactive BODIPY dyes”

[27] 2010 Ngo Huynh Thien “ meso-Pyrimidinylcorroles-versatile building blocks for functional corroles and multichromophoric systems”

[28] 2010 Wim Van Rossom “Selective syntheses and applications for functionalized oxacalix[m]arene [n]pyrimidines”

[29] 2010 Sonalika V. Pawar “Synthesis of conformationally restricted α-helix mimics as Rev multimerisation inhibitors and synthesis of functionalized 1-hydroxypyrazin-2-(1H)-one scaffolds as potential integrase inhibitors”

[30] 2011 Wim Van Snick “Study of the 4,5-annulation of benzothiophene with N-containing heterocyclic rings”

[31] 2011 Joice Thomas “Synthesis and properties of sulfur and selenium based building blocks for supramolecular functional systems”

[32] 2011 Jo Nelissen “Towards the synthesis pf peptide antibiotics : the case of septocylindrin B”

[33] 2011 Peter Verwilst “The application of the click reaction in the synthesis of targeted drugs and MRI contrast reagents”

[34] 2011 Victorine A. Pinas “Development of a potent series of MMP-2 and MMP-9 selective inhibitors”

[35] 2012 Sven Van Snick “Synthesis and characterization of novel indolo[3,2-b]carbazoles towards organic photovoltaic applications”

[36] 2012 L. K. Cheppalan, “Synthesis of ionic liquids based on new cationic cores”

[37] 2012 Nico Moons “Synthesis of a library of (iso)steviol analogs

[38] 2013 Hans Kelgtermans “Exploration of non-photochemical synthetic approaches towards oxahelicenes”

[39] 2013 Mahendra P. Sonawane “Synthesis and structural exploration of [2n]thiacalixarenes and thiapillararenes”

[40] 2013 Deepali Waghray “Exploration of synthetic approaches towards htera[n]helicnes and study of optical properties”

[41] 2014 Tamara Merckx “Novel heterocyclic receptors for anion recognition”

Scientific output

Over 380 publications in peer reviewed journals resulting in >6600 citations (h-index=44); several contributions (chapters) to books; editor of two books

10 top publications

  • Depraetere, S. Smet, M. Dehaen, W. “N-confused calix[4]pyrroles” Angew. Chem.Int. Ed. 1999, 38, 3359-3361 citations : 65, IF = 7.996
  • Baruah, M. Qin, W. Vallée, R.A.L. Beljonne, D. Rohand, T. Dehaen, W. Boens, N.“A highly potassium-selective ratiometric fluorescent indicator based on BODIPY azacrown ether and excitable with visible light”, Org. Lett. 2005, 7, 4377-80. (citations : 150) IF = 4.369
  • Loiseau, F., Campagna, S., Hameurlaine, A., Dehaen, W. (2005). Dendrimers made of porphyrin cores and carbazole chromophores as peripheral units. Absorption spectra, luminescence properties, and oxidation behavior. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 127(32), 11352-11363 (citations : 91) (IF publication year : 7.42) .
  • Nishiyabu, R., Palacios, M., Dehaen, W., Anzenbacher, P. (2006). Synthesis, structure, anion binding, and sensing by calix[4] pyrrole isomers. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 128(35), 11496-11504 (citations : 79) (IF publication year : 7.7) .
  • Maes, W. Van Rossom, W. Van Hecke, K. Van Meervelt, L. Dehaen W.,”Selective synthesis of functionalized thia- and oxacalix[2]arene[2]pyrimidines”, Org. Lett., 2006, 8, 4161-4164. (citations : 64) IF = 4.659
  • Maes, W., Dehaen, W. (2008). Oxacalix[n](het)arenes. Chemical Society Reviews, 37(11), 2393-2402 (citations : 93) (IF = 17.42) .
  • Van Rossom, W. Maes, W. Kishore, L. Ovaere, M. Van Meervelt, L. Dehaen,W. “Efficient post-macrocyclisation functionalisations of oxacalix[2]arene[2]-pyrimidines”, Org. Lett. 2008, 10, 585-8. (citations : 46) IF = 5.128
  • Rohand, T. Baruah, M. Qin, W Boens, N. Dehaen, W. “Functionalisation of fluorescent BODIPY dyes by nucleophilic substitution”, Chem. Commun. 2006, 266-268. (citations: 108) IF = 4.521
  • Boens, N.; Leen, V., Dehaen W. (2012) Fluorescent indicators based on BODIPY, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2012, 41, 1130-1172.(citations : 121) IF = 24.892
  • Thomas, J.; Reekmans, G.; Adriaensens, P, Van Meervelt, L., Smet, M.; Maes, W. Dehaen, W, Dobrzanska, L, Actuated conformational switching in a single crystal of a homodithiacalix[4]arene Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, available on line DOI:10.1002/anie.201302822 (IF 2012 = 13.734)


Head of Division of Molecular Design and Synthesis, one of the 5 divisions of the Department of Chemistry

Group leader of one of the research groups (approx 20 people) dealing with organic synthetic chemistry in the same division

Member of KVCV section “Medicinal chemistry”

Secretary of the alumni association “Chemici Leuven”




Invited Lectures



See Also




Agricultural University of Georgia


Association of Professional Chemists
of Georgia