Welcome to
  • Somfai Group



Peter Somfai was born in 1960 in Göteborg, Sweden, and received his MSc in chemistry and PhD in organic chemistry at Chalmers Institute of Technology. After a post doc stay at MIT, with Prof. S. Masamune, he returned to Sweden and was appointed Professor in Organic Chemistry at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in 1999. In 2001 he was appointed Head of the Department of Chemistry and in 2005 Dean of the School of Chemical Science and Engineering. In 2007 he stepped down as Dean and returned to science, and was also appointed Extraordinary Senior Researcher at the Institute of Technology, University of Tartu. In 2012 he was appointed Professor in Organic Chemistry at Lund University. In 2010 he was elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and in 2015 of the Royal Physiografiphic Society of Lund.

Research Field

The focus of our research efforts is efficiency in organic synthesis and various aspects of this can be readily identified. For example, the yield of a given reaction, its environmental friendliness and cost efficiency, if it can be converted into a catalytic process or, alternatively, into an asymmetric one are all important issues that have to be considered when choosing a suitable reaction for affecting a desired transformation. We are mainly interested in developing new methodology in organic synthesis with the intention of applying the chemistry for the total synthesis of natural products.

Recent Publications

Regio- and Enantioselective Formal Hydroamination of Enamines for The Synthesis of 1,2-diamines

Lu Yu and Peter Somfai

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed, 2019, Just accepted 
DOI: 10.1002/ange.201902642
First published: 16 April 2019

Enantioselective synthesis of anti-3-alkenyl-2-amido-3-hydroxy esters: application to the total synthesis of (+)-alexine

Lu Yu and Peter Somfai

RSC Adv., 2019,9, 2799-2802
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA00173E
Publication Date (Web): January 21, 2019
172 spine minimum. full size. Editor: Shawn/Katie  JEM: Leslie
RTP: Brian Deever/Theresa Massey

Formal Synthesis of ent-Cephalotaxine Using a One-Pot Parham–Aldol Sequence

Juha H. Siitonen, Lu Yu, Jakob Danielsson, Giovanni Di Gregorio, and Peter Somfai*

J. Org. Chem.,201883 (18), pp 11318–11322
DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.8b01540
Publication Date (Web): July 17, 2018
172 spine minimum. full size. Editor: Shawn/Katie  JEM: Leslie
RTP: Brian Deever/Theresa Massey

An Efficient Synthesis of (±)-Dehaloperophoramidine

Anita Hoang, Kirill Popov and Peter Somfai

J. Org. Chem., 2017, 82, 2171–2176
DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.6b02969
Publication Date (Web): February 1, 2017

Available projects

We are always interested in accepting interested and ambitious coworkers! Currently we offer several diploma projects within the areas of total synthesis of natural products and development of new methodology. For more information contact Peter Somfai