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My passion: the discovery of novel small molecules

Aktualisiert: 14. Apr. 2023

Lorena De Luca studied chemistry in Italy and came to ETH Zurich for her PhD. After working briefly in the pharmaceutical industry, she joined Givaudan, where she works as a research scientist in fragrance discovery.

My name is Lorena De Luca, I am originally from Italy, where I gained my Bachelor and Master degrees in chemistry and sustainable technologies. I then joined the ETH in Zurich for my PhD studies, which I concluded in 2019. After a brief experience in the pharma industry, I joined Givaudan, where I currently work as a research scientist in fragrance discovery.

Innovation is at the very core of Givaudan’s DNA. We strive to deliver fragrance creations for happier and healthier lives, with love for nature. For us chemists, the discovery of new sustainable and environmentally friendly fragrance materials poses new and exciting challenges every day. We want to find new odorants that have a pleasant smell, a great odor performance and that are safe for humans and the environment.

The most fascinating part of the discovery work is to relate properties to structures. Emblematic is for me the case of Nympheal. The introduction of one single methyl group in a strategic structural position of Lilial (classified CMR 1B in EU) resulted in a safe and very performing molecule with a nice lily of the valley odour:

I wish all of the participants of IChO 2023 to always have more questions than answers. This is what keeps life interesting and pushes us chemists to constantly move forward - there has never been a more exciting time for chemists.

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