Catalysis  –  Heterocycles  –  Medicines  –  Materials  –  Education

 Innovation in chemical synthesis and catalysis for the construction of molecules of importance for the global improvement of human health, society, welfare and industries are the central themes of the Hansen research group. Our work involves chemical methods development, mechanistic studies and synthesis of diverse functional heterocyclic compound libraries for an array of applications in medicine, materials and education.


PhD-position available - application deadline May 23rd

The advertisement for the position is here

The application deadline is May 23rd. ALL applications must be submitted electronically via


4. mai, 2021

Highlighting Norway´s Nobel Prize in Chemistry

In collaboration with Prof. Maté Erdelyi at the University of Uppsala, we have published this fun historical essay in The Chemical Record highlighting the career and achievements of our own Chemistry Nobel-Prize winner (1969): Odd Hassel. His pionering work is fundamental for the current field of Halogen bonding, which has been emphasized in the essay. Enjoy!

29. jan, 2021

Rapid and green syntheses of benzimidazole and quinoxaline heterocycles

We have now published a series of papers on applying rapid, green and convenient conditions for the synthesis of benzimidazoles (Synlett 2020) and quinoxalines (SynOpen 2021), highlighting where any optimization efforts should start for these heterocycles and what any new reaction should be compared to. Congrats Vijay!

22. des, 2020

Rapid and green synthesis of highly substituted phenols

A one-pot method for an ipso-hydroxylation/bromination cascade on arylboronic acids has been developed. Furthermore, a Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling step has been achieved subsequently in the same pot to generate highly substituted phenols in decent yields. Very nice work publised in RSC Advances - Congrats to Vijay!

21. des, 2020

Microwave-assisted synthesis of heterocycles from aryldiazo compounds

Finally, this long-standing project in the group has been published in the European Journal of Organic Chemistry showing how aryldiazoacetates can be subjected to microwave heating to achieve quinoxalinones (and quinoxalines) via a free carbene-mediated NH-insertion/cyclization cascade. Congrats to Tone, Vijay, Eliot, Etienne, Lucille and Stephanie!

6. mar, 2020

First PhD-degree awarded

BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Dr. Marc Boomgaren for passing his PhD-defense and trial lecture today with flying colours! His thesis was entitled "Two approaches to novel anticancer agents: small-molecule library synthesis and evaluation".

Marc is the first PhD-student to be graduated under the main supervision of JHH, so this is a milestone for our research community. We also thank the PhD-committee; prof. Morten Grøtli (Univ of Gothenburg), asst. prof. Elvar Viktorsson (Univ. of Iceland) and Dr. Hilde Hansen (UiT) for excellent opposition and committee work.

26. jan, 2020

A green, scalable one-minute synthesis of benzimidazoles

Congratulations to Vijay for his recently accepted paper in Synlett! Publised on eFirst now:

10. sep, 2019

New PhD-candidate

J. Aleksi Kosonen joins the group as a PhD-candidate on the UiT-funded interdisciplinary project BrainSTORM - Welcome Aleksi!

27. jun, 2019

Open access book chapter published

The book chapter "Catalytic intermolecular functionalization of benzimidazoles" was published online today. A great achievement for our research group.

25. jun, 2019

4 Masters students graduated in 2019

4 candidates from the group passed their Masters exams in June! Congratulations to:

- Eirik A. L. Rustad - MPharm
Thesis: Evaluation and Late-Stage Fluorination of Small Molecule GnRH-R Antagonists

- Janita F. Hansen - Master in Chemistry and Education
Thesis: En helhetlig forsikningsprosess - en kvantitativ studie om læring...

- Unni M Nordang - MSc in Chemistry
Thesis: Adsorption of Organic Pollutants in Microplastic in the Arctic Ocean

- Erlend C. Brevik - MSc in Chemistry
Thesis: Exploring N-Nucleophiles for diversification of a complex cyclohexenone scaffold

Congratulations to Eirik, Janita, Unni and Erlend!

1. des, 2018

New PhD-candidate

Hanna Bähr joins the group as a PhD-candidate on the NFR-funded project CasCat - Welcome Hanna!

31. okt, 2018

Research grant from UiT Strategic Areas

JHH has been awarded a prestigious research grant from the UiT Strategic Areas (Tematiske satsninger) program, for the project entitled "BrainSTORM: PET in targeted theranostics and education". The project is highly interdisciplinary and involves departments of Chemistry, Pharmacy, Medical Biology, Teacher Education and the UNN PET-center - a great achievement for our research community!

18. okt, 2018

Pedagogical Qualifications Framework Project

JHH is appointed member of the project group UiT Pedagogical Qualifications Framework Project (

1. aug, 2018

Dr Vijay Elumalai joins the group

as the first postdoctoral researcher in organic chemistry, financed by the Norwegian Research Council - Welcome VIjay!

20. jun, 2018

Merited Teacher

JHH receives distinction as UiT Merited Teacher (Meritert underviser)

30. mai, 2018

Heterocyclic CLPA inhibitors

Congratulations to Christophe for his manuscript accepted in Bioorganic Chemistry entitled: "Heterocyclic cellular lipid peroxidation inhibitors inspired by the marine antioxidant barettin"

24. mai, 2018

Dr. Richard Fjellaksel

successfully defended his thesis for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor with a dissertation entitled: "Development and evaluation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor antagonists as SPECT radiotracers" - Congratulations Richard!

10. mai, 2018

Bioactive ketopiperazines

Congratulations to Christophe and Marc for their manuscript accepted in the Journal of Peptide Science entitled "Development and Evaluation of Cationic Amphiphilic Antimicrobial 2,5-Diketopiperazines"

27. apr, 2018

Norwegian Chemical Society

JHH was elected Vice President of the Norwegian Chemical Society at the Council Meeting 2018.

19. apr, 2018

Radioiodination of bioactives

Congrats to Richard for his manuscript accepted in Synlett entitled: "Copper-Mediated Late-Stage Iodination and 123I-Labelling of Triazole-benzimidazole Bioactives". We have employed two radiolabelling strategies for 123I-incorporation into our GnRH-receptor antagonists previously disclosed.

28. feb, 2018

Amide group anchimeric assistance in Finkelstein reactions

Congrats to Richard, Damir and Taye for their manuscript accepted in the Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry. The study describes a detailed account of the role of amide group anchimeric assistance in Finkelstein iodinations of choroacyl groups using experimental and computational techniques, including an example of radioiodination

11. des, 2017

MSc Tone Kristoffersen

passed her Masters-Examination in Chemistry with the thesis entitled: "Microwave-assisted synthesis of heterocycles from aryldiazoacetates" – Congratulations Tone!

2. des, 2017

Research grant from the Research Council of Norway

The group has been awarded a prestigious 7.6 MNOK research grant from the Research Council of Norway FRINATEK-program, for the project entitled "CasCat: Cascade catalysis for late-stage C-H functionalization" - a great achievement for our research community!

27. nov, 2017

Cryptophane properties by DFT

Congrats to Taye for getting his manuscript accepted in J.Phys.Chem.A.! The study employs DFT for prediction of binding and NMR properties of cryptophanes, and has been used for proposing novel designs.

15. sep, 2017

GnRH-Receptor Antagonists

In a highly collaborative effort, we can now disclose novel GnRH-receptor antagonists with nanomolar binding affinity. The work was recently accepted in MedChemComm. Congrats Richard and Marc!

10. jun, 2017

MSc Khurelbaatar Sengee

passed his Masters-Examination in Chemistry with the thesis entitled: "Exploration of 3-dimentional chemical diversity in a cyclohexenone scaffold" – Congratulations Khurelbaatar!

28. jan, 2017

Photocatalytic double C-H functionalization of indoles

We recently got accepted a manuscript for a Synlett special issue in connection with the EuCheMS Young Investigator Workshop 2016. The work details the discovery and studies of a novel photocatalytic double C-H functionalization of indoles and received good reviews. Congrats to Urna and Taye!

16. jan, 2017


The group was represented at the 32nd Organic Chemistry Winter Meeting at Skeikampen Jan 12th-15th 2017. Thanks for the great scientific contributions from our PhD-students Marc and Urna!

27. nov, 2016

2017 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award

JHH was chosen by the editorial boards of Synlett, Synthesis and Synfacts to be a 2017 Thieme Chemistry Journal Awardee. The award goes to early career young investigators. This is an honor for our group! See :

17. jun, 2016

Photoredox catalysis with DFT

We have recently published two invited articles in Dalton Transactions and the Journal of Organic Chemistry respectively - Congratulations Taye!

3. jun, 2016

Seed grant award from RESULT

The group has been awarded a 70 kNOK Seed Grant Award from the UiT Resource Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology for the educational project "Deliberate assessment for enhanced learning and teaching quality in chemistry courses" - a great achievement for our learning community!

14. mar, 2016

First phase of Hungarian-Norwegian collaboration project completed

Our collaboration with the University of Szeged is developing, and the first joint project is now completed. See more about the story here.

10. jan, 2016


The group was well represented at the 31st Organic Chemistry Winter Meeting at Skeikampen Jan 7th-10th 2016. Thanks for the great scientific contributions from Aya, Tone and Damir! JHH received the young investigator travel award from the NKS Division of Organic Chemistry and will be participating in the EuCheMS Young Investigator Symposium 2016 in Sevilla, Spain. This is a great honor for our group!

10. des, 2015

M.Sc. Aya ismael

passed her Masters-Examination in Chemistry with the thesis entitled: "Novel Synthesis of Lipoxin A4-Analogues" – Congratulations Aya!

25. nov, 2015

Our first collaborative paper

with the Dept of Physics and Technology is publised in Optics Express, involving synthesis of cavitand heterocycles for applications in optical methane sensors - Congrats Magnus!

24. aug, 2015

The group´s first full research paper

appeared in Organometallics asaps today - Congrats Taye!

8. jun, 2015

M.Sc. Phenias Buhire

passed his Masters-Examination in Chemistry with the thesis entitled: "Vertical DOS with DBAs - Multivariate optimization and diversity exploration" – Congratulations to the group´s first chemistry master!

15. jan, 2015

Olav Thon Foundation grant

The group was awarded a national grant from the Olav Thon Foundation! The official award ceremony will be March 5th.