Scientific Biography

Ahmad Masarwa was born and grew up in Taibe, Israel. Then he moved to Haifa where he completed his undergraduate studies at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology in Chemistry in 2005.

During his M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies, which were performed with Prof. Ilan Marek at the Technion, his research was focused on kinetic resolution, sigma-tropic rearrangements, carbometalation and the selective-cleavage of small, strained materials as a new entry to all-carbon quaternary stereogenic centers. As an illustrative example, they have applied these methodologies to the preparation of the simplest, unnatural, enantiomerically enriched, saturated hydrocarbon possessing a quaternary stereogenic center ((S)-[2H1, 2H2, 2H3]-neopentane). Masarwa was awarded the IUPAC-SOLVAY International Award for Young Chemists and the ICS-Israel Chemical Society Prize for his Ph.D. thesis.

After his Ph.D. studies, Masarwa joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 2013 as a Rothschild and VATAT postdoctoral scholar under the supervision of Prof. Richmond Sarpong. He had worked on the application of metal-catalyzed selective C–C/ C–H bond activations of carvone-derived pinene scaffolds. This methodology can be used to access enantiopure natural product cores, such as those found in phomactin A and suaveolindol, as well as anticancer compounds in the taxoid family.


Ahmad completed his postdoctoral stay in October 2015. After this time, he started as a visiting scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In July 2016, Masarwa started his tenure-track faculty position as an Assistant Professor (Senior Lecturer) at The Institute of Chemistry of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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