Congratulations Dr. Elena de Orbe!


Elena de Orbe, PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren (ICIQ), has defended her PhD Thesis entitled “Gold-Catalyzed Intermolecular Reactions of Alkynes with Alkenes: Novel Reactivities and Global Mechanistic Picture” (assigned to the Organic and Analytical Chemistry Department of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili) publicly on September 14th at the ICIQ Auditorium.

The members of the evaluation committee were: Prof. Ilan Marek (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology), Prof. Gregori Ujaque (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and Prof. Mariola Tortosa (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)


Dr. de Orbe with her supervisor, Prof. Antonio Echavarren, and the evaluation committee.


Why did you become a scientist?

I have always been very curious about how everything in nature works: how animals and plants grow and evolve, how the human body can be so complex and perfect at the same time – it’s fascinating! I wanted to understand nature in detail from its basic, elementary processes as if looking through magnifying glasses. That’s why I decided to become a scientist and, in particular, a chemist.

From your time at ICIQ, which lessons learned do you value the most?

ICIQ has made me think out of the box. Its international environment allows meeting very different people, discovering other ways of working and diverse perspectives of life. Moreover, ICIQ offers multidisciplinary seminars and training courses on a variety of topics, in which I have learned a lot.

What ICIQ moment you’ll never forget?

I will never forget so many moments at ICIQ…I cannot choose just one. The PhD studies here have been a great adventure full of anecdotes.

What would you like to achieve as a scientist?

I’d like to transmit the passion I feel for science to others. I’d especially like to get children excited about science: raise their interest so that they enjoy learning science and maybe, one day, they decide to become scientists as well. In a broader sense, I would like to work towards improving the life and health of people through science.