22 May marked the ceremony of awarding the Jagiellonian University Merentibus medal to Prof. Oliver Martin, a distinguished Swiss chemist with a long relationship with the University of Orleans. The medal is given by the JU Senate to people, organisations or institutions from both Poland and abroad in recognition of their contributions to the oldest Polish university. The meeting was chaired by the JU Vice-Rector for Research Prof. Piotr Kuśtrowski.
‘Research and teaching collaboration between the University of Orleans and the Jagiellonian University began in the 1990s thanks to the efforts of Prof. Claudine Kieda, the then-director of the CNRS Institute of Molecular Biology and Prof. Karol Musioł, the later JU Rector. Initially, it focused on physical and biophysical sciences; later, it was expanded to chemistry, law and medicine. Prof. Olivier Martin was the originator and long time coordinator of the collaboration in the area of chemistry. As his counterpart from the Polish side, I was able to witness his commitment to the development of this endeavour first hand from the very beginning in 2006’, said Prof. Grażyna Stochel from the JU Faculty of Chemistry in her laudatory speech.
‘Prof. Oliver Martin played a role in practically every important aspect of the two universities’ collaboration, such as devising joint curricula, delivering lectures at the Jagiellonian University and supporting Polish students in Orleans laboratories, supervising the theses of students and PhD candidates, and organising visits from Polish academics to France. He was thorough when it came to his coordination efforts and searching for funding for French students in Poland and Polish students in France. Thanks to his involvement, many of our graduates had the opportunity to write their thesis or do an internship in French higher education institutions and research centres related to chemical and pharmaceutical industries’, Prof. Stochel added.
Thanking for the award, Prof. Olivier Martin expressed his pleasure and satisfaction with the long-time cooperation with the JU scientists, including, among others, Prof. Grażyna Stochel, Prof. Claudine Kieda, and Prof. Karol Musioł as well as the JU Faculty of Chemistry in general. ‘Interaction with the Faculty of Chemistry opened and reinforced research collaboration. Together we have published more than 40 papers in highly regarded journals’, stressed Prof. Martin.
‘The cooperation between the University of Orleans and the Jagiellonian University, established with your active participation, has crated opportunities for the exchange of students and ideas for so many years. We are very grateful for that’, concluded the JU Vice-Rector Prof. Piotr Kuśtrowski.
Prof. Oliver Martin was born in Switzerland. He graduated in chemical engineering from the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. He defended his PhD thesis in the University of Geneva. He completed a postdoctoral internship at the Carbohydrate Research Institute in Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. In 1984–1996, he worked as a chemistry professor at the State University of New York in Binghamton, USA, and in 1991–1992 he moved to the CNRS CERMAV Institute in Grenoble, France. In 1997, he became a chemistry professor at the University of Orleans, and in 2006 he became the director of the CNRS Institute of Organic and Analytical Chemistry (ICOA). Since 2018, he is an emeritus professor of the University of Orleans.Prof. Martin’s academic interests include organic and medical chemistry. He is a world class specialist in carbohydrate chemistry. He is the author or co-author of 130 publications in respected international journals and co-author of 7 patents. During his career, he promoted 24 PhDs in chemical sciences and supervised 21 postdoctoral internships.