6 Dec 2019
Vicente obtained a European PhD (Summa Cum Laude) from 2008 to 2012 in supramolecular chemistry with FPU fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education at Univ. Jaume I working on the design and synthesis of macrocyclic compounds for molecular recognition. During his PhD he carried out two short research stays at Univ. Zaragoza (Spain, 2009) and Imperial College London (UK, 2010) obtaining a PhD prize from the Univ. Jaume I and preparing more than 10 publications, participate in more than 20 conferences, prepare one patent, participate in teaching at the university and pedagogic research projects (corresponding author of J. Chem. Ed. 2014 with more than 30 citations) and other soft skills acquired.
Then, he was awarded a 2-year postdoctoral VALi+d fellowship (2013–15) funded by the local government (Generalitat Valenciana, Spain) to develop a project involving University Jaume I, Universty of Oxford and a biotechnology company. Postdoctoral work allowed him interdisciplinary research, combining macrocyclic chemistry, interlocked hosts designed for molecular recognition and sensing of anions of biological and environmental importance and sensing of bacteria at the biotechnology company Biotica. This fellowship allowed writing one publication as the corresponding author (J. Org. Chem. 2016), a publication calcified as “Hot Paper” by the journal with an inside back cover (Chem. Eur. J. 2015) and a review on macrocyclization with more than 150 citations (Chem. Rev. 2015, IF=37.37).
The ensemble of these achievements allowed Dr. Martí to obtain the accreditation for assistant professor (2013) and the accreditation for associate professor (2015) from the Spanish National Quality Assessment Agency/Ministry of Education (ANECA). These are prerequisite qualifications for academic positions in Spain. Then he moved to work as Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Univ. of Edinburgh in the design and synthesis of molecular machines and self-assembled host systems for molecular recognition and catalysis in the Lusby group. Dr. Martí discovered the catalytic properties of the Pd2L4 capsules, this key breakthrough shows an example of an artificial “Diels–Alderase” capsule that can overcome the product inhibition paradigm and combining efficient turnover alongside enzyme-like hallmarks (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, IF=13.86, being Dr. Martí the main contributor). In addition to this paper, two more have been published (Chem. Sci. 2017, Chem. Eur. J. 2018) and others are under preparation. In January 2018 Dr. Martí obtained a prestigious Marie Curie IF fellowship (European Union funded) to continue his scientific career at the Nathan McClenaghan research group at the Institut des Sciences Moléculaires (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux) and Laurent Cognet research group focusing in supramolecular systems for fluorescence imaging.
Dr. Martí publication years stared in 2011 and has published 30 papers, 2 of them as the corresponding author, with a total of 480 citations, average of 16 citations/paper. In 2019 he already received 100 citations and the average number of citations per year is 56. His latest J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018 paper has received 32 citations in only one year. The h-index is 11. See the publication list on his web or google scholar.
Vicente Martí Centelles research interests are focuses in the applications of supramolecular systems in different fields. Recent research is focused in the design of macrocycles, molecular cages, interlocked molecules, etc. with tailored properties ranging from molecular sensing, catalysis and microscopy.
Vicente Martí Centelles current research interests focuses on supramolecular systems for fluorescence imaging. This research is carried out through his Marie Curie IF fellowship in the Nathan McClenaghan research group at the Institut des Sciences Moléculaires (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux) and Laurent Cognet research group at the Laboratoire Photonique Numérique et Nanosciences - Institut d'Optique Graduate School (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux). Super-resolution microscopy allows obtaining high resolution images overcoming the light diffraction limit. Thanks to the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship that I obtained, I am developing fluorescent supramolecular systems able to work efficiently in this microscopy techniques.
This project, indeed allows to integrate all state of the art knowledge acquired during my career to develop functional molecules with tailored properties in microscopy. It is fascinating to be able to detect single molecules using microscopy. This allows studying the individual behavior of molecules that cannot be distinguished using bulk measurements, where it is only possible to measure average values. Single-molecules detection can be performed in a confocal microscope using appropriate fluorescent molecules, excitation laser and a camera. The following image shows differnt frames containing single molecules simulted with ThunderSTORM in ImageJ, and ilustrates the process of detecting single molecules over time to reconstruct a high resolution image by processing all the individual frames. Recently I did an interview with the "Sociedad para el Avance Científico" to talk about my Marie Curie Fellowship, you can read the full interview and watch the Youtube video to get further details about the process of getting a Marie Curie Fellowship, the benefits from it and an overview of the project objectives.
Vicente Martí Centelles was previously a postodoctoral researcher in the Lusby group
at the University of Edinburgh.
His research focused in the design and synthesis of molecular machines and self-assembled host systems for molecular recognition and catalysis.
Dr. Martí discovered in his research the catalytic properties of the Pd2L4 capsules, and he developed experimental protocols and kinetic
models to obtain quantitative thermodynamic data by means of data science programing.
The catalytic hosts have properties similar to the biological systems, in particular, the proteins. The unfolded peptides do not have any activity, and the folded structure has a very efficient activity for a particular reaction. For the cage compounds, a similar effect is observed. The disassembled components do not have any catalytic activity, but the assembled structure has enhanced molecular recognition and catalytic properties. So the catalysis is an emergent property of these sophisticated molecular architectures. Focussing on the design of the cages, why are enzyme active sites buried? If we analyze the size of the active center of an enzyme in comparison to all the structure, this is relatively small with similar size of our cage design. The most important supramolecular interactions present in an enzyme active center are multiple hydrophobic contacts providing selectivity and multiple non-covalent interactions being the main contribution to activity and also providing selectivity.
This research resulted in a key publication J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 2862-2868. IF=13.86, being Dr. Martí the main contributor) reporting an artificial "Diels-Alderase" capsule overcoming the product inhibition paradigm and combining efficient turnover alongside enzyme-like hallmarks. Along the different research topics, Vicente has been involved in the organization of conferences, and being a member of the organizing committee the 3rd edition of the EaStCHEM Conference for Early-Career Researchers ECECR 2018 that was at King's Building Campus, University of Edinburgh.
Postdoctoral work through the VALi+d fellowship allowed Vicente to diversify his research activities, focusing on macrocyclic chemistry at Univ. Jaume I, synthesis of interlocked hosts designed for molecular recognition and sensing of anions of biological and environmental importance at Univ. of Oxford (Chem. Eur. J. 2015, “Hot Paper”, inside back cover) and sensing of bacteria at Biotica. All the knowledge acquired allowed publication of a review on macrocyclization (Chem. Rev. 2015), and additional participation in two general scientific magazine publications.
The work developed at the University of Oxford focused on the design and preparation of receptors of species of biological, environmental, and medical interest. In this sense, the essential role of anions in these fields must be emphasized. The important role of anions has motivated chemists to develop synthetic anion receptors capable of selective recognition, this research area being an important part of the field of Supramolecular Chemistry.
Nitrate anion plays an important role in environmental and medical contexts: excessive use of fertilizers in agriculture has caused eutrophication and alteration of the natural aquatic ecosystem, while exposure to elevated nitrate levels is a cause of diseases such as methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome) in infants. The preparation of selective nitrate receptors is a poorly developed area, with few examples described in the literature, and which mostly operate only in organic solvents. The main challenges to overcome in the design of selective nitrate receptors are the low affinity of the anion to form hydrogen bonds and the high hydration energy of the anion in mixtures of aqueous solvents, which contribute to an association weak in general with the host molecule.
These results were hihghlighted in the news through several interviews. Vicente Martí-Centelles tells to the journal Pan European Networks: Science & Technology about the development of a pioneering method in the evaluation of nitrate pollution Pan European Networks: Science & Technology June 2016, From the UJI to Oxford against water pollution Mediterraneo 22/10/2015, a researcher creates a method that detects nitrates selectively Levante de Castelló 22/10/2015, a researcher designs a pioneering method in the nitrate pollution assessment Universitat Jaume I Science Videos, interview on Radio Voramar esRadio 92.5,in "Es la Mañana" to explain nitrate detection research Radio Voramar esRadio 92.5 29/10/2015, dissemination of research on nitrate detection in Finestra a la Ciència de Vox UJI Radio 30/10/2015, Blog Ciencia TV Universitat Jaume I 2015, and Universitat Jaume I web page 2015.
Whit this work I was able to obtain a honourable mention in the XI Award Scientific-Technical "Ciutat d'Algemesí" for young researchers in 2015. This was hihglhted in the news Algemesi rewards the research work on environmental pollution carried out by Vicente Martí.
Vicente PhD thesis work focused on the design and preparation of pseudopeptidic systems with applications in molecular recognition and self-assembly. Vicente developed this work at Univ. Jaume I, and performing two short research stays in leading research groups at Imperial College London and Univ. Zaragoza in order to gain experience in specific research topics. Vicente developed anion template synthetic strategies to achieve an efficient synthesis of macrocyclic structures through SN2 reactions in the macrocyclization reaction step (Chem. Eur. J. 2012, J. Org. Chem. 2014, Sci. World J. 2012). Some of these macrocyclic compounds based on acridine had excellent anion recognition and sensing properties, and they were able to selectively recognise dihydrogen phosphate and the tryptophan amino acid by means of fluorescence experiments (Chem. Eur. J. 2014, J. Org. Chem. 2012). In his PhD work he also prepared and characterized novel polymeric metal complexes with appropriately designed pseudopeptidic ligands in my research stay at Imperial College London (CrystEngComm 2011). In these scientific publications he was the main contributor and 1st author. Additionally, he did further studies in the topic of anion-templated macrocyclization reactions in my postdoctoral project at Univ. Jaume I. In this case, Vicente prepared the macrocycles by means of amide bond formation reactions in the macrocyclization step (J. Org. Chem. 2016). During the PhD, Vicente also participated in a project where a family of organogellating compounds were able to form gels by the self-assembly of the monomers and the gels were stable to high temperatures, these studies resulted in the preparation of one publication (Tetrahedron 2013) and one patent.
Vicente Martí Centelles research in supramolecular chemistry exceptional combination of skills: organic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, and physical organic chemistry.
Vicente Martí Centelles has participated in different outreach activities for disseminating his research work targeting a broad audience. These activites include, the european researcher night 2019 in Bordeaux, the "Fete de la Science 2019" at Institut de Sciences Molecularies in Bordeaux and preparing with journalists press releases and journal/radio/video interviews.
Vicente Martí Centelles has participated in the Chemistry Olympiad over the last years. Dr. Martí's interest in Chemistry began early and in 2002 he obtained a gold medal in the Spanish National Olympiad and a silver medal in both the International Chemistry Olympiad (the highest distinction obtained by Spain in this prestigious competition) and Ibero-American Chemistry Olympiad. The participation in the Chemistry Olympiad includes:
The training carried in the Chemistry Olympiad as mentor, cientific observer and collaborator has been succesful, and the students have obtained bronze medals and honourable mentions every year:
Vicente whon a Silver Medal at the International Chemistry Olympiad in 1002, and this was highlighted in the news, a complete press dossier is available with all the interviews.
Knowing the Periodic Table is essential in the field of chemistry, but its memorisation is often tedious and complex for students. Vicente Martí Centelles and Jenifer Rubio Magnieto, alumni of Chemistry at the Universitat Jaume I, have developed a game for secondary school students and first years of university, and anyone interested in chemistry, to learn the group and period each chemical element belongs to in the Periodic Table in an easy, simple and funny way. Two years of work and experimentation in the classroom have resulted into ChemMend, a game that has been reported on the International Journal of Chemical Education.
ChemMend is the first existing game that allows exploring and gaining knowledge about the groups and periods of elements since; so far, existing games on the Periodic Table are focused on linking the different elements with their symbol. The gameplay is similar to the popular UNO, but this time is to follow the reference card with cards that correspond to the same group of elements or the same period, or to use one of the cards that act as a wildcard and which introduce different instructions as jumping a turn, draw cards from the deck, change direction, make a drawing, etc. All the info can be found in the ChemMend Full Press release document. Also you can found further infomration on www.facebook.com/ChemMend the orignal publication J. Chem. Ed. 2014, 91, 868-871. and the electronic online implementation. www.chemmend.uji.es.
I've developed software during my different research process. At the moment I am working on my Vicente GitHub site to share the soruce code, and this sofware will be available to download in due course. I have learned different programming languages that allowed to develop these software. Such languages include C++, Python, Cran-R and Mathematica.
I am also develping a tool to improve the presentation of complex strucutures in poster presentations or meetings. This tool is java script based, and it does not requires the installation of any app and allows displaying a molecule over the AR.Chem recognition motif. The main advantage of this methodology is to allow the user to acces directy to the 3D molecule just using an smartphone to read the QR code, then a web page will be oppened asking to acces the camera and the augmented reality molecule will be displayed over the QR code, simple and efficient. The source code can be accesed from my GitHub page on the following link: Augmented reality for chemistry
You can simply test the this code by acccesing the following link, and then point the camera of you smartphone to the image below: Run the augmented reality for chemistry in your smartphone.
HTML code to implement AR.Chem
<!doctype HTML> <html> <script src="aframe.min.js"></script> <script src="aframe-ar.js"></script> <script src="aframe-vrml-component.min.js"></script> <body style='margin : 0px; overflow: hidden;'> <a-scene embedded vr-mode-ui="enabled: false" arjs='debugUIEnabled: false; sourceType: webcam; detectionMode: mono_and_matrix; matrixCodeType: 3x3 trackingMethod: best;' renderer="antialias: false; logarithmicDepthBuffer: true; colorManagement: true; sortObjects: true;" > <a-assets> <a-asset-item id="3d-wrl" src="rotax_v01.wrl"></a-asset-item> </a-assets> <a-marker type='pattern' url='ar-chem.patt'> <a-entity vrml="#3d-wrl" scale ="0.15 0.15 0.15" position="0 0.5 0" rotation="-90 0 0" > </a-entity> </a-marker> <a-entity camera></a-entity> </a-scene> </body> </html>
If you are interested in using any of these contact me by e-mail and I can provide it or we can collaborate to implement it you your particular needs or to solve any particular challenge that you have in your research. For example, I have developed a wide variety of Advanced Kinetic Modelling code with R that allows simulating very complex reactions and perform multivariate fitting.
These sofware has been developed in the Python programming language (using the libraries: SciPy, Matplotlib and PIL Python Image Library) and R. Some of these programs had an user graphical interface (GUI) develped by using the GTK interface wit the aid of glade.
We can create high quality renders for our chemical models with Blender. To do this render first we need a pdb file of our molecule. I usually use gaussian to perform my calculantions and I use molden to view the output files. Then I export the molecule in Tinker xyz format. Then I convert the tinker xyz file to pdb wiht xyz2pdb ( the xyz2pdb-src-linux_bin-windows_bin.zip contains the source code (written in C) and binaries compided for linux and windows). To use xyz2pdb open a terminal in linux or the cmd in Windows and execute xyz2pdb -help to obtain a list of help:
$ ./xyz2pdb -help
Usage: ./xyz2pdb [<flags> with arguments, as follows]
-o <PDB file name> default is <stdout>
-xyzfile <XYZ file name> default is <stdin>
-debug <level> 0 to 9 
-backbone output backbone only
-noh don't output hydrogen atoms
-noh2o don't output water molecules
-nourea don't output urea molecules
-usebond derive bond info from input file only
-help print this information
Therefore to convert our xyz file we must use:
$ ./xyz2pdb -xyzfile myfile.xyz -o myfile.pdb
Then we will import this pdb file into Blender with pdb2blender.py, this python script is already in a blender file, pdb2blend12.blend. To use the script open the file pdb2blend12.blend in blender, then in the left window right click and execute script, setup the parameters to import and click on Import button to select the pdb file.
Vicente Martí Centelles - 2019