Chair of Organic Chemistry
The Department of Organic Chemistry, formerly known as Institute of Organic Chemistry, is, as it has been for a long time, one of the most prolific and dynamic among Chemistry Departments of the Faculty of Science and Technology. Currently headed by the academic of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, professor Jaak Järv, it continues long-standing tradition of being at the cutting-edge of science. The key words for the Department of Organic Chemistry, as for modern science in general, are “cooperation & synergy”. The present-day scientific climate encourages collaboration and Department of Organic Chemistry develops extensive scientific networks not only among academic institutions of Tartu University, such as Institute of Physics and Material Sciences, but also within pan-European scientific network, successfully cooperating on various projects with universities in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, as well as numerous private enterprises in Estonia and abroad.
The core of Department are three main research groups, with common denominator for all of them being organic synthesis.
Dr. Uno Mäeorg’s group has a long history of fundamental work in organic synthesis as well as many successful and creative implementations of those results for practical purposes, such as developing synthetic pathways for pheromone synthesis and subsequent production of pheromones for pest-control. The main interest of the group include heterocyclic chemistry, chemistry of hydrazine derivates, research into new synthetical strategies involving orthogonal protective groups and development of biologically active compounds as well as chemistry of low-dimension materials - carbon nanotubes, thin films, etc. Dr. Mäeorg, the head of the group, is the author of numerous papers in high-impact factor journals and co-holder of several patents.
Professor Jaak Järv’s group focus is the borderline between organic, bioorganic and physical chemistry. Professor Jaak Järv is a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, co-holder of several patents and the author of numerous publications in high impact-factor journals, among them several widely accepted models for protein-ligand interactions. The group focuses on QSAR analysis of biologically active compounds, particularly protein kinase inhibitors, studies on protein-ligand interactions, design and development of new bioactive compounds acting on G protein-coupled receptors and monoamine transporters, as well as synthesis of radioisotope-labelled compounds and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) tracer development.
The last, but definitely not least, is the group of Dr. Ants Tuulmets. Dr. Tuulmets is professor-emeritus of Tartu University and a respected figure in the world of organometallic chemistry. His group’s main interests are organometallic chemistry and sonochemistry, with particular interest in Grigard’s reagents and weak hydrophobic interactions. The group focuses on reaction mechanism elucidation and is credited with several remarkable discoveries in that field. Professor-emeritus Ants Tuulmets is the driving force behind the group’s work and over the course of years has published numerous high-impact papers in the international journals.
The Department of Organic Chemistry offers a wide choice of undergraduate and graduate courses dealing with both theoretical and practical aspects of organic chemistry. Students are generally free to choose subjects they wish to take besides compulsory courses, making the sight of both graduate students and enthusiastic undergraduates taking the same subjects not an unusual one.