Kenichiro Itami

CV of Prof. Itami (PDF)


Principal Investigator, Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM), Nagoya University, Japan
Professor, Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Japan
Joint Appointment Research Fellow, Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Address: Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan
Phone/Fax: +81-52-788-6098


Organic chemistry, organic synthesis, molecular nanocarbon science, bioactive molecules


The ultimate goal of the Itami group is to develop game-changing molecules, such as problem-solving functional molecules (“transformative molecules”) and beautiful molecules. With such goal in mind, the work of Itami group has centered on catalyst-enabling synthetic chemistry with broad directions including molecular nanocarbon materials, C-H activation catalysts, medicinal chemistry, and plant chemical biology. The representative achievement is the creation of a range of structurally uniform nanocarbons of fundamental and practical importance by bottom-up chemical synthesis.


1990.4~1994.3   Undergraduate Student
Department of Synthetic Chemistry, Kyoto University (Prof. Hisanobu Ogoshi)
1994.4~1996.3   Graduate Student (Master Course)
Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University (Prof. Yoshihiko Ito)
1996.4~1998.7   Graduate Student (Doctor Course)
Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University (Prof. Yoshihiko Ito)
1996.4~1998.7   JSPS Research Fellow (DC1)
1997.4~1998.3   Exchange Student (Uppsala Univ, Sweden: Prof. Jan-E. Backvall)
1998.8~1998.9   JSPS Research Fellow (PD)
1998.10~2005.1   Assistant Professor
Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University (Prof. Jun-ichi Yoshida)
2005.2~2008.5   Associate Professor
Research Center for Materials Science, Nagoya University (Prof. Ryoji Noyori)
2005.10~2009.3  PRESTO Researcher
Japan Science and Technology Agency, PRESTO Program
2008.6~present   Professor
Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University
2012.12~present   Principal Investigator, Professor
Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM), Nagoya University, Japan
2012.12~2022.3    Director
Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM), Nagoya University, Japan
2013.10~2020.3  Research Director
JST, ERATO, Itami Molecular Nanocarbon Project
2019.4~present  Joint Appointment Research Fellow
Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taiwan


2023 Irvine Organic Synthesis Lecturer, University of California, Irvine, USA
2023 The Job Lecturer, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
2023 The Paul G. Gassman Lecturer, University of Minnesota, USA
2022 Frontiers of EOC Lectureship, Nankai University, China
2022 The Reuben Benjamin Sandin Lecturer, University of Alberta, Canada
2022 ChemSoc Lecturer, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Australia
2021 Highly Cited Researchers 2021, Clarivate Analytics
2020 Highly Cited Researchers 2020, Clarivate Analytics
2019 Highly Cited Researchers 2019, Clarivate Analytics
2018 The Netherlands Scholar Award for Supramolecular Chemistry
2018 Highly Cited Researchers 2018, Clarivate Analytics
2018 The Guthikonda Lecturer, Stanford University
2018 The Roland K. Pettit Centennial Lecturer, University of Texas, Austin
2018 CSJ Award for Creative Work, The Chemical Society of Japan
2017 Highly Cited Researchers 2017, Clarivate Analytics
2017 ICI Distinguished Lecturer, University of Calgary, Canada
2017 The Chunichi Cultural Award
2017 The Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture, University of California, Berkeley
2017 The Yomiuri Techno Forum Gold Medal Prize
2017 The SYNLETT Best Paper Award 2016, Thieme
2016 The Holger Erdtman Lecture, KTH, Sweden
2016 The Nagase Prize
2016 Treat B. Johnson Lecture, Yale University
2016 Ta-Shue Chou Lectureship Award, Academia Sinica
2015 R. C. Fuson Visiting Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2015 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society
2015 Swiss Chemical Society Lectureship Award
2015 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society
2015 Swiss Chemical Society Lectureship Award
2014 Nankai University Lectureship Award
2014 The Aldrich Lecture, Emory University
2014 The JSPS Prize
2013 Novartis Chemistry Lectureship Award
2013 Mukaiyama award
2013 Asian Rising Star Award, Asian Chemical Congress
2012 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK
2012 German Innovation Award 2012
2012 Novartis-MIT Lecturer in Organic Chemistry
2011 ACP Lectureship Award, China
2011 ACP Lectureship Award, Malaysia
2011 Nozoe Memorial Award for Young Organic Chemists
2011 Overseas Distinguished Professor of Wuhan University, China
2008 Merck-Banyu Lectureship Award
2007 Banyu Young Chemist Award
2006 Minister Award for Distinguished Young Scientists
2005 Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award of Encourangement
2005 The Chemical Society of Japan Award for Young Chemists
2004 Thieme Journal Award
2000 Nissan Chemical Industries Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan


2008~2011 Canadian Journal of Chemistry (Advisory Board)
2011~2017 Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, RSC (Editorial Board)
2012~2022 Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry (Associate Editor)
2012~2016 ChemCatChem (International Advisory Board)
2013~2021 Chemistry – An Asian Journal (International Advisory Board)
2013-present Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan (Senior Editor)
2014~present Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis (Academic Advisory Board)
2015~present The Chemical Record (Editorial Board)
2015~present Tetrahedron/Tetrahedron Letters (Consulting Board of Editors)
2016~2018 Accounts of Chemical Research (Editorial Advisory Board)
2016~present Chem, Cell Press (Editorial Board)
2017~2020 Angewandte Chemie (International Advisory Board)
2019~present ACS Central Science (Editorial Advisory Board)
2021~present Tetrahedron Chem (Advisory Board)
2022~present Precision Chemistry (Associate Editor)


396 publications
H-index: 83 (Web of Science, ResearcherID: B-5110-2011)
Selected as Highly Cited Researchers 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, Clarivate Analytics
>140 patent applications
>450 plenary/invited lectures since 2006


1. Molecular nanocarbon chemistry
(A28)  “Methylene-bridged [6]-, [8]-, and [10]cycloparaphenylenes: Size-dependent properties and paratropic belt currents” H. Kono et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145, ASAP.
(A27)  “Synthesis, properties, and material hybridization of bare aromatic polymers enabled by dendrimer support” S. Fujiki et al., Nature Commun. 2022, 13, 5358.
(A26)  “Perfluorocycloparaphenylenes” H. Shudo et al., Nature Commun. 2022, 13, 3713.
(A25)  “Synthesis of a Möbius carbon nanobelt” Y. Segawa et al., Nature Synth. 2022,1, 535-541.
(A24)  “Infinitene: A helically twisted figure-eight [12]circulene topoisomer” M. Krzeszewski et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 862-871.
(A23)  “Diversity-oriented synthesis of nanographenes enabled by dearomative annulative π-extension” W. Matsuoka et al., Nature Commun. 2021, 12, 3940.
(A22)  “Double-helix supramolecular nanofibers assembled from negatively curved nanographenes” K. Kato et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 5465-5469.
(A21)  “Synthesis of a zigzag carbon nanobelt” K. Y. Cheung et al., Nature Chem. 2021, 13, 255-259.
(A20)  “Chemical synthesis of carbon nanorings and nanobelts” Y. Li et al., Acc. Mater. Res. 2021, 2, 681-691.
(A19)  “Creation of negatively curved polyaromatics enabled by annulative coupling that forms an eight-membered ring” S. Matsubara et al., Nature Catal. 2020, 3, 710-718.
(A18)  “A nonalternant aromatic belt: Methylene-bridged [6]cycloparaphenylene synthesized from pillar[6]arene” Y. Li et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 12850-12856.
(A17)  “Topologically unique molecular nanocarbons” Y. Segawa et al., Acc. Chem. Res. 2019, 52, 2760-2767.
(A16)  “Topological molecular nanocarbons: all-benzene catenane and trefoil knot” Y. Segawa et al., Science 2019, 365, 272-276.
(A15)  “Strength of carbon nanotubes depends on their chemical structures” A. Takakura et al., Nature Commun. 2019, 10, 3040.
(A14)  “Polycyclic arene synthesis by annulative π-extension” H. Ito et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 3-10.
(A13)  “Ultra-narrow-band thermal exciton radiation in intrinsic one-dimensional semiconductors” T. Nishihara et al., Nature Commun. 2018, 9, 3144. 05598-3
(A12)  “A water-soluble warped nanographene: Synthesis and applications for photo-induced cell death” H.-A. Lin et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 2874-2878.
(A11)  “Synthesis of partially and fully fused polyaromatics by annulative chlorophenylene dimerization” Y. Koga et al., Science 2018, 359, 435-439.
(A10)  “Electrically activated conductivity and white light emission of a hydrocarbon nanoring-iodine assembly” N. Ozaki et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 11196-11202.
(A9)    “Synthesis of a carbon nanobelt” G. Povie et al., Science 2017, 356, 172-175.
(A8)    “Synthesis and structural features of quadruple helicenes: Highly distorted π systems enabled by accumulation of helical repulsions” T. Fujikawa et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 3587-3595.
(A7)    “Structurally uniform and atomically precise carbon nanostructures” Y. Segawa et al., Nature Rev. Mat. 2016, 1, 15002.
(A6)    “One-shot K-region-selective annulative π-extension for nanographene synthesis and functionalization” K. Ozaki et al., Nature Commun. 2015, 6, 6251.
(A5)    “All-benzene carbon nanocages: Size-selective synthesis, photophysical properties, and crystal structure” K. Matsui et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 16452-16458.
(A4)    “A grossly warped nanographene and the consequences of multiple odd-membered-ring defects” K. Kawasumi et al., Nature Chem. 2013, 5, 739-744.
(A3)    “Initiation of carbon nanotube growth by well-defined carbon nanorings” H. Omachi et al., Nature Chem. 2013, 5, 572-576.
(A2)    “Synthesis of cycloparaphenylenes and related carbon nanorings: A step toward the controlled synthesis of carbon nanotubes” H. Omachi et al., Acc. Chem. Res. 2012, 45, 1378-1389.
(A1)    “Selective synthesis of [12]cycloparaphenylene” H. Takaba et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 6112-6116.

2. Synthetic methodology
(B23)  “Lithium-mediated mechanochemical cyclodehydrogenation” K. Fujishiro et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145, 8163-8175.
(B22)  “π-Extended rubrenes via dearomative annulative π-extension reaction” W. Matsuoka et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145, 658-666.
(B21)  “Selective transformation of strychnine and 1,2-disubstituted benzenes by C-H borylation” Y. Saito et al., Chem 2020, 6, 985-993.
(B20)  “Rapid access to nanographenes and fused heteroaromatics by palladium-catalyzed annulative π-extension reaction of unfunctionalized aromatics with diiodobiaryls” W. Matsuoka et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 12224-12228.
(B19)  “Annulative π-extension (APEX): An enabling reaction for rapid access to fused aromatics, heteroaromatics, and nanographenes” H. Ito et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 11144-11164.
(B18)  “Catalytic dehydrogenative C-H imidation of arenes enabled by photo-generated hole donation to sulfonimide” E. Ito et al., Chem 2017, 2, 383-392.
(B17)  “Decarbonylative organoboron cross-coupling of esters by nickel catalysis” K. Muto et al., Nature Commun. 2015, 6, 7508.
(B16)  “para-C-H borylation of benzene derivatives by a bulky iridium catalyst” Y. Saito et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 5193-5198.
(B15)  “Catalytic C-H imidation of aromatic cores of functional molecules: Ligand-accelerated Cu catalysis and application to materials- and biology-oriented aromatics” T. Kawakami et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 2460-2463.
(B14)  “Synthesis and characterization of hexaarylbenzenes with five or six different substituents enabled by programmed synthesis” S. Suzuki et al., Nature Chem. 2015, 7, 227-233.
(B13)  “Concise syntheses of dictyodendrins A and F by a sequential C-H functionalization strategy” A. D. Yamaguchi et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 644-647.
(B12)  “C-H bond functionalization: Emerging synthetic tools for natural products and pharmaceuticals” J. Yamaguchi et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 8960-9009.
(B11)  “Decarbonylative C-H coupling of azoles and aryl esters: Unprecedented nickel catalysis and application to the synthesis of muscoride A” K. Amaike et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 13573-13576.
(B10)  “Nickel-catalyzed C-H/C-O coupling of azoles with phenol derivatives” K. Muto et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 169-172.
(B9)    “Direct aylation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons through palladium catalysis” K. Mochida et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 10716-10719.
(B8)   “A general catalyst for the beta-selective C-H bond arylation of thiophenes with iodoarenes” K. Ueda et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 8946-8949.
(B7)   “Programmed synthesis of tetraarylthiophenes through sequential C-H arylation” S. Yanagisawa et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 14622-14623.
(B6)   “Potassium t-butoxide alone can promote the biaryl coupling of electron-deficient nitrogen heterocycles and haloarenes” S. Yanagisawa et al., Org. Lett. 2008, 10, 4673-4676.
(B5)   “Rh-catalyzed arylation and alkenylation of C60 using organoboron compounds” M. Nambo et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 8080-8081.
(B4)   “Direct C-H arylation of (hetero)arenes with aryl iodides via rhodium catalysis” S. Yanagisawa et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 11748-11749.
(B3)   “Triarylethene-based extended π-systems: Programmable synthesis and photophysical properties” K. Itami et al., J. Org. Chem. 2005, 70, 2778-2792.
(B2)   “Sequential assembly strategy for tetrasubstituted olefin synthesis using vinyl 2-pyrimidyl sulfide as a platform” K. Itami et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 11778-11779.
(B1)   “Diversity-oriented synthesis of multisubstituted olefins through the sequential integration of palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions. 2-Pyridyldimethyl(vinyl)silane as a versatile platform for olefin synthesis” K. Itami et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2001, 123, 11577-11585.

3. Chemical chronobiology
(C7)    “Reversible modulation of circadian time with chronophotopharmacology” D. Kolarski et al., Nature Commun. 2021, 12, 3164.
(C6)    “Photopharmacological manipulation of mammalian CRY1 for regulation of the circadian clock”  D. Kolarski et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 2078-2087.
(C5)    “Small molecules modulating mammalian biological clocks: Exciting new opportunities for synthetic chemistry” K. Amaike et al., Chem 2020, 6, 2186-2198.
(C4)    “Isoform-selective regulation of mammalian cryptochromes” S. Miller et al., Nature Chem. Biol. 2020, 16, 676-685.
(C3)    “Controlling the circadian clock with high temporal resolution through photodosing” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 15784-15791.
(C2)    “Cell-based screen identifies a new potent and highly selective CK2 inhibitor for modulation of circadian rhythms and cancer cell growth” T. Oshima et al., Science Adv. 2019, 5, eau9060.
(C1)    “C-H activation generates period-shortening molecules that target Cryptochrome in the mammalian circadian clock” T. Oshima et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 7193-7197.

4. Plant chemical biology
(D9)    “Discovery of 2,6-dihalopurines as stomata opening inhibitors: Implication of an LRX-mediated H+-ATPase phosphorylation pathway” A. Ueda et al., ACS Chem. Biol. 2023, 18, 347-355.
(D8)    “Identification of stomatal-regulating molecules from de novo arylamine collection through aromatic C-H amination” Y. Toda et al., Sci. Rep. 2022, 12, 949.
(D7)    “Casein kinese 1 family regulates PRR5 and TOC1 in the Arabidopsis circadian clock” T. N Uehara et al., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2019, 116, 11528-11536.
(D6)    “Discovery of plant growth stimulants by C-H arylation of 2-azahypoxanthine” H. Kitano et al., Org. Lett. 2018, 20, 5684-5687.
(D5)    “Discovery of shoot branching regulator targeting strigolactone receptor DWARF14” M. Yoshimura et al., ACS Cent. Sci. 2018, 4, 230-234.
(D4)    “Chemical hijacking of auxin signaling with an engineered auxin-TIR1 pair” N. Uchida et al., Nature Chem. Biol. 2018, 14, 299-305.
(D3)    “Discovery of synthetic small molecules that enhance the number of stomata: C-H functionalization chemistry for plant biology” A. Ziadi et al., Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 9632-9635.
(D2)    “The AMOR arabinogalactan sugar chain induces pollen-tube competency to respond to ovular guidance” A. G. Mizukami et al., Curr. Biol. 2016, 26, 1091-1097.
(D1)    “Probing strigolactone receptors in Striga hermonthica with fluorescence” Y. Tsuchiya et al., Science 2015, 349, 864-868.


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