Dr. Koen Van Aken, CEO

After obtaining a PhD at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in 1993, Koen Van Aken (°1965) occupied a postdoctoral position at Georgia State University, Atlanta. Afterwards, he returned to Belgium to join the Center of Molecular Design at Janssen Pharmaceutica (a division of Johnson & Johnson). As senior scientist, his work involved HIV drug design in close collaboration with Dr. Paul Janssen which eventually resulted in FDA approved drugs. After founding the company EcoSynth in 2001, he obtained a master in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Vlerick Gent Management School (2007). His 23 years of experience in academic and industrial organic chemistry are illustrated by (co)authorship of over 40 publications (including 17 patents). Main interests include sustainable chemistry, flow chemistry, novel activation technologies, optimization of reaction parameters, automation of organic chemistry and process development. As current guest professor, he teaches “sustainable chemistry” as a course at the Catholic University of Leuven, the same university at which he was appointed fellow of the faculty of science. He was also chairman of the feasibility study for the Flemish Initiative for Sustainable Chemistry and member of the former board of directors of FISCH, now transformed in CATALISTI.

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