UK Catalysis Hub member María Asunción Molina Esquinas awarded 2023 Thesis Prize by the Spanish Society of Catalysis

Photo María Asunción Molina Esquinas

María Asunción Molina Esquinas, a member of the UK Catalysis Hub LAURELIN project at University College London, has been awarded the 2023 Thesis Prize by the Spanish Society of Catalysis. Her doctoral thesis, titled “Immobilization of Enzymes in MOFs: Design and Applications,” was developed at the “Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica” (ICP) of CSIC in Spain, under the supervision of Dr. Manuel Sánchez-Sánchez and Dr. Rosa María Blanco Martín. The thesis was defended on February 24, 2023, at the “Universidad Autónoma de Madrid”, in the Applied Chemistry Ph.D. program, receiving the highest distinction of Sobresaliente Cum Laude and the mention of International Doctorate.

María Asunción Molina Esquinas’ work presents an innovative methodology for immobilizing enzymes in a variety of materials, ranging from classic ones like SBA-15 to MOF-type materials, using “one pot” synthesis. The Spanish Society of Catalysis has praised the rigor with which the thesis chapters are discussed and the application of advanced characterization techniques. As a result of this work, the candidate has published six scientific articles in high-impact journals. Moreover, she has delivered numerous conference presentations, with some presented orally. Additionally, she has supplemented her training with international research stays and course attendance. She has also been involved in the supervision of students and the organization of scientific events and outreach activities.

Since November of last year, Asun has been part of the postdoctoral research team at University College London. Her current research is within the framework of the Laurelin project, where, under the supervision of Prof Andrew Beale. She focuses on studying the behaviour of catalysts provided by other collaborators, employing a wide range of spectroscopic and scattering methods.

The awards ceremony will take place during the upcoming SECAT conference, which will be held in June 2025 in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid, Spain).

More information can be found at Premio TESIS 2023 – SECAT

Photo of María Asunción Molina Esquinas thesis

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