Department: Química Orgánica

Faculty: Ciencias Químicas

Area: Organic Chemistry

Research group: Sensores químicos ópticos y fotoquímica aplicada


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Doctor by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid with the thesis Síntesis y caracterización espectroscópica, electroquímica y fotoquímica de nuevos sensibilizadores tris (alfa-diimina) rutenio(ii) que contienen heterociclos de cinco miembros 1988. Supervised by Dr. María Luz Quiroga Feijoo.

Graduate in Chemistry (UCM 1984, Extraordinary Award), I did my PhD as FPI scholar under Prof. ML Quiroga at the UCM Organic Chem. Dpmt. (1985-88, Extraordinary Award) on the synthesis and photochemistry of luminescent Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes, a pioneering work in Spain for the existing resources. I performed predoctoral stages with Prof. AM Braun (EPFL, Lausanne; photochemical laser kinetic study of metal complexes for solar energy conversion). As a Fulbright grantee postdoc, I did research at Columbia Univ. (New York, 1988-89) with Prof. NJ Turro on photochemical probes for the study of DNA. I got tenure as Ass. Professor in 1990 at Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) Organic Chem. Dpmt. where I started my own research group in Applied Photochemistry, collaborating with Prof. F. Montero (Dept. of Biochem. UCM) on the development of metal-organic photonucleases, and with Prof. María C Moreno-Bondi (UCM Analytical Chem. Dept.) on the application of luminescent indicator dyes and electron-, energy- and proton-transfer photochemistry to the development of optochemical sensors. As a result of the latter, the (Interdepartmental) Group of Optical Chemosensors and Applied Photochemistry was born, of which I have been Director since its inception (validated by UCM as 910072; seal of "Excellence" awarded by the Spanish National Evaluation Agency-ANECA). During 1990-2001, the GSOLFA run 5 national projects on photochemical sensors for environmental monitoring (PETRI91, AMB92/95/98, PPQ2000) and one EU project (Brite-EuRamIII BRPR-CT97) all of which I was PI; they placed GSOLFA in a relevant place of the world scene in this field. I also participated in an EU COST D1 Action, also as PI at UCM. Furthermore, 2 Spanish-German “Integrated Actions” as PI at UCM with Prof. Braun (Uni Karlsruhe, 1993-5/1998-0) allowed for the first time to characterise the production of singlet molecular oxygen by Ru(II)-polypyridyl photosensitisers (which my Group would then apply to disinfection of drinking water in less-favoured countries in two EU-INCO projects, and to photodynamic disinfection in self-sterilizing catheters in the CTQ2015-72708-EXP project). In addition to the development of photochemical (bio)sensors, the collaborative research with Prof. Moreno-Bondi includes the preparation of fluorescent-tagged analytes for water and food analysis with molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs), within national BQU2002, CTQ2006/2009/2012/2015, and RTI2018 grants (as PI), and 3 EU projects (QLK1-CT1999, MRTN-CT2006, FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN) as UCM participant. Thanks to this collaboration, we are also internationally known in the MIPs field. Since 2001, the photochemical research applied to chemical sensing I lead has increased its approach to the "real" world (environment, industry, aeronautics) thanks to national (PROFIT2001; PETRI2006), regional (S-0505/AMB) and 3 EU projects (NMP2-CT2006 "POLYTECT"; FPE2005-STREP-AERO "SUPERSKYSENSE"; STREP FP7-NMP-2010-LARGE-4 “NANODEM”) all as PI at UCM. The production and relevance of my research in these fields led to the Full Professor accreditation (2009) and position (2011) at UCM Dpmt of Organic Chemistry (Chair in 2004-2009). It's noteworthy our strong research partnership with the industrial sector and the transfer of technology through 36 research contracts with prestigious companies (e.g. Repsol, Agilent Technologies, CESA, TAP Biosystems, Aqualogy, Naturgy, Quirón Prevención, CENER, DiagnóstiQA, Arquimea,...) and 18 patents (8 PCT/EP), allowing the training and transfer to industry of more than 40 graduates and PhDs. Prof. Orellana is currently Chair of the Permanent Steering Committee of the EUROPT(R)ODE Conference Series (biannual European conference of Optical Chemical Sensors and Biosensors), and has been co-Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier's Sensors & Actuators B: Chem., one of the leading journals in the field.