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ESR5: Demian Kalebić

Demian Kalebic is a chemist from Pula, Croatia with great interest in organic synthesis, chemistry of natural compounds, medicinal and supramolecular chemistry.

He obtained both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. During studies he did his research in synthesis and complexation-properties studies of siderophore analogs – natural iron chelating agents, ditopic receptors capable of binding both cations and anions as well as in synthesis of potentially bioactive compounds. In addition to that, he also participated in numerous science popularization projects and events, having an outreach from primary and high-school students to general public. He also worked at the R&D department of a pharmaceutical company as a student researcher for 2 years. In 2018, he participated in an Erasmus+ Traineeship program at KU Leuven, Belgium, at LOSA, the group of professor Wim Dehaen where he took part in a medicinal chemistry project, investigating the structure-activity relationship of piperidone-derived triazoles. The cultural diversity and hard-working environment, along with the friendly atmosphere present in the group drove him to a decision to apply for a doctorate researcher position in the same group.

Currently, he works at KU Leuven as a PhD student under supervision of prof. Wim Dehaen. He is the ESR5 of project SULTAN and the topic of his research is the design and synthesis of novel chelating surfactants derived from natural products or renewable starting materials. Apart from the synthesis, his research also involves the investigation of their potential for use in the recovery of valuable metals from aqueous leachates by ion flotation.

In his leisure time, he enjoys showing appreciation for various forms of art, including visual arts, performing arts and above all studying and playing music while constantly exploring the world.