Guillermo Orellana graduated in Chemistry at Complutense University of Madrid in 1984 with the highest qualification; shortly after, he received his M. Sc. degree in Organic Chemistry (1984) from the same university, by his work in the reaction mechanisms of organic reductions with lithium tetrahidridoaluminate. After being awarded with a doctoral grant from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, he got a Ph. D. degree from Complutense University in 1988 with "Summa cum Laude". His Thesis research focused on the synthesis, electrochemical, spectroscopic, and photochemical characterization of ruthenium(II) complexes with five-membered heterocyclic ligands, under the supervision of Prof. María L. Quiroga from the Department of Organic Chemistry.
A pre-doctoral stage (1987) with Prof. André M. Braun at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) of Lausanne (Switzerland), as a grantee of the Madrid Community Council, stimulated his interest in laser-induced photophysics and photochemistry and, particularly, in the study of photoinduced electron-transfer reactions. His photochemical training was completed after a postdoctoral stage (1988-1989) at Columbia University in the city of New York (USA), working at Prof. Nicholas J. Turro laboratories as a Fulbright scholar. His postdoctoral activities at Columbia involved research on the interaction of metal complexes with DNA probed by emission spectroscopy, photoinduced electron-transfer processes between species bound to nucleic acids and "starburst" dendrimers, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of transition metals. Some of these topics were further investigated thanks to shorter stages at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), with Prof. Andrée Kirsch-De Mesmaeker.
After enjoying an Assistant Professor position at the Department of Organic Chemistry of Complutense University (1989), he got tenure as Full Professor in 1990 at the same Department, where he currently leads the Laboratory of Applied Photochemistry. His currents areas of interest are (i) the design and fabrication of micro-probes based on novel photochemical reactions and fiber-optic chemosensors for the analysis of environmental, industrial, and medical parameters, and (ii) the synthesis and characterization of nano-probes, aimed to investigate the structure of nucleic acids and design artificial photonucleases, in order to enlarge the array of tools available to the molecular biologist. The realization of both goals rests on the molecular engineering of luminescent transition metal complexes and tailor-made organic heterocyclic structures.
The research work of Prof. Orellana is gathered in more than fifty papers and chapters of books (see enclosure), six patents on optical sensors, as well as many contributions to national and international conferences on Photochemistry and Fiber-Optic Sensors. He has been co-chairman (with Prof. A.M. Scheggi) of the Conference on Medical Sensors and Fibre-Optic Sensors held on the occasion of BIOS Europe'95 (European Biomedical Optics Week, Barcelona, 1995). He has also chaired sessions on optical fiber gas sensors and applications of optical sensors at the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th European Conferences on Optical Chemical Sensors and Biosensors-Europt(r)ode. Prof. Orellana is a member of the Permanent Steering Committee of EUROPT(R)ODE Conference Series since 1996 and will be Chairman of the forthcoming conference to be held in Madrid in 2004.
He has been (or is currently) leader of 12 research projects funded by the Spanish Government, the European Union (Brite-EuRam III, INCO, COST D1 and Thematic Networks Programmes) and the Universidad Complutense. He has also been manager of 9 research contracts in the field of optical chemical sensing, with private enterprises such as Repsol-YPF (Spain), Agilent Technologies (USA), Grupo Interlab (Spain), Tecnologia y Gestion de la Innovacion (Spain), C.E.S.A. (Spain) and Physical Optics Corp. (USA). Dr. Orellana was the recipient of the 1990 National Young Researcher Award of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (RSEQ). He is also the Spanish representative of the European Photochemistry Association and treasurer of the Photochemical Group of the RSEQ.
ppppDr. GUILLERMO ORELLANA