Ala grew up in Tirgul Vertiujeni, a small village in the north part of Moldova. In 2000, she moved to Iasi, Romania for her high school studies. Afterwards, she went to France where she received in 2010 a MSc degree in Chemistry at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées of Rouen. She continued her doctoral studies with Professor Jieping Zhu at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland investigating novel copper catalyzed difunctionalization of doubles bonds. In 2015 she joined the Hartwig group at UC Berkeley as a postdoctoral researcher founded by SNSF. Her research focused on developing several strategies for C-H functionalization of polyethylenes, amines, and alcohols. In 2018 she moved to University of Cambridge and joined the Gaunt group as Herchel Smith Postdoctoral Fellow, where she worked on photocatalytic transformations. Ala started her independent career at University of Bonn in 2021 working on transition metal catalysis. In her spare time, Ala loves spending time with her family, practicing yoga, playing badminton, cooking, and travelling.


2018 - 2020

Herchel Smith Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Cambridge, UK

2015 - 2018

SNSF Postdoctoral Fellow

University of California Berkeley, USA

2010 - 2014

Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

2004 - 2010

MSc degree in Organic Chemistry

Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, Rouen, France


2022-2027          ERC Starting Grant 2021 Awardee

2022                      Thieme Chemistry Journals Award, Thieme Chemistry, Germany

2018 – 2020       Herchel Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship

2017 – 2018       Advanced Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship SNSF

2015 – 2016       Early Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship, SNSF

2010                       Interreg IV Research Fellowship, European Regional Development Fund

2010                       Novartis Award for Master’s Degree Internships, Federation Gay-Lussac, France

2008                       Award for Research Internship, Région Haute-Normandie, France