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Curriculum Vitae Prof. Nicola Della Ca’

Nicola Della Ca’ received the degree in Industrial Chemistry (with honors) in 2000 from the University of Parma (Italy) with a thesis entitled “Supramolecular structures derived from palladium halides and pyridine carboxylic acid/guanidine salts. Study of the catalytic activity in solution” (Supervisors: Proff. M. Costa e A. Bacchi). In 2001 he obtained a grant to work in the field of supramolecular chemistry for one year under the guidance of the Proff. R. Ungaro and A. Casnati (European project title “Picolinamide based calixarene extractants for the selective An/Ln separation from radioactive waste”). In 2004 he completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Sciences under the direction of Prof. M. Costa (University of Parma), mainly working on carbonylation reactions and contributing to the development of new syntheses of heterocyclic compounds by catalytic carbonylation of unsaturated substrates (Thesis title:”Synthesis of heterocyclic compounds starting from acetylenic substrates containing O or N functions”). During the Ph.D. he spent six months as visiting scholar at the Departement of Chemistry – Iowa State University in the group of Professor Richard C. Larock (Project title:”Efficient syntheses of heterocycles and carbocycles by electrophilic cyclization of acetylenic aldehydes and ketones”). In 2005 he joined Catellani’s group as Researcher (Department of Organic and Industrial Chemistry - University of Parma - SSD CHIM04). His contribution to the development of the "Catellani Reactions", well known in the area of C-H bond activation (Acc. Chem. Res. 2016, 49, 1389; Coord. Chem. Rev. 2010, 254, 456), has been significant. At the same time, he continued his studies on carbonylation reactions for the synthesis of high added-value compounds in non-conventional reaction media as well. Particular attention was paid to the use of CO2 as solvent and reagent, contributing to the development of new green methods for the catalyzed syntheses of important classes of organic compounds.



2016-2020 •    Member of the COST Action CA15106 “C-H Activation in Organic Synthesis” (Acronym: CHAOS) (1/5/2016-30/04/2020)

2018-2019 •    Scientific Coordinator of the project: "Study of a system for the elimination of chemical species such as acetic acid, peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide from the rinse water of an aseptic filling line” between UNIPR and GEA-Procomac SpA

2017•  Short Term Scientific Missions (COST action CA15106, CHAOS) assigned to Alessandra Casnati (PhD student) in collaboration with Prof. Timothy Noel (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)

2017 • FFABR: “Fondo di Finanziamento individuale delle Attività Base di Ricerca” (MIUR)

2015-2016 •    Scientific Coordinator of the project: “Preparation of abrasive materials and evaluation of their thermal stability” between UNIPR and Paolo Corazzi Fibre s.r.l.

2014-2015 •    Scientific Coordinator of the project: “Study of the effect of comonomers in the polymerization of acrylic monomers” between UNIPR and Chimica Pomponesco s.p.a. (Frati Group)

2008-2009 •    Member in the project: “Development of catalysts to accelerate and inhibit the cross-linking of plastic materials (cross-linked polyethylene)” between UNIPR and Padanaplast (Solvay Group)

2006-2010 •    He was involved in the followed national projects funded by the Italian Ministry for University and Scientific Research (MIUR):

PRIN 2008: Scientific Project "Catalytic synthesis in ordered sequences: introduction of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in organic substrates“, (2 years)

PRIN 2006: Scientific Project “Complex catalytic systems for the realization of new selective syntheses from a multiplicity of components under mild conditions“,(2 years)


Research activity

Dr. Nicola Della Ca’ is author/co‐author of 60 scientific publications in international peer-reviewed journals (h-index = 23, February 2019, Scopus), 1 book chapter, 2 patents and more than 30 communications in national and international conferences.


Current research topics:

The current research activity of Dr. Nicola Della Ca’ spreads in the field of homogeneous catalysis with particular focus on:

•          Metal-catalyzed synthesis of complex organic molecules through sequential reactions involving C-H bond activation and subsequent C-C, C-O and C-N bond formation.

•          Development of new methodologies for the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds of pharmaceutical, agrochemical, or applicative interest.

•          Development of innovative carbonylation methods.

•          Organo-catalyzed carbon dioxide activation reactions.

•          Use of non-conventional solvents in transition metal-catalyzed syntheses.


Current collaborations:

Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven (NL) (Prof. Timothy Noël)

Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire (UMR CNRS 7201), UPMC Univ Paris 06, 4 place Jussieu, C. 229, 75005 Paris, France (Prof. Etienne Derat)

Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, ICSN-CNRS UPR 2301, Gif/Yvette Cedex 91198, France (Prof. Max Malacria)

Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie Chimiche, Università della Calabria, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende, Cosenza, Italy (Prof. Bartolo Gabriele, Dr. Raffaella Mancuso)

Dipartimento di Chimica and CIRCC, Università di Bari, Campus Universitario, 70126 Bari, Italy (Prof. Angela Dibenedetto)

Dipartimento di Medicina dei Sistemi, dell’Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata” (Dr. Beatrice Macchi)

Istituto di Farmacologia Traslazionale (IFT) di Roma, CNR (Prof. Antonio Mastino)


Professional qualifications:

2017    Qualification for Associate Professor position (“Idoneità ASN – 2016”) (Disciplines “03/C2, Industrial Chemistry), validity: 31/03/2017 to 31/03/2023.


Professional Affiliations and Institutional Roles:

2000-Present: Member of the Italian Chemical Society (Divisione Chimica Industriale, Gruppi Interdivisionali di Catalisi e di Chimica Organometallica).

2005-Present: Member of the “Consorzio Interuniversitario Reattività Chimica e Catalisi” (CIRCC, Parma Unit).

2013-Present: Member of the “Centro Interdipartimentale per l’energia e l’ambiente” (CIDEA).

2014-2017: Member of the National Committee for the Evaluation of the University System (Committee 103) for Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

2018-2020: Directory Board Member of the Emilia Romagna Section of the Italian Chemical Society.


Other tasks:

2006, 2018: Member of the scientific and organizing committee of the “Giornata della Chimica dell’Emilia Romagna” (2006, 2018 Parma).

2011-2015: Responsible for the organization of the Researchers' Night, in the years 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 at the Department of Chemistry of University of Parma.

2010-present: Member of the “Commissione Orientamento” (Industrial Chemistry area)

2010-present: Member of the “Piano Nazionale Lauree Scientifiche” (PLS, Parma - Chemistry Area)

2013-present: Member of GAV (Gruppo di Autovalutazione) and RAQ (Responsabile Assicurazione Qualità) for the Bachelor Degree in Chemistry (3024) until 2016, and for the Master Degree in Industrial Chemistry (5041) from 2017.

2014: Scientific referee for NCN (National Science Center) of Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Poland) (2014).

2014: PhD External Examiner for the XXVIII cycle of the Ph.D. program in Chemical Sciences (Doctorate School in Chemical Sciences and Technologies) at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Milan (11/24/2015).

2017: Guest Editor of the Special Issue "Molecules from Catalytic Processes" on Molbank (MDPI journal)

2019: Guest Editor of the Special Issue "Homogeneous Palladium-Catalyzed Reactions" on Catalysts (MDPI journal)

Dr. Della Ca’ is referee for several international scientific journals including: Chemistry - A European Journal (Wiley-VCH); Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis (Wiley-VCH); Chem (CellPress); ACS Catalysis (ACS), Organic Letters (ACS); Journal of Organic Chemistry (ACS); RSC Advances (Royal Society of Chemistry, UK).



Selected scientific publications


1. N. Della Ca’, G. Sassi, M. Catellani

A direct palladium-catalyzed route to selectively substituted carbazoles through sequential C-C and C-N bond formation: Synthesis of carbazomycin A

Adv. Synth Catal. 2008, 350, 2179-2182



2. G. Maestri, N. Della Ca’, M. Catellani

A catalytic synthesis of selectively substituted biaryls through sequential intermolecular coupling involving arene and ketone C-H bond functionalization

Chem. Commun. 2009, 4892-4894



3. N. Della Ca’, G. Maestri, M. Catellani

Palladium/Norbornene-Catalyzed Synthesis of Heteroatom-Containing o-Teraryls from Aryl Iodides and Heteroarenes through Double C-H Activation in Sequence

Chem. Eur. J. 2009, 15, 7850-7853



4. N. Della Ca’, F. Campanini, B. Gabriele, G. Salerno, C. Massera, M. Costa

Cascade reactions: catalytic synthesis of functionalized 1,3-dihydroisobenzofuran and tetrahydrofuran derivatives by sequential nucleophilic ring opening-heterocyclization-oxidative carbonylation of alkynyloxiranes”

Adv. Synth. Catal. 2009, 351, 2423-2432



5. G. P. Chiusoli, M. Catellani, M. Costa, E. Motti, N. Della Ca’, G. Maestri

Catalytic C-C coupling through C-H arylation of arenes or heteroarenes”

Coord. Chem. Rev. 2010, 254, 456-469



6. E. Motti, N. Della Ca’, S. Deledda, E. Fava, F. Panciroli, M. Catellani

Palladium-catalyzed unsymmetrical aryl couplings in sequence leading to o-teraryls: dramatic olefin effect on selectivity”

Chem. Commun. 2010, 46, 4291-4293



7. N. Della Ca’, E. Motti, A. Mega, M. Catellani

One-Pot Palladium-Catalyzed Synthesis of Selectively Substituted Phenanthridines by Sequential Aryl-Aryl and Heck Couplings, Aza-Michael and Retro-Mannich Reactions”

Adv. Synth. Catal. 2010, 352, 1451-1454.



8. N. Della Ca’, B. Gabriele, G. Ruffolo, L. Veltri, T. Zanetta, M. Costa

Effective Guanidine-Catalyzed Synthesis of Carbonate and Carbamate Derivatives from Propargyl Alcohols in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide”

Adv. Synth. Catal. 2011, 353, 133-146



9. G. Maestri, E. Motti, N. Della Ca’, M. Malacria, E. Derat, M. Catellani

Of the Ortho Effect in Palladium/Norbornene-Catalyzed Reactions: A Theoretical Investigation

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 8574-8585



10. N. Della Ca’, P. Bottarelli, A. Dibenedetto, M. Aresta, B. Gabriele, G. Salerno, M. Costa “Palladium-catalyzed synthesis of symmetrical urea derivatives by oxidative carbonylation of primary amines in carbon dioxide medium”

J. Catal. 2011, 282, 120-127



11. N. Della Ca’, G Maestri, M. Malacria, E. Derat, M. Catellani

Palladium-Catalyzed Reaction of Aryl Iodides with ortho-Bromoanilines and Norbornene/Norbornadiene: Unexpected Formation of Dibenzoazepine Derivatives

Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 12257-12261



12. E. Motti, N. Della Ca’, D. Xu, A. Piersimoni, E. Bedogni, Z.-M. Zhou, M. Catellani

A Sequential Pd/Norbornene-Catalyzed Process Generates o-Biaryl Carbaldehydes or Ketones via a Redox Reaction or 6H-Dibenzopyrans by C-O Ring Closure

Org. Lett. 2012, 14, 5792-5795



13. P. Bottarelli, M. Costa, N. Della Ca’, E. Fava

Ring formation from acyclic precursors: sequential palladium-catalyzed double acetoxylation-cyclization of 3,6-heptadienoates to 2,4-diacetoxycyclopentylideneacetates

Tetrahedron Lett. 2013, 54, 2362-2365



14. M. Queirolo, A. Vezzani, R. Mancuso, B. Gabriele, M. Costa, N. Della Ca’

Neutral vs anionic palladium iodide-catalyzed carbonylation of terminal aryl acetylenes

J. Mol. Catal. A: Chem. 2015, 398, 115-126



15. R. Mancuso, D. S. Raut, N. Della Ca’, F. Fini, C. Carfagna, B. Gabriele

Catalytic Oxidative Carbonylation of Amino Moieties to Ureas, Oxamides, 2-Oxazolidinones, and Benzoxazolones

ChemSusChem 2015, 8, 2204-2211


INSIDE BACK COVER (doi: 10.1002/cssc.201500760)


16. N. Della Ca’, M. Fontana, E. Motti, M. Catellani

Pd/Norbornene: A Winning Combination for Selective Aromatic Functionalization via C−H Bond Activation

Acc. Chem. Res. 2016, 49, 1389−1400

DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00165


17. G. Maestri, T. Cañeque, N. Della Ca’, E. Derat, M. Catellani, G. P. Chiusoli, M. Malacria

Pd Catalysis in Cyanide-Free Synthesis of Nitriles from Haloarenes via Isoxazolines

Org. Lett. 2016, 18(23), 6108-6111.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.6b03103


18. M. Maffei, G. Giacoia, R. Mancuso, B. Gabriele, E. Motti, M. Costa, N. Della Ca’

A Highly Efficient Pd/CuI-Catalyzed Oxidative Alkoxycarbonylation of alpha-Olefins to

Unsaturated Esters

J. Mol. Catal. A: Chem. 2017, 426, 435-443.

DOI: 10.1016/j.molcata.2016.07.011


19. A. Casnati, R. Maggi, G. Maestri, N. Della Ca', E. Motti,

Pd-Catalyzed/Iodide-Promoted α-Arylation of Ketones for the Regioselective Synthesis of Isocoumarins

J. Org. Chem. 2017, 82, 8296-8303.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.7b01355


20. A. Acerbi, C. Carfagna, M. Costa, R. Mancuso, B. Gabriele, N. Della Ca’

An unprecedented Pd-catalyzed carbonylative route to fused furo[3,4-b]indol-1-ones

Chem. Eur. J 2018, 24, 4835–4840, Hot Paper,

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201706067



21. Casnati, Alessandra; Fontana, Marco; Coruzzi, Giovanni; Aresta, Brunella Maria; Corriero, Nicola; Maggi, Raimondo; Maestri, Giovanni; Motti, Elena; Della Ca', Nicola

Enhancing Reactivity and Selectivity of Aryl Bromides: A Complementary Approach to Dibenzo[b,f]azepine Derivatives

ChemCatChem 2018, 10(19), 4346-4352.


22. Casnati, Alessandra; Gemoets, Hannes P. L.; Motti, Elena; Della Ca', Nicola; Noel, Timothy

Homogeneous and Gas-Liquid Catellani-Type Reaction Enabled by Continuous-Flow Chemistry  

Chemistry - A European Journal 2018, 24(53), 14079-14083.


23. Raffaella Mancuso, Ida Ziccarelli, Adele Chimento, Nadia Marino, Nicola Della Ca’, Rosa Sirianni, Vincenzo Pezzi, Bartolo Gabriele

Catalytic Double Cyclization Process for Antitumor Agents against Breast Cancer Cell Lines

iScience, 2018, 3, 279-288.



24. Mancuso, R., Ziccarelli, I., Fini, F., Della Ca’, N., Marino, N., Carfagna, C., Gabriele, B.

A Regio- and Stereoselective Carbonylative Approach to Alkyl (Z)-2-[3-Oxoisobenzofuran-1-(3H)-ylidene]acetates

Adv. Synth. Catal. 2019, 361, 690–695.


25. Alessandra Casnati, Elena Motti, Raffaella Mancuso, Bartolo Gabriele, Nicola Della Ca’

Recent Advances in the Catalytic Synthesis of Imidazolidin-2-ones and Benzimidazolidin-2-ones

Catalysts, 2019, 9(1), 28.



Anno accademico di erogazione: 2020/2021

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2019/2020

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2018/2019

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2017/2018

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2016/2017

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2015/2016

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2014/2015


  • First cycle degree (DM 270) CHEMISTRY A.Y. 2020/2021
  • SCIENZE CHIMICHE A.Y. 2020/2021
  • First cycle degree (DM 270) CHEMISTRY A.Y. 2019/2020
  • First cycle degree (DM 270) CHEMISTRY A.Y. 2018/2019
  • First cycle degree (DM 270) CHEMISTRY A.Y. 2017/2018
  • First cycle degree (DM 270) CHEMISTRY A.Y. 2016/2017
  • First cycle degree (DM 270) CHEMISTRY A.Y. 2015/2016
  • First cycle degree (DM 270) CHEMISTRY A.Y. 2014/2015

Lines of research

The current research activity of Dr. Nicola Della Ca’ spreads in the field of homogeneous catalysis with particular focus on: • Metal-catalyzed synthesis of complex organic molecules through sequential reactions involving C-H bond activation and subsequent C-C, C-O and C-N bond formation. • Development of new methodologies for the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds of pharmaceutical, agrochemical, or applicative interest. • Development of innovative carbonylation methods. • Organo-catalyzed carbon dioxide activation reactions. • Use of non-conventional solvents in transition metal-catalyzed syntheses.





Phone number
Office location

Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability (SCVSA), University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze, 17/A, 43124 Parma (Italy)