Veronique Gouverneur is a chemist who received her PhD from UCL (Belgium), was a postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute (USA), and took her first academic position at the University Louis Pasteur (France). At Oxford since 1998, she is best known for her pioneering work in fluorine chemistry for applications in medicine. Her research on late stage fluorination has enhanced our fundamental understanding of fluoride reactivity, populated the toolbox of reactions available for the synthesis of fluorine-substituted molecules, transformed the field of 18F-radiochemistry, and allowed access to Positron Emission Tomography 18F-labelled radiotracers enabling diagnostic and drug discovery. A recent research highlight includes the development of bio-inspired urea organocatalysts for enantioselective fluorination with metal alkali fluoride.
Veronique's research is highly interdisciplinary and the impact of her discoveries in medicine has received numerous recognitions. Her accolades include the 2013 Royal Society’s Wolfson Research Merit Award, the 2015 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry, the 2016 Tilden Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the 2019 Prelog Medal (ETH Zurich).