Šunjić Vitomir, F.C.A.

Full members II. Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences
Šunjić Vitomir

Date of birth:

  • 07/16/1939

Place of birth:

  • Sarajevo


  • Trg Nikole Šubića Zrinskog 11, 10000 Zagreb


  • Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences +385 01 4895 170


Šunjić Vitomir, F.C.A.

Full members II. Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences

Academic titles:

  • fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (05/10/2012 – …)
  • professor


  • Scientific advisor (retired) – Ruđer Bošković Institute
  • Title Professor – Faculty of Science and Mathematics, University of Zagreb
  • Contractual Scientific Adviser – GlaxoSmithKline

Membership in Academy:

  • full member – Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences (05/10/2012 – …)
  • associate member – Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences (05/16/2002 – 05/10/2012)

Curriculum Vitae


  • 1958-1963    Faculty of Technology, University of Zagreb, Chem. Eng.,
  • 1969    Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Ph. D., “Synthesis and Physico-chemical Properties of 4(5)-Nitroimidazoles
  • 1969-1970    Postdoctoral study, Prof. Vladimir Prelog, ETH, Zurich


  • 1963-1965    Process engineer, “Pliva”, Pharmaceutical and Chemical Works, Zagreb, Croatia.
  • 1965-1969    Research chemist, “Krka”, Research Institute, Novo Mesto, Slovenia.
  • 1969-1970    ETH Postdoctoral fellow, with Prof. Vlado Prelog, Zurich
  • 1971-1975    Asssistent, then lecturer, Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Zagreb
  • 1976-1981    Research Director, Dept. Organic Synthesis, CRC, Compagnia di Ricerca Chimica S.p.A., San Giovanni al Natisone (UD), Italy
  • 1982- 2003    Senior scientist, Department of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, “Ruđer Bošković”  Institute, Zagreb
  • 2003-2006    Director of Chemistry Department, PLIVA Res. Institute
  • 2006-2007    Head of Chemistry, GlaxoSmithKline Research Centre Zagreb
  • 2007-2010    Scientific consultant, GSK Research Centre, Zagreb

Scientific and Educational Profession

  • 1971-1975 Asistent, then dozent, Institute for Organic Chemistry, University of Zagreb
  • 1982- 2003 Senior Scientists, “Ruđer Bošković” Institute (IRB), Zagreb,
  • 1989-2007 Professor of organic chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Zagreb
  • 2007- Elected (titulated) Professor, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Zagreb
  • 2011-  Elected (titulated) Professor, Postdoctoral study of Medicinal Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Rijeka

Membership and functions at scientific and professional societies

  • 1965-2011 Croatian Chemical Society
  • 1983-2011  Croatian Society of Chemical Engineers
  • 1972-2007  Geselschaft der Deutsch. Chemikers
  • 1972-2007  Swiss Chemical Society
  • 1978-2007  American Chemical Society
  • 1990-1993  Member of the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Sciences and Technology, Rep. of Croatia
  • 1994-1998  Member of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, of the Government of Rep. ff Croatia (resign on this position in 1998)
  • 1994-1998  President of the National Committee for the Nominations on Academic Positions (resign on this position in 1998)
  • 1996-1997  President of the Scientific Committee of the National Meeting of Croatian Chemists, Opatija, 1997
  • 1997-2003  Head of Department of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, ”Ruđer Bošković” Institute
  • 1994-2000  Member of International Scientific Committee of ESOC (European Symposia of Organic Chemistry), two mandates
  • 2000-2003   President of European International Scientific Committee of ESOC
  • 2002-2011 Collaborativ member of Croat. Acad of Sciences and Arts, Department for Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences
  • 2008- 2010  President of Croatian Chemical Society
  • 2010-           President of Croatian Chemical Society, second mandate


  • 1990    National award ”Ruđer Bošković” for scientific achievements in organic chemistry
  • 1998    Award of Croatian Academy of Sceneces and Arts for scientific work in chemistry
  • 1995    Decorated with Red Danice Hrvatske s likom Ruđera Boškovića, for special merits in science
  • 2009    Medal of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences in recogniton of educational activity
  • 2010   Certificat of the Faculty of Chimica Engineering and Technology, in recognition of promotion of collaboration between University and Industry


  • Scientific texts (publications)
    231    Original papers in SCI cited journals-  ca. 3200 citations
    27    Papers in the journals notcited by SCI
  • Professional papers
    80   national patents; USA 6, EP 14, Jap. 7, Ger. 6, Italy 22, SFRJ  16, CRO 8, etc.
  • Books or chapters
    “Simetrija graničnih orbitala i reaktivnost u organskoj kemiji”,  ed. Školska knjiga,  Zagreb, 1979.
    ”Signposts to chiral Drugs. Organic Synthesis in Action”, in collaboration with M. J. Parnham, ed. Springer, Basel, 2011.
    Chapter ”Fascinating Stereochemistry of Chiral 1,4-Benzodiazepines”, u ”Medicinal Chemistry in Drug Discovery”, GlaxoSmihKline, London, 2011/2012 in press.

Selected data

Organizational activities

  • In the period 1965-1969 founded and heade Laboratory for organic synthesis, than newly organized Research Institute KRKA, Novo Mesto (SLO)
  • In the period 1976-1981 participated in organization of new research ceneter of the Compagnia di Ricerca chimica (CRC), Udine (IT), then acted as Director of research in organic chemistry
  • In the period 1982-2002, i.e. during my stay at “Ruđer Bošković” Institute, contracted research projects with industry and international institutions in the total amount of approx. 2 Mio DM.
  • In 1989 I founded Laboratory for stereoselective catalysis and biocatalysis (CATBIO), and was supported by Ministry of Science and Technology with 1.8 Mio DM for construction of the new building at IRB.
  • In 2005 I founded, together with thre collaborators from CATBIO laboratory the first spin-of company in Croatia, Chirallica Ltd., for research in chemistry. This company employs 4 young scientists, and is presently in the full research and commercial swing.
  • In the period 2003-2008 acted as the organizer of scientific projects in PLIVA Institute, from 2006 GSK Research Centre, as Director of the Chemistry Department.

Consulting activity in industry

  • 1983-1990     Contarctual consultant of CRC-Gruppo FIAT
  • 1990- 2003     Contractual consultant of Caffaro S.p.A. (IT)
  • 1995-2001      Contractual consultant of POLYtech S.c.r.L. (IT)
  • 1998-2003      Member of the International Advisory Board, PLIVA d.d.

Scientific and professional meetings


  • 8 plenary and invited lectures on inernational meetings
  • 4 plenary lectures at national meetings
  • 12 section lectures on international meetings
  • 8 oral presentations on inernational meetings
  • 12 invited lectures on universities and reseach institutes abroad
  • 31 lectures and colloqua in the country (YU, CRO)

International projects

  • 1978-1981. CNR (Consiglio Nazionale di Ricerca, Italija, coordinator Prof. R. Ugi, Politechnico di Milano ”Nuove sintezi delle sostanze biologicamente attive” V. Šunjić has joined this innitiative with the project from CRC, Compagnia di Ricerca Chimica, Udine,
  • 1984-1987 & 1987-1990 National Institute of Health (NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) coordinator, Dr. H. Ziffer, NIH ”CD Studies of Chiral Compounds
  • 1992-1996  Lorand Oetvos University (Budapest, H) Project partner, Prof. Miklos Hollosi ”Chiral spectroscopy in catalysis and biocatalysis
  • 1995-1997 & 1997-1999 COST V,  EU Projekt coordinators; Prof.  Gerhard van Koten (NL) and Prof. Pierre Vogel (CH), V. Šunjić participated with the project from CATBIO, IRB ”Stereoslective catalysis and biocatalysis

Stays at scientific institutions abroad

  • 1969/1970  Eidgenosische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zurich
  • 1974           TechnischeHochshcule Munchen
  • 1989            NIH, Bethesda, Maryland (USA)
  • 1990            NIH, Bethesda, Maryland (USA)
  • 1991, 94, 95 Etvos Lorand University, Budapest (H)

Educational activity

  • From 1975-2008 lectured on postdocotral course of chemistry and University of Zagreb, the course ”Stereoselective synthesis and catalysis in organic chemistry”, which course from 1990 was renamed to ”Asymmetric synthesis in oganic chemistry”.
  • From 1989 to retirement lectured at Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Zagreb, the course ”Synthetic methods in organic chemistry”.

Publication editing

  • 1971-2004        Member of the Editorial board of “Croatica Chemica Acta”
  • 1973-1986      Member of the Editorial Board of “Acta Pharmaceutica Jugoslavica”
  • 2010-                Member of the Advisory Board of “Croatica Chemica Acta”
  • Guest-editor (with G. Snatzke, University Bochum) special issue of Croat. Chem. Acta; 62 (1986) vol. 2A and 2B, dedicated to CD spectroscopy
  • Guest-editor (with Dr. M. Dumić, PLIVA, Zagreb) specila issue Croat. Chem. Acta; 69 (1996) 2, dedicated to Prof. V. Prelog on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
  • 1971-2006          Member of the Editorial board of  Croat. Chemica Acta
  • 1973-1986          Member of the Editorial board of Acta Pharm. Jug.
  • 2011                   Member of  the Advisory Board of  Croatica Chemica Acta


  • Tenis
  • Chass, candidate for chess master, former between 10 best juniors in SFRJ. Participant on many tournaments with participation of grand masters and international masters
  • Literature, desisted study of the literature and decided to eneter study of chemistry!