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The history of the Institute of Organic Chemistry goes back to the year 1880 when a separation of the Institute of Reine Chemie (Pure Chemistry) to the Institutes of Organische Chemie (Organic Chemistry) and Anorganische Chemie (Inorganic Chemistry) took place. The first ordinarius was August Michaelis (1847-1916) followed by Ludwig Claisen (1851-1930) (Claisen condensation) and Julius Bredt (1855-1937) (Bredt's rule), names which are familiar to chemists all over the world.
After the destruction of the chemistry building at Templergraben at the end of World War II the institute moved to a new building at the Vorderer Königshügel. In the sixties a significant expansion was made, such as the erection of a six-story building. In 1998 a total renovation of the institute in accordance to the latest standard of laboratory technology was completed.
At the Institutes of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, there is besides the AOC lecture hall a modern library which carries approximately 14000 volumes of monographs and journals representing all the major titels in theoretical, physical, analytical, inorganic, organic, and biochemistry.
Organic Chemistry is an important part of educational program of chemistry students, but also students of medicine and dentistry, physics and biology, metallurgy, chemical engineering and mineralogy take courses in organic chemistry. The students have the opportunity to work in renovated and new undergraduate and graduate research laboratories. There is also a CIP-POOL for undergraduate and graduate students of chemistry.
The institute is greatly facilitated by the staff and scientific infra structure. State-of-the-art instrumentation and top-flight specialists combine to produce an environment that both expedites research and introduces students to a array of analytical techniques.

The research of the institut is focused on asymmetric synthesis und synthesis of natural products, asymmetric metall- and organocatalysis, organometallic and bioorganic chemistry, supramolecular and photochemistry and computational chemistry.