Carmen Nájera obtained her B.Sc. at the University of Saragossa in 1973 and her PhD at the University of Oviedo under the supervision of J. Barluenga and M. Yus in 1979. She performed postdoctoral work at the ETH (Zurich) with D. Seebach, at the Dyson Perrins Laboratory (Oxford) with J. E. Baldwin, at Harvard University with E. J. Corey, and at Uppsala University with J.-E. Bäckvall. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1985 at the University of Oviedo and Full Professor in 1993 at the University of Alicante. She has held visiting Professorships at the University of Arizona in Tucson (USA), Universidad Nacional del Sur in Bahía Blanca (Argentina), Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg (France), Ecole Nationale Superiéure de Chimie de Paris (France) and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
She is coauthor of more than 350 papers, form them 40 review articles and 33 book chapters and has supervised the work of 42 PhD Thesis. She has delivered more than 160 lectures in Congresses and Research Institutions. She has participate in 30 national public projects and in 70 industrial projects. She is cp-founder and manager director of the spin-off company MEDALCHEMY S.L. of the Univeristy of Alicante dedicated to the research and development of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Member of the Advisory Board of ChemCatChem, Synthesis, Synlett, European Journal of Organic Chemistry, Tetrahedron, Tetrahedron Letters, Tetrahedron: Asymmetry, Reports in Organic Chemistry and Letters in Organic Chemistry. Awards: “2006 Organic Chemistry Prize” from the Spanish Royal Chemical Society of Chemistry, “2006 Rosalind Franklin International Lectureship” from the English Royal Society, SCF 2010 French-Spanish Prize from the Société Chimique de France and the IUPAC 2015 Distinguished Women in Chemistry award. In October 2010 was named Correspondent Member and in April 2012 Full Member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences (www.rac.es) and in 2012 she was named member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (www.euro-acad.eu).
Her scientific contributions are focused on synthetic organic chemistry such as sulfone chemistry, new peptide coupling reagents, asymmetric synthesis of alpha-amino acids, oxime-derived palladacycles as precursor of palladium nanoparticles, asymmetric metallo catalysis and organocatalysis. In the last decade she has been working on the development of efficient metal catalysts for cross-coupling reactions and chiral metal complexes and organocatalysts and for asymmetric synthesis focused on sustainable processes using low catalyst loading, water as reaction medium or solvent-free conditions with the aim of recovering and reusing the catalyst.