Alexander Harald Sandtorv

Associate Professor - Organic chemistry
Image of Alexander Harald Sandtorv
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22844319
Visiting address Sem Sælands vei 26 None 0371 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1033 Blindern 0315 OSLO
Other affiliations Department of Education (Student)

Academic interests

We focus on development of synthetic methodology for chemical systems with biological activity. Two cyclic structures of interest are hydantoins and indoles, and our current efforts are primarily aimed at novel hydantoin functionalization reactions.

The Sandtorv-group works interdisciplinarly towards pharmacy, medicine, catalysis and theoretical chemistry. Projects in the group will therefore have an intercisciplinary dimension, depending on the spesific project and challenges. Typical projects deal with global and important problems, such as antibiotic resistance and treatment of cancer.

Assoc. Prof. Sandtorv is also dedicated to teaching and scientific outreach, and is the author of a growing portfolio of books, both fiction and non-fiction.


Courses taught


- Introduction to chemistry (KJM1002), organic module, Fall 2018
- Organic chemistry I (KJM1111), Spring 2019.

- Organic synthesis (KJM5270/KJM9270), Fall 2020

Projects in the group?

We are currently accepting UiO bachelor and masterstudents for projects in the group. If you are interested, please contact Assoc. Prof. Sandtorv directly.

Some projects available for BSc- and MSc-students:

1. Synthesis and design of structures with antibiotic properties. Elucidation of potentially novel mechanism of action.

2. Development of novel methods for synthesis of hydantoins with interesting biological activities.

3. Preparation of natural products.

If you are an external Phd- or postdoc student, we only accept students with a strong record who wish to apply for external funding (ie Marie Curie, etc).



- Alexander H. Sandtorv, Kjemi - Enkelt forklart, Universitetsforlaget, 2016

- Alexander H. Sandtorv, God kjemi, Kagge forlag, 2018

- Jarle S. Diesen og Alexander H. Sandtorv, Organisk kjemi, Universitetsforlaget, 2018

- Alexander H. Sandtorv, Reaksjoner og mekanismer i organisk kjemi, Universitetsforlaget, 2019

- Alexander H. Sandtorv, Kjemi for ingeniører, Universitetsforlaget, 2019

Selected articles and book chapters prior to independent career at UiO

- Alexander H. Sandtorv and David. R. Stuart, Metal-free Synthesis of Aryl Amines: Beyond Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 51, 15812-15815, featured in Synfacts (02-2017).

- Alexander H. Sandtorv, Calum Leitch, Siv Lise Bedringaas, Bjørn Tore Gjertsen, and Hans-René Bjørsvik. Synthesis of 4-substituted Ag-NHCs with anti-leukemic effect. Chem. Med. Chem. 2015, 10, 1522-1527. Inside cover of Chem. Med. Chem.

- Alexander H. Sandtorv, Transition Metal Catalyzed C-H Activation of Indoles, Adv. Synth. Catal. 2015, 11, 2403-2435. Most accesses article in Adv. Synth. Catal. for 2015-2016

- Alexander H. Sandtorv and Hans-René Bjørsvik. Fast Halogenation of N-heterocycles by means of N,N'-diiodo-5,5-dimethylhydantoin, Adv. Synth. Catal. 2013, 355, 499–507.

- Alexander H. Sandtorv and Hans-René Bjørsvik. A Three-way switchable Process for the Suzuki Cross Coupling, Hydrodehalogenation, or an Assisted Tandem Hydrodehalogenation and Suzuki Cross Coupling sequence, Adv. Synth. Catal. 2013, 355, 3231-3243.

Tags: Organisk kjemi, Organisk syntese, Organic chemistry


  • Elumalai, Vijayaragavan; Sandtorv, Alexander Harald & Bjørsvik, Hans-Rene (2016). A highly efficient Pd(PPh3)4-catalyzed Suzuki cross-coupling method for the preparation of 2-nitrobi­phenyls from 1-chloro-2-nitrobenz­enes and phenylboronic acids. European Journal of Organic Chemistry.  ISSN 1434-193X.  2016(7), s 1344- 1354 . doi: 10.1002/ejoc.201501487
  • Sandtorv, Alexander Harald (2015). Transition metal-catalyzed C-H activation of indoles. Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis.  ISSN 1615-4150.  357(11), s 2403- 2435 . doi: 10.1002/adsc.201500374
  • Sandtorv, Alexander Harald & Bjørsvik, Hans-Rene (2015). Controlling the course of a two-way switchable Pd-catalyzed process by means of empirical multivariate models. ChemCatChem.  ISSN 1867-3880.  7(14), s 2196- 2205 . doi: 10.1002/cctc.201500234
  • Sandtorv, Alexander Harald & Bjørsvik, Hans-Rene (2015). Scope and mechanistic limitations of a sonogashira coupling reaction on an imidazole backbone. European Journal of Organic Chemistry.  ISSN 1434-193X.  2015(21), s 4658- 4666 . doi: 10.1002/ejoc.201500520
  • Sandtorv, Alexander Harald; Leitch, Calum; Bedringaas, Siv Lise; Gjertsen, Bjørn Tore & Bjørsvik, Hans-Rene (2015). 4-alkylated silver-N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) complexes with cytotoxic effects in leukemia cells. ChemMedChem.  ISSN 1860-7179.  10(9), s 1522- 1527 . doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201500234 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Sandtorv, Alexander Harald; Törnroos, Karl Wilhelm & Bjørsvik, Hans-Rene (2015). Stille cross-coupling for the functionalization of the imidazole backbone: Revisit, improvement, and applications of the method. European Journal of Organic Chemistry.  ISSN 1434-193X.  2015(16), s 3506- 3512 . doi: 10.1002/ejoc.201500328
  • Bjørsvik, Hans-Rene & Sandtorv, Alexander Harald (2014). Synthesis of imidazole alkaloids originated in marine sponges. Studies in Natural Products Chemistry.  ISSN 1572-5995.  42(1), s 33- 57 . doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63281-400002-1

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  • Elumalai, Vijayaragavan; Gambarotti, Cristian; Sandtorv, Alexander Harald & Bjørsvik, Hans-Rene (2015). Expedite synthesis of 2-Nitrobiphenyls from Chloroarenes using the Suzuki cross-coupling reaction.
  • Sandtorv, Alexander Harald (2015). Functionalization of the Imidazole Backbone.
  • Balin, Christophe; Sandtorv, Alexander Harald & Bjørsvik, Hans-Rene (2013). Development of a New Process Leading to N,N’-Diiodo-5,5-Dimethylhydantoin.

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Published Jan. 23, 2019 2:20 PM - Last modified June 27, 2019 1:39 PM

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