The development of new chemical reactions is a critical challenge facing society, which constantly demands new drugs and new materials to improve the quality of life without increasing the pressure on natural resources. In this context, our work is focused on the activation of otherwise inert bonds (such as C–H and C–C bonds) to streamline synthetic sequences, develop sustainable chemistry and address those issues. In addition, we strive to develop new tools for biological study using our expertise in organic synthesis of complex molecules. Our research is conducted in frequent collaboration with partners in industry (e.g. AstraZeneca, Syngenta), for example to develop the chemistry of safer carbene sources (sulfoxonium ylides) or to gain access to bioisosteres that are useful in pharmaceuticals and agroscience (e.g. bicyclo[1.1.1]pentanes).