Biography Narrative

Cherif_Image_for_bioChérif F. Matta, B.Pharm.Sci., Dipl., PhD, HDR, FRSA, FRSB, FInstP, FRSC, is Professor and Chair/Head of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Mount Saint Vincent University. He is an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University, Université Laval, Saint Mary’s University, and Zewail City of Science and Technology, and is Associate Editor of Foundations of Chemistry (Springer).

Matta currently serves as the Chair of the Canada Research Chairs (CRC)’s Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee (IAC). He is the current Director of Accreditation & Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC). He has been/is a member of several Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) adjudication panels, a Member of the College of Reviewers of Compute Canada, and of that of the African Academy of Science. Matta is an elected Member of the Commission on Quantum Crystallography of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr).


Chérif Matta obtained a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science from Alexandria University (Egypt), a PhD in theoretical and quantum chemistry from McMaster University (Canada) from the school of Richard F. W. Bader, and a Habilitation to Direct Research (HDR) from the Université de Lorraine (France) in the laboratory of crystallographer Claude Lecomte. Postdoctoral training opportunities opened for him at the University of Toronto in the modeling of localized atomic reactions (under Nobel Laureate John C. Polanyi), and at Dalhousie University in computational biochemistry (with Russell J. Boyd).

Professor Matta counts ca. 160 publications including research papers, book chapters, two published edited books, and two monographs (in final stages of preparation). He has given 200 seminars and conference presentations in 30 countries. His research ranges from theoretical and computational chemistry focusing on the effects of electric fields on biochemical reactions to mitochondrial biophysics.

For his work, Chérif received the Award for Research Excellence from his university (MSVU), the NSERC-Acfas Science Exposed Prize, the Lady Davis Fellowship in Medicine, the Molecular Graphics and Molecular Simulation Society Silver Jubilee Prize, the John Charles Polanyi Prize in Chemistry, and the Izaak Walton Killam Fellowship. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), of the Institute of Physics (FInstP), of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB), and of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA).


Updated 30 Sept. 2021



A superimposition of the electron density contours of a Guanine-Cytosine DNA base pair in the molecular plane and lines of the gradient of this density. The density is partitioned into color-coded “atoms-in-molecules (AIM)”, each containing a single nucleus.(Click on image to enlarge).

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