Dennis Svatunek performed his undergraduate studies in Technical Chemistry at TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology). During this time he started working in the group of Prof. Johannes Fröhlich on glycosyl donors, a topic he also chose for his Bachelor Thesis. He obtained his BSc in 2011, after which he continued with the Master studies "Technical Chemistry – Synthesis". For his master thesis he continued the work on glycosylations in the group of Prof. Fröhlich by developing new protecting groups for carbohydrate chemistry, and graduated in 2013 with honors.
Dennis started his PhD studies at TU Wien in 2014 as part of the Doctoral School "Molecular and Elemental Imaging in Biosciences" under the guidance of Prof. Günter Allmaier and in collaboration with Dr. Hannes Mikula. Focusing on reactivities of bioorthogonal cycloadditions, Dennis became interested in understanding the reactivity and selectivity of chemical reactions in more detail. To achieve this goal, Dennis specialized in physical organic chemistry, experimental measurements of reaction kinetics, and computational organic chemistry.
After finishing his PhD with honors in Dezember 2016, he joined the group of Prof. F. Matthias Bickelhaupt (VU Amsterdam) for a 3 month internship before being granted a Schrödinger fellowship by the Austrian Science Funds. This allowed him to join Ken Houk's group at UCLA in late 2018.
In late 2020 he once again joined TU Wien as an independent PI and team leader. In 2021 he received the „Early-Stage-Programme: Research–Innovation–Training“ (ESPRIT) fellowship from the Austrian Science Funds.
Dennis has published 43 peer-reviewed publications and received many awards, including the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Postdoctoral Research Award (2020) and the prestigious Theodor Körner Prize (2021).