Chérif F. Matta, PhD, HDR, FSRA, FRSB, FInstP, FRSC (UK), FAAAS


Dept. of Chemistry & Physics

Office: Evaristus C208
Lab: Evaristus 140
Phone: +1 (902) 457-6142
Research website:

Broad Research Interests:
Theoretical, quantum, and computational (bio)chemistry.

Specific Research Topics:

My Research Group’s work is in theoretical and computational chemistry and theoretical biophysics. This group uses the tools of quantum chemistry to solve problems in biology and in material science. We developed the concept of the electron localization-delocalization matrices (LDMs) and use it as a tool in understanding chemical properties and reactivity. We seek to deepen our understanding of molecules in strong external (static) electric fields and in intense time-dependent laser pulses and the theory underlying chemical reactivity in such external fields. We are also very interested in the theoretical aspects of the operation of the mitochondrion, the “powerhouse” of all living eukaryotic cells, with a special focus on mitochondrial ATP synthase. Please visit:

Watch interview on youtube

GoogleScholar Citation Metrics


Languages: Arabic, French, English, Spanish.



2009 Habilitation to Direct Research (HDR)
Université de Lorraine (Formerly, Henri-Poincaré) (France)
(HDR Dissertation Advisor: Prof. Claude Lecomte)

2002 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
McMaster University (Canada)
(PhD Supervisor: Prof. Richard F. W. Bader)

1987 Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences (5 years Hon. Degree)
Alexandria University (Egypt)

Postdoctoral Training

2004-2006 Izaak Walton Killam Postdoctoral Fellow
Dalhousie University (Canada)
(PDF Supervisor: Prof. Russell J. Boyd)

2002-2004 Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Toronto (Canada)
(PDF Supervisor: Prof. John Polanyi, Nobel Laureate)

Graduate Diploma in Management
1994 Graduate Diploma in Health Services & Hospital Administration (Two years)
Sadat Academy, National Institute for Higher Management (Egypt)

Noteable/Recent Publications (full list available)


Matta, C. F.; Huang, L.; Massa, L. (to appear in 2022). Quantum Crystallography, De Gruyter. (In final stages of preparation). (Link)

Cook, R.; Ayers, P. W.; Matta, C. F. (to appear in 2022). Electron Localization-Delocalization Matrices (LDMs): Theory and Applications, Springer. (In final stages of preparation).

Matta, C. F., (Ed.) (2010). Quantum Biochemistry: Electronic Structure and Biological Activity (Vol. 1 and 2), Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. (978 pages). (Link)

Matta, C. F. and Boyd, R. J., Eds. (2007). The Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules: From Solid State to DNA and Drug Design, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, (567 pages). (Link)

Book Chapters

Anderson, J. S. M.; Mortera-Carbonell, A. d.-J.; Matta, C. F. (2022) “Non-Nuclear Maxima in the Molecular Electron Density”, Chapter xxx in: Advances in Quantum Chemical Topology Beyond QTAIM, Anderson, J. S. M.; Cortés-Guzmán, F.; Rodríguez, J. I. (Eds.), Elsevier, The Netherlands. (Submitted, in review). (Link)

Massa, L.; Fahimi, P.; Castanedo, L. A. M.; Matta, C. F. (2022) “In-Silico Approaches and Challenges for Quantum Theoretic Calculations on Macromolecules”, Chapter 6 in: In-silico Approaches to Macromolecular Chemistry, Thomas, J.; Thomas, S.; Kornweitz, H.; Thomas, M. (Eds.), Elsevier, The Netherlands. (Submitted, in review). (Link)

Massa, L.; Castanedo, L. A. M.; Fahimi, P.; Matta, C. F. (2022) “Applications of In-Silico Quantum Calculations to Large Systems”, Chapter 7 in: In-silico Approaches to Macromolecular Chemistry, Thomas, J.; Thomas, S.; Kornweitz, H.; Thomas, M. (Eds.), Elsevier, The Netherlands. (Submitted, in review). (Link)

Lombardi, O.; Matta, C. F. (2022) “Coarse-Graining and the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules (QTAIM)”, Chapter xxx in: Philosophical Perspectives on Quantum Chemistry, Lombardi, O.; Fortin, S.; Martínez González J. C. (Eds.), Springer Nature Switzerland AG. (Submitted). (Link)

Matta, C. F.; Bandrauk, A. D. (2021) “An Introduction to laser-fields effects on chemical reactivity”, Chapter 11 in: Effects of Electric Fields on Structure and Reactivity: New Horizons in Chemistry, Shaik, S; and Stuyver, T. (Eds.), The Royal Society of Chemistry, London (pp. 394-419). (Link)

Journal Articles / Papers

Hooft, G.; Phillips, W. D.; Allen, R. A.; Baggott, J.; Castanedo, L. A. M.; Cetto, A. M.; Coley, A. C.; Dalton, B. J.; Fahimi, P.; Fraks, S.; Frano, A.; Fry, E. S.; Langanke, K.; Nanopoulos, D.; Matta, C. F.; Orzel, C.; Sanghai, V. A. A.; Schuller, I. K.; Shpyrko,O.; Zeilinger, A.; Lidstrom, S. (2022). “The sounds of science – a symphony for many instruments, and voices – Part II”, Physica Scripta, in final stages of preparation.

Fahimi, P.; Castanedo, L. A. M.; Vernier, T.; Matta, C. F. (2022). “Coupled electrical-thermal feedback control of the inner mitochondrial membrane proton gradient. A hypothesis”; in final stages of preparation.

Smith, E. R.; Smith, F.; Harriott, T. A.; Majaess, D.; Massa, L.; Matta, C. F. (2022) “Novel correlations between diffuse interstellar bands and optical reddening”; Research Notes of the American Astronomical Society (RNAAS), accepted.

Castanedo, L. A. M.; Matta, C. F. (2022). “Thermodynamics as a Tool of Natural Selection and the Prebiotic Assembly of Nucleotides”; Heliyon, accepted (with minor revisions).

Jara-Cortés, J.; Matta, C. F.; Hernández-Trujillo, J. (2022). “A Fast Approximate Extension of the Interacting Quantum Atoms Energy Decomposition to Excited States”; Journal of Computational Chemistry, accepted, in press.


Year Distinction/Service Body/Institution/Organization
2022 Awarded a Distinguished Visiting Professorship under the “Excellence Initiative – Research University Program (ID-UB)” Minister of Science and Higher Education (Poland)
2021 Elected – Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (FAAAS) American Association for the Advancement of Science, USA
2021 – 2022 Chair of the Committee The Tri-Council of Canada CIHR,  NSERC, and SSHRC – The Government of Canada
2019 – 2021 Member The Tri-Council of Canada CIHR,  NSERC, and SSHRC – The Government of Canada
2018 – 2019 Invitee Member The Tri-Council of Canada CIHR,  NSERC, and SSHRC – The Government of Canada
2021 – 2022 Science Atlantic “annual speaker tour of notable scientists” Speaker of the Year Co-sponsored by Science Atlantic and the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC)
2021 – 2024 Director of Accreditation & Member of Board of Directors Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC)
2018 – 2021 Member of the Accreditation Committee Canadian Society for Chemistry Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC)
2021 – 2022 Member, Adjudication Panel B (Sciences and Engineering)African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence (ARISE) Pilot Programme The African Academy of Science (Headquarters based in Nairobi (Kenya)).
2019 Elected – Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) Royal Society of Biology, UK
2018 Ambassador Award (for bringing the Sagamore 2018 Conference to Halifax) Discover Halifax, City of Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
2018 Elected – Fellow of Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) Royal Society of Arts (UK)
2018 – 2021 “Member”, Selection Committee (1604) – Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program competition for the Chemistry Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
2017 – 2024 Elected – Member of the “Commission on Quantum Crystallography” of the International Union of Crystallography International Union of Crystallography (IUCr)
2017 Award for Research Excellence Mount Saint Vincent University (Canada)
2016 Elected – Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP) The Institute of Physics (IOP), UK
2016 Lady Davis Visiting Professor & Fellow Lady Davis Fellowship Trust, Israel
2016 Laureate of « La preuve par l’image » – Science Exposed Prize (national competition) Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) & Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas), Québec
2010 Elected – Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) Royal Society of Chemistry, UK
2009 MGMS Silver Jubilee Prize for 2009 Molecular Graphics and Molecular Simulation Society (MGMS), UK
2004 John Charles Polanyi Prize in Chemistry Council of Ontario Universities (COU), The Government of Ontario, Canada
2004 – 2006 Izaak Walton Killam Fellow (Chemistry) The Killam Trusts, Canada
2005, 2003 BioVision-Next Science Fellow “Bio-Leaders of Tomorrow” American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) & The World Life Science Forum
2003 – 2004 Chemistry Teaching Fellowship University of Toronto, Canada
2004, 2001 IUCr Young Scientist Travel Awards (obtained twice) International Union of Crystallography (IUCr)
2003 Dept. of Chemistry Nominee for the University Distinguished Thesis Award McMaster University, Canada
2001 Finalist: Schrödinger Prize American Chemical Society & the Chemical Computing Group, Inc.
2001 Finalist: “Dean of Science Award for Academic Excellence in Graduate Work” School of Graduate Studies, McMaster University
2001 Centennial Scholarships for Academic Excellence McMaster University, Canada