Professor Cherif Farid Matta

Professor Cherif Farid Matta was elected as an AAS Fellow in 2021. As a fellow, Professor Cherif Farid Matta contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.

Year elected
Theoretical and computational chemistry Theoretical biophysics


Chérif F. Matta, B.Pharm.Sci., Dipl., PhD, HDR, FRSA, FRSB, FInstP, FRSC, FAAS, FAAAS is Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Mount Saint Vincent University (Canada). He holds honorary or visiting professorships at Université Laval, Dalhousie University, and Saint Mary’s University (all in Canada) and at Zewail City for Science and Technology (Egypt).


The research group of Professor Matta is focused on theoretical and computational chemistry and in mitochondrial biophysics. Matta is known for work on the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules (QTAIM) and in theoretical biophysics. He co-discovered of a new form of chemical bonding termed “hydrogen-hydrogen bond” and originated the concept of electron localization-delocalization matrices (LDMs) and their applications in materials and drug design. Prof. Matta’s work on the effects of electromagnetic fields on chemical bonding and reactivity may be considered foundational. He has also contributed to the promotion of the emerging field of Quantum Crystallography. Chérif Matta and colleagues discovered novel biochemical roles of the mitochondrial enzyme ATP synthase related to its intrinsic electric field in modulating and controlling biochemical energy transduction.


Professor Matta’s counts ca. 180 publications including 4 books. He has given around 250 lectures at conferences and in universities and research centers in more than 30 countries.

Prof. Matta has received the “Excellence Initiative” Distinguished Visiting Professorship by the Minister of Science and Higher Education of Poland (2022), the Award for Research Excellence from Mount Saint Vincent University (2017), and the designation as Lady Davis Fellow (2016). Prof. Matta received the NSERC-Acfas “prevue par l’image” Prize for 2016, the Molecular Graphics and Molecular Simulation Society MGMS Silver Jubilee Prize for 2009, and the John C. Polanyi Prize in Chemistry for 2004. In 2021 he was named the Science Atlantic Notable Scientist Speaker of the Year. In 2022, he was invited to provide an expert witness testimonial in front of the Canadian House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Science and Research studies (SRSR).

Prof. Matta is Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (elected in 2021), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected in 2021), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (elected in 2010), Fellow of the Institute of Physics (elected in 2016), Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (elected in 2019), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (elected in 2018).

Matta has received funding from the Natural research and Engineering of Canada (NSERC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), The (Egyptian) Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT), The Killam Trusts, The Lady Davis Trust, and The Visegrad Fund.


Professor Matta serves in a number of capacities on committees of provincial, federal, and international research funding agencies. He has been a member of a number of committees of the Natural and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), of Compute Canada, and of the African Academy of Sciences. After being a member for four years, Prof. Matta served as Chair/Head of the Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee of the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) programme of the Tri-Council of Canada (2021-2022).

Currently, he is serving as a member of the Multidisciplinary Selection Board of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) competition of the Tri-Council of Canada and a member of the Multidisciplinary Committee “Microbiology/Virology” of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT).

Chérif Matta is also the Director (2021-2024) of Accreditation and Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society for Chemistry. He is serving a second elected term as a member of the Commission for Quantum Crystallography of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) (2017-2024). Matta is an Associate Editor of Foundations of Chemistry (Springer) since 2021.


  • Matta, C. F.; Huang, L.; Massa, L. (2023). Quantum Crystallography, De Gruyter (250 pages) (Link).
  • Vigneau, J.-N.; Fahimi, P., Ebert, M.; Cheng, Y.; Tannahill, C.; Muir, P.; Nguyen-Dang, T.-T. Matta, C. F. (2022). “ATP synthase: A moonlighting enzyme with unprecedented functions”, Chemical Communications (ChemComm) 58, 2650-2653. (Link)
  • Smith, F.; Majaess, D.; Harriott, T. A.; Massa, L.; Matta, C. F. (2021) “Establishing new diffuse interstellar band correlations to identify common carriers”; Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) 507, 5236–5245. (Link)
  • Matta, C. F. (2014). "Modeling biophysical and biological properties from the characteristics of the molecular electron density, electron localization and delocalization Matrices, and the electrostatic potential"; Journal of Computational Chemistry 35, 1165-1198. (Link).
  • Sowlati-Hashjin, S.; Matta, C. F. (2013) "The chemical bond in external electric fields. energies, geometries, and vibrational Stark shifts in diatomic molecules"; Journal of Chemical Physics 139, 144101. (Link).
  • Matta, C. F.; Hernández-Trujillo, J.; Tang, T.-H.; and Bader, R. F. W. (2003). “Hydrogen-hydrogen bonding: a stabilizing interaction in molecules and crystals”, Chemistry - A European Journal 9, 1940-1951. (Link)

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