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Asymmetric organocatalysis - a decade after the gold rush

Asymmetric organocatalysis

2 Dec 2013

Over the last decade the field of asymmetric organocatalysis has gained a prominent role in academic research. The enthusiasm and expertise demonstrated by a great number of research groups has advanced the development of organocatalysis at a very fast pace.

Organocatalysis was soon recognised as the third pillar in asymmetric catalysis, along with biocatalysis and chemocatalysis. It has become an established and powerful synthetic tool for the chemo- and enantioselective functionalisation of organic compounds, and has already had significant impact in the synthesis of natural products, intermediates for pharmaceuticals and other structurally complex biologically active compounds. The complementarity of the three pillars and their synergy opened new horizons to asymmetric catalysis and enriched the toolbox of the chemists.

It is probably high time to dedicate an entire event to organocatalysis and discuss how the latest findings and achievements will impact future research and industry. SCI's Young Chemists' Panel will bring together renowned world leaders in organocatalysis to offer a conference entitled 'Asymmetric Organocatalysis - challenges and innovations'. It will be an engaging forum for academics and industrialists where the latest advancements and horizons for organocatalysis will be explored.

Prof Paolo Melchiorre will give a lecture entitled 'Organocatalytic photochemical processes', where he will present his group's latest findings in light promoted processes building on their previous results with aminocatalysis.

Careful analysis of reaction mechanisms has been too often undervalued in organocatalysis and Prof Alan Armstrong will give a talk on 'Mechanistic insights into organocatalytic reactions'. The disclosure of unpredicted reaction pathways in only apparently simple organocatalytic transformations will possibly underpin unforeseen developments.

In a logical sequence, Prof Nicholas Tomkinson will guide the audience towards 'Insight and understanding through development of an alkene dihydroxylation procedure'.

The industrial lecture 'Asymmetric organocatalysis at DSM: history, results and dreams', by Dr Paul Alsters, will stimulate and encourage a reflection on how industry is taking up academic discoveries and how they can work towards common objectives.

The day will be concluded by Prof Karl Anker Jørgensen and another one of his exciting and fast-paced lectures. The title 'Organocatalysis - From the simple to complex molecules' sets high expectations and won't disappoint the audience.

This exciting one-day conference will take place on Friday 4 April 2014 in the Pfizer Lecture Theatre at the University of Cambridge, UK. Conference organisers include Armando Carlone of Chirotech Technology Centre - Dr. Reddy's, Silvia Díz-González of Imperial College London, Danny Mortimer of Johnson Matthey and Steven Twiddle of Pfizer.

Armando Carlone,
Chirotech Technology Centre - Dr. Reddy's

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