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This meeting brings together experts from both industry and academics/students at all levels, interested in developing or using automation within organic and medicinal chemistry
• Automation chemists, high-throughput experimentation chemists
• Chemists in pharmaceutical/agrochemical industries, who either use automation themselves or work alongside those that do
• Relevant to PhD students and postdocs who are either currently using automation in their work, would like to use it in the future, or intend on moving into the pharmaceutical/agrochemical industries
• Chemists interested in artificial intelligence and cheminformatics and its application to synthesis.
University of Cambridge
Graduated with MChem from Novosibirsk State University in 1994 and worked for 3.5 years at Boreskov Institute of Catalysis.
(1997-2000) Research Assistant / PhD at University of Bath and since then been an academic at Bath (2000-09), Warwick (2009-2013) and from 2013 Professor of Sustainable Reaction Engineering at Cambridge.
Imperial College London
Becky is currently a Royal Society University Research Fellow at Imperial College London. Prior to this, she carried out her PhD at the University of Oxford in organic synthesis with Prof Ed Anderson, before moving to Liverpool to carry out her postdoctoral research with Prof Andy Cooper. Her research interests include high-throughput automation for the synthesis of molecular organic materials and supramolecular assemblies, as well as porous liquids.
University of Glasgow
Leroy (Lee) Cronin FRSE is the Regius Professor of Chemistry in Glasgow. Since the age of 9 Lee has wanted to explore chemistry using electronics to control matter, understand the origin of life, and generally confuse people with ideas that may or may not make sense one day. He strives to use his imagination to create new ideas that might tell us something about the universe, after all, the imagination is housed in a chemical brain and thus does exist. His research has four main aims 1) the construction of an artificial life form / work out how inorganic chemistry transitioned to biology / searching for new life forms; 2) the digitization of chemistry; and 3) the use of artificial intelligence in chemistry including the construction of ‘wet’ chemical computers; 4) The exploration of complexity and information in chemistry. He runs a team of around 60 people funded by grants from the UK EPSRC, US DARPA, Templeton, Google, BAe, JM. Finally, Lee likes to run a transparent and progressive group. Lee does not like hierarchy but likes organisation and well-defined actions. He likes to mentor researchers using a problem-based approach to solving big ideas. Nothing is impossible until it is tried.
Luigi Da Via leads the UK high throughput team in the CMC Analytical department at GSK.
He has a PhD in Photochemistry and Catalysis at the University of Liverpool (UK).
His current research involves the design, development, and deployment of new automated workflows for the screening of physicochemical properties of new assets during drug development
Rachel Grainger obtained her MChem from University of Bath in 2010, before moving to Queen Mary University of London to complete her PhD on transition metal catalysis with Prof. Igor Larrosa. She spent two years working with Prof. Matthew Gaunt at the University of Cambridge as a postdoctoral researcher focussing on the development of nanoscale HTE for organic synthesis. In March 2017 she joined Astex Pharmaceuticals’ Sustaining Innovation Postdoctoral program where she established automated synthesis capabilities (HTE and flow) within the company. As of 2019, Rachel is a member of Astex’s Synthesis Technology Group, her role involves the development and implementation of cutting-edge technologies (robotic enabled HTE, photoredox, flow etc.) to enable synthetic challenges on live drug discovery projects.
MChem from University of York including a year spent in Process Chemistry at Pfizer.
Joined AstraZeneca process chemistry in 2002 and worked on development projects scaling processes from lab to Kilo plant to pilot plant scale.
In 2006 moved into new area of automation and parallel synthesis.
Purchased and developed workflows on Symyx CM2 robot for metal scavenging and High Throughput Catalysis.
Purchased and developed Freeslate CM3 robot and adding in Medium Throughput, more data rich experiments to the workflows.
Most recently developed a robust manual workflow for organic solubility screening.
Alongside this I’ve been involved in ELN and data visualisation / reuse though my time at AZ.
Matt O'Brien graduated from York University and, after a spell working as a synthetic chemist at Zeneca pharmaceuticals, he obtained his PhD with Jim Thomas at Manchester University (total synthesis of bryostatins). A postdoc with Ian Paterson in Cambridge (total synthesis of discodermolide) was followed by a temporary lectureship at Trinity College dublin, where he developed a 1,9-asymmetric induction based on spiroketal relays. He returned to the UK to work in Steve Ley's lab in Cambridge where he completed a total synthesis of spongistatin 2 and invented a type of gas-liquid flow reactor based on Teflon AF-2400 membranes (tube-in-tube). He is now a senior lecturer at Keele University. His research interests include synthetic methodology, flow chemistry and the use of computer vision in chemical automation and analysis.
Monday 26 October
13:00 Opening remarks
13:10 Automation in Chemical Development at GSK,
Dr Luigi da Via, GlaxoSmithKline
13:45 Sponsors flash talks
13:50 Some Applications of Open-source Technology in Flow Automation and Measurement
Dr Matthew O’Brien, Keele University
14:25 Refreshment break
14:30 Enabling Fragment-based Drug Discovery (FBDD) with Automated Synthesis Technologies,
Dr Rachel Grainger, Astex Pharmaceuticals
15:05 Sponsors flash talks
15:10 Plenary: DeepChem - An Artificial Intelligence that Discovers Unpredictable Chemical Reactions
Prof Lee Cronin, University of Glasgow
16:10 Closing remarks
Tuesday 27 October
13:05 Automated Solubility Measurement as a Foundation of Intelligent Chemistry
Dr Simon Yates, AstraZeneca
13:40 Sponsors flash talks
13:45 High-Throughput Approaches for the Discovery of Supramolecular Organic Materials
Dr Becky Greenaway, Imperial College London
14:20 Refreshment break
14:25 Sponsors flash talks
14:30 Plenary: Reaction optimisation using Bayesian active learning
Prof Alexei Lapkin, Cambridge University
15:20 Panel discussion with all the speakers
16:10 Closing remarks
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