1 November 2021

28th SCI Young Chemist in Industry 2021

Organised by:

SCI's Young Chemists’ Panel 

Online Webinar

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


This meeting is of interest to industrial chemists to discover what their contemporaries are working on in other companies and other areas of research, but also for academic chemists who want to find out the different challenges and focus that working in an industrial setting offers. It also presents a superb opportunity for younger chemists to showcase their industrial research to an external audience. Prizes will be awarded for the best talk and runners-up. In addition, a lecture from a leading industrial chemist will conclude the proceedings. This year’s event will be run as an online webinar allowing chemists from all over the country to take part with ease.


This meeting is aimed at chemists working in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology or agrochemical sector and would provide them with a unique opportunity to discover what their contemporaries do in other branches of the industry. The meeting would also appeal to graduates and post-graduates with a background in organic chemistry. Attendees will be able to submit questions during the presentations and participate in voting for their favourite talk.

Ben Cons

Astex Pharmaceuticals

I completed my PhD in 2014 from University of Bristol, supervised by Prof. Chris Willis. Following my PhD I joined Astex as a medicinal chemist where I am currently a Senior Research Associate and leader of our Fragment Library project.

Catalina Parga


Catalina completed her BSc in Chemistry in 2016 and undertook a PhD in Chemical Engineering at University College Dublin. As part of her PhD she investigated methods of synthesising oligonucleotides with liquid phase supports using novel reactor configurations. After finishing her PhD she joined Exactmer as a Chemical Engineer where she continues to carry out research in novel oligonucleotide manufacturing processes.

Derek Lowe

Derek was born in Arkansas, he studied for his undergraduate degree at Hendrix College in 1983, he continued further study at Duke in 1988, and completed a Humboldt post-doc in Darmstadt, Germany. He worked at Schering-Plough, Bayer, Vertex and currently works at Novartis. During that time Derek has worked in CNS, oncology, anti-infectives, metabolic diseases and more. He started "In the Pipeline" in 2002, and it's now the oldest/longest-running science blog on the internet.

Holly Bonfield


Holly received her MChem in Chemistry from the University of York in 2018. As part of her undergraduate course, she undertook a one-year industrial placement at GSK's R&D facility in Stevenage. Here she worked on photochemical benzylic brominations in Chemical Development. Holly is currently a final year industrial PhD student on the University of Strathclyde-GSK collaborative PhD programme, supervised by Drs David Pascoe and David Lindsay. Her research is focused on synthetic applications of asymmetric remote functionalisation methods for the synthesis of bioactive molecules.

Katherine Macfarlane


Katherine began her chemistry career at the University of Oxford, where she received a 1st class MChem degree in 2018. She undertook her Master’s project in Dr Christiane Timmel’s group, focusing on the spin chemistry of flavoproteins and the implications for animal migration. She then began her ongoing doctoral work with the GSK/University of Strathclyde Collaborative PhD Programme, working in medicinal chemistry. Her project focuses on early stage drug development, specifically new modalities involving bifunctional small molecules, including Antibody Recruiting Molecules (ARMs) and Lysosome Targeting Chimeras (LYTACs).

Laura Evans


Graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2009 with a 1st Class MChem in “Chemistry with a Year in Industry” (year in industry was spent at GSK in Harlow). Went straight to Eisai after graduating and worked there for just over 4 years in the area of Neuroscience (until Eisai decided to shut down R&D in the UK). From Eisai, I went to BioFocus (now Charles River) for 8 months before starting at AstraZeneca in Cambridge in 2014 working in Oncology as a Senior Research Scientist.

Thomas Dirac-Svejstrup


Thomas recently joined AstraZeneca’s PharmSci department as a Senior Scientist following a productive postdoc in AZ’s CVRM medicinal chemistry department under the supervision of Giulia Bergonzini and Magnus Johansson in collaboration with Burkhard König from the University of Regensburg where he worked on CO2 fixation via photoredox catalysis. Thomas has a very strong background in organic chemistry having completed a MSci degree from the University of Bristol under the supervision of Varinder K. Aggarwal FRS, training at the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research in London and a PhD under the supervision of Daniele Leonori at the University of Manchester. He has produced high quality and high-impact papers including papers in Nat. Chem, JACS, ACIE & Cell: Chem in the field of visible-light-mediated photoredox catalysis focusing on the formation C-C & C-N bonds.


Monday 1 November

Exploiting DNA-Encoded Library Technology for the Discovery of Novel Antibody Recruiting Molecules Against LOX-1
Katherine MacFarlane, GlaxoSmithKline
Allosteric Covalent Inhibitors of the Mutant GTPase KRASG12C
Laura Evans, AstraZeneca
Liquid Phase Oligonucleotide Synthesis using Nanostar Sieving Technology
Catalina Parga, Exactmer
The Use of Electrostatic Potential Surfaces in Structure-Based Drug Discovery
Ben Cons, Astex Pharmaceuticals
Expanding the Scope of Asymmetric Redox-relay Oxidative Heck Transformations
Holly Bonfield, GlaxoSmithKline
Redox-Neutral Photocatalytic C-H Carboxylation of Arenes and Styrenes with CO2
Thomas Dirac-Svejstrup, AstraZeneca
Keynote Speaker: Adventures in drug discovery
Derek Lowe, Director in Chemical Biology and Therapeutics at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR)
Prizes & Conclusion
Webinar Close


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For further information and prices please email conferences@soci.org

Organising Committee
  • Sophie Bertrand, SCI / GSK
  • Rosemary Croft, SCI / Syngenta
  • Heather Johnston, SCI / Sygnature Discovery
  • Adam Smalley, SCI / UCB
  • Jennifer Nelson, SCI / AstraZeneca


Conference Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org