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Messel bursar Adrian Gomez-Suarez reports from Organometallic Chemistry directed towards Organic Synthesis


22 Oct 2013

I would like to thank SCI for granting me the necessary funding, via the Messel Travel Bursary, to attend OMCOS17 from 28 July - 1 August 2013. OMCOS is the acronym for Organometallic Chemistry directed towards Organic Synthesis, and as a final year PhD student in the field of organometallic chemistry this meeting represented the perfect opportunity to discuss my research with people working in my field all around the world.

OMCOS has been taking place every second year since 1981, and has evolved along with the area of organometallic chemistry until it has become one of the most important meetings in this area, usually gathering some 1000 people. It brings together some of the researchers at the forefront of the field, as well as industrial partners, and gives them the opportunity to present and discuss their work.

This year's event, OMCOS17, was no exception and, thanks to SCI and other funding agencies, I witnessed some spectacular presentations. In addition, this year's venue brought the conference back to its roots, with the meeting taking place at its original location, Fort Collins, Colorado, US. Fort Collins is a relatively small town near Denver, at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Therefore, in addition to witnessing some amazing chemistry, this meeting gave me the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of one of the most spectacular national parks in the US.

My research focuses on the synthesis and application of new homogenous gold catalysts bearing N-heterocyclic carbene ligands. Therefore, I found two of the talks particularly appealing: a) Prof Guy Bertrand's presentation, where he presented some of his latest work on the synthesis of carbene ligands and their potential application in organometallic chemistry; and b) Prof Jose Luis Mascareñas' presentation, where he disclosed his work on metal catalysed (4+3) and (4+2) cycloaddition reactions, some of which are catalysed by gold complexes.

I also found some other talks particularly interesting, including Prof Véronique Gouverneur on late stage fluorination and its applications; Prof Mark Lautens, on one-pot sequential reactions using different transition metal catalysts; and Prof Eric Carreira, on the topic of asymmetric catalysis.

OMCOS17 offered the possibility to present either a poster or an oral presentation. I was not fortunate enough to be granted an oral communication, so I presented a poster about our latest work dealing with the reactivity of digold-hydroxide species, both in stoichiometric and catalytic fashions. The latter use has been of particularly high impact and has allowed us to perform organic transformations that until now have been completely impractical. Although my poster was one of some 350 displayed, my work was well received and several people showed interest during the poster session.

In summary, this meeting has allowed me both to present and discuss my own research, and learn about the latest advancements in the field. In addition, it has allowed me to network with other researchers and establish contacts for the future. I would like to thank SCI for its generous contribution.

Adrian Gomez-Suarez
University of St Andrews

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