Penelope Turner reports from the ACS, Fall 2011

5 Mar 2012

I attended the 242nd American Chemical Society National Meeting in Denver from 28 August – 1 September 2011 at the end of the third year of my PhD at the University of Warwick. During the conference, I presented a talk entitled ‘Biologically Active Tetrahydroxanthones by Sequential Pd Catalysed C–O and C–C bond formation’. This formed part of a session within ‘Metal Mediated Reactions and Syntheses’ as part of the organic chemistry division. This was an excellent opportunity to present my most recent research and discuss my findings as published in Organic Letters earlier this year. It allowed me to take questions from my peers and academics working in a similar field and explore new ideas and possible research pathways. It also allowed me to develop further both my presentation writing and communication skills.

The conference lectures provided me with an insight to various areas of interest within chemistry and learn about some of the latest research in groups from around the world.  I attended many lectures from both highly prestigious professors and also from my peers.  It was interesting to hear people discuss research in areas outside of my own specific research area and to learn about a wide range of interesting topics.

The organic chemistry poster session was very informative but also informal, with music, food and drink. In this environment, it was very easy to approach other chemists to discuss their research. I discovered different approaches to similar chemistry and gained ideas which will aid my current research. Discussing the problems other students came across during their research and finding out how they approached finding the solutions was also very helpful.

There were also evening mixers and social events which provided us with the opportunity to network with other chemists of all different fields. I enjoyed the conference immensely and gained a lot from it. I am very grateful to my supervisors, Prof Mike Shipman and Dr Jackie Whatmore for allowing me to attend the conference and the SCI for awarding me the Messel Travel Bursary which provided me with the means to be able to go to America for this fantastic conference.

The conference was held in the beautiful city of Denver, Colorado with the Rocky Mountains just a short distance away, visible from the conference centre. This was an excellent location for the conference and I was lucky to have some time after the conference to stay in a log cabin up in the mountains and spend some time hiking and enjoying the spectacular views.

Penelope Turner
University of Warwick

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