Catalyst for success

30 Nov 2011

The third 'Challenges in Catalysis for Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals' symposium was held on 2 November 2011 in the new RSC Conference Centre in Burlington House, London and was a great success. This symposium was organised jointly by the SCI Fine Chemicals Group and the RSC Applied Catalysis Group and over 90 delegates heard lectures covering a broad range of topics including the latest developments in homogeneous catalysis, catalytic synthetic transformations and novel technologies such as flow chemistry.

The speakers included John Hartwig (University of Berkeley) who outlined some of his latest research and Jake Janey (Merck, currently BMS) who described a manufacturing scale route involving biocatalysis for the production of Januvia®.

The meeting also included a lunchtime poster session, and postgraduate presenters were offered free registration and also the opportunity to apply for travel bursaries from the Applied Catalysis Group.

The standard of the posters was very high and gave the judges a difficult job selecting the winners; first prize was awarded to Paul Colbon (University of Liverpool) with runners-up prizes going to Liana Allen (University of Bath) and Alistair Lennox (University of Bristol).

Registration costs for this symposium were held at the 2009 level, which would not have been possible without the generosity of our sponsors, BASF, CatSci, Johnson Matthey and Pfizer, to whom the organising committee are very grateful. It is hoped the next in this series of symposia will run in October/November 2013.

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