The SCI Young Chemist’s Panel held its 15th review meeting at SCI headquarters in Belgrave Square, London on 28 November 2008.
Slightly different from most one-day symposia, the aim of these annual events is to provide participants with an overview of a contemporary research area, with strong emphasis on recent developments in the field. This meeting described advances in heterocyclic synthesis. Heterocycles are of central importance to both academia and the chemical industry. Not only do they form the core of many natural products of great interest, but also they are often motifs in important catalysts, and are increasingly used to prepare polymeric materials with unique properties. Hence, it’s no surprise that for molecules whose importance spans both the chemical and biological spheres, they also feature heavily in the pharmaceutical industry, with around 80% of currently marketed drugs containing at least one heterocycle.
The ubiquity of heterocycles in the chemical world around us means much research has been devoted to methods of their synthesis. University courses covering this area are often necessarily brief due to the huge diversity of molecular targets and the many strategies that have been developed to access them. This review meeting aimed to build on basic undergraduate knowledge by describing newer methodologies and techniques, such as those mediated by palladium. Both saturated and unsaturated ring synthesis were covered, as well as further ring elaboration.
Lectures were delivered by some of the UK’s brightest young academics, who also reported their own cutting-edge research in the area and a longer, research-focused lecture from keynote speaker, Professor Tim Donohoe.
Teyrnon Jones, medicinal chemist