6th Annual Frontiers in C–H Functionalization


The 6th Annual Frontiers in C–H Functionalization conference was held at Emory University in Atlanta on the 1st- 4th of October 2015. With representatives from all of the 24 research groups involved visiting from 16 institutions we had a fantastic turnout. Investigators also joined us from all five of our industrial partners and members of our scientific advisory board were present. With over 90 registered attendees we had an exciting and motivated group collected together to discuss the science of the CCHF.

The meeting began on Thursday afternoon with a satellite symposium highlighting chemistry in the pharmaceutical sciences, with speakers from industry and academia. The lineup was:

Late Stage Functionalization and High Throughput Experimentation in Medicinal Chemistry
- Tim Cernak - Merck and Co, Inc.

Heterocycles as Bioisosteres in the Discovery of Orally Active CGRP Receptor Antagonists for the Treatment of Migraines
- John Macor - Bristol-Myers Squibb

FTY720 (Gilenya TM) The First Oral Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis: A Phenotypic Approach to Drug Discovery
- Frederic Zecri - Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Versatile Iridium Catalysts for a Broad Range of Asymmetric Transformations
- Erick Carreira - ETH Zürich

These talks were followed by a poster session that was open to participants from institutions from across Atlanta and the CCHF.

On Friday speakers from across the Center presented their progress in science and integrative activities. These talks summarized the actiivties in each of the scientific themes, highlighting collaborative efforts that brought the themes together and providing context as to how these projects built into the overall missions of the CCHF. The meeting included updates on our scientific outreach and communication, a panel discussion on future directions and trends in C–H functionalization and a panel on the application of this chemistry in an industrial setting.

On Saturday student and postdoctoral members of the Center worked with our industrial partners on a session preparing students for industrial interviews, with a panel discussion on different perspectives of this important activity followed by a workshop discussing the different questions and scenarios you might be faced with at these sessions. Parallel to this session the Center faculty members and Scientific Advisory Board worked with professional facilitators from Giant Leap Consulting to develop the Centers strategic plan going into our renewal phase, thinking about the kinds of goals and milestones we need to be considering going forward. In the afternoon the whole membership of the Center came together to engage in a more general brainstorming session around a variety of aspects key to the Centers development. The evening was spent enjoying some local Southern BBQ and outdoor games.

Sunday started with a breakfast session discussing Grant Proposal writing, with Center faculty leading a discussion of how they prepare and approach proposal writing, offering hints and tip, discussing the differences between funding bodies and lessons they have learnt navigating the proposal process. After a short close out session Center members returned to their home institutes after 3 days of C–H functionalization.