Chemical Synthesis in the 21st Century: Dial-a-Molecule Annual Meeting 2015 Report

Posted on: 12/01/2016

Celebrating success of the EPSRC Dial-a-Molecule Project

Dial-a-Molecule Annual Meeting

“Chemical Synthesis in the 21st Century” was the third running of the Dial-a-Molecule Annual Meeting series.

Returning to the University of Warwick, the meeting was held on the 30 June and 1 July 2015 and was attended by 66 delegates over the two days. The meeting included a number of different elements, including keynote lectures, updates from Dial-a-Molecule supported projects, posters, an exhibition showcasing technology developed within the Network and discussion sessions designed to implement and advance objectives set out in the Roadmap.Professor David Procter (University of Manchester) delivered the first of the two keynote lectures, describing research his group is undertaking towards identifying new methods for target synthesis by utilising copper catalysts and metal-free cross-coupling reactions.

Dr Rebecca Goss (University of St Andrews) followed in the afternoon with a very informative account of how synthetic chemistry can be combined with synthetic biology techniques to ‘Dial-a-Molecule’. After Gill Smith (Project Coordinator) gave an overview of the three Dial-a-Molecule inspired Manufacturing the Future projects, Prof Asterios Gavriilidis (UCL) and Prof Kevin Booker-Milburn (University of Bristol) provided updates on the projects they respectively lead: “Sustainable manufacturing in multiphase continuous reactors: Aerobic Oxidations” and “Factory in a Fume Cupboard: Reagentless flow reactors as enabling techniques for manufacture”.

Since the 2014 Edition of the Annual Meeting, Dial-a-Molecule has supported a number of small projects centred on advancing areas within the Roadmap. Dr Thomas Chamberlain(University of Leeds) gave an update on the project looking at developing carbon nanoreactor stabilised nanoparticle catalysts, and Dr Bao Nguyen (University of Leeds) described the progress his team have made on electrochemically switchable catalysts in flow.

Dr Natalie Fey(University of Bristol) provided a progress report on the collaborative projects she is involved with, looking at the use of descriptor-led ligand screening in organometallic catalysis. Dr Richard Bourne (University of Leeds) rounded off the mini-project updates with his work on optimising reactions using statistical designs – both in the research and undergraduate laboratories. Prof Steve Marsden (University of Leeds) closed the meeting with an introduction to the European Lead Factory, and explained the opportunities available for academics to become involved.A highlight of the meeting for many was the exhibition which showcased technology developed in research labs across the Network. Each research consortium was given 4 minutes to give a quick introduction to the technology, which was followed by a hands-on exhibition.

There was a wide variety of items on show, including electrochemical flow cells and reactors, calorimeters, photochemical reactors, 3D printed flow reactors, mechanical grinding jars, wireless sensors and PCA maps developed for solvent selection.A unique aspect of Dial-a-Molecule meetings is the breakout discussion sessions that centre on specific objectives of the Roadmap.

Seven of these sessions were held over the two days:◦ Big Data and Predicting Reaction Outcomes◦ Towards a National Catalyst Collection◦ New Reactions with Impact◦ Lab of the Future◦ ELNs: Adoption and Data Standards◦ Enabling New Chemistry with FlowStatistical Methods in Chemistry Research

For the full meeting report visit:



Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.