December 20, 2007
TCD hosts Recent Advances in Synthesis and Chemical Biology VI

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) hosted the sixth annual CSCB symposium, Recent Advances in Synthesis and Chemical Biology VI, on December 14, 2007. Over 200 delegates attended, travelling from UCD, TCD, RCSI, UCC, NUIG, DIT, ITT, the UK, the Netherlands and Romania.

The programme for the day featured six eminent international speakers, describing their latest research from the interface of chemistry and biology.

Speakers at the CSCB symposium December 2007
(From L to R): Professors Mark Bradley (University of Edinburgh), Michael Krische (University of Texas, USA) , Pat Guiry (UCD), Thorri Gunnlaugsson (TCD), Andrée Kirsch - De Mesmaeker (ULB, Brussels), Thomas Carell (Ludwig-Maximillians-University, Munich) and Chris Schofield (University of Oxford)
Not pictured: Professor Peter Seeberger (ETH)

Opening the symposium, Professor John Hegarty, Provost TCD, remarked: "The success of the CSCB can be seen both by the advancement of research in synthesis and chemical biology at an international level and also the provision of a better mechanism to educate PhD scientists."

Beginning the morning session was Professor Peter Seeberger, ETH Zürich, with a lecture entitled "From Microreactors to a Malaria Vaccine". Professor Seeberger discussed the development of carbohydrate-based vaccines against malaria, anthrax and TB. He also described the revolutionary microreactors developed within his group. "This 'roundbottom flask of the 21st century' has totally changed the way we do chemistry and we anticipate that microreactors will find widespread application in academic and industrial research."


Poster session at the CSCB symposium December 14 2007
Poster viewing at the CSCB sympsosium

Using synthetic chemistry to understand nature is the focus of the research of Professor Thomas Carell, Ludwig-Maximillians-University, Munich. His lecture "The Chemistry of Transcription through Damaged DNA and of Translesion Synthesis and Atomic Resolution" described how DNA lesions, about 20,000 to 40000 of which are generated each day per cell, can be incorporated into oligonucleotides using solid phase chemistry. From these structures we can learn how nature achieves DNA repair and allows cells to replicate DNA in the presence of lesions.

Delegates were treated to some synthetic methodology in the GlaxoSmithKline lecture, "Formation of C-C Bonds via Catalytic Hydrogenation" given by Professor Michael Krische, University of Texas at Austin. He outlined the use of basic oil feedstocks as building blocks for synthetic chemistry using environmentally friendly technologies.

Dr Jerome Fakhry and Dr Mike Southern
Dr Jerome Fakhry, Schering Plough, with Dr Mike Southern, TCD

Resuming after lunch, Professor Chris Schofield, University of Oxford, presented "The Chemistry of Oxygen Sensing". This lecture was sponsored by Eli Lilly. Professor Schofield and his research group focus on the application of chemistry to biomedicinal problems  His presentation reviewed recent advances in the understanding of the chemistry of human oxygen sensing.

Follwing the afternoon's poster session, the Institut de Recherches Servier lecture was delivered by Professor Andrée Kirsch - De Mesmaeker, Université Libre de Bruxelles. She posed the question "Ru(II) complexes under Illumination. Can they be used in Chemical Biology?" and discussed how luminescent and photoreactive properties of these complexes with DNA and proteins can be applied to the targeting of specific oligonucleotide sequences.

Anja Glinschert, Gabriele Cucciardo and Sabrina Devereux presenting posters at the CSCB symposium
Anja Glinschert, Gabriele Cucciardo and Sabrina Devereux presenting posters

Professor Mark Bradley, University of Edinburgh, brought the excellent programme to an end with a fascinating talk on "Interfacing Combinatorial Chemistry with Microarrays". Professor Bradley discussed the use of resin beads as cellular sensors. Such beads are able to cross cellular membranes and act as localised real-time sensors, for example for calcium; this method is non-cytotoxic and "exquisitively" sensitive. Exciting applications include cell trafficking where "a patient's own cells could act as a delivery device for a therapeutic."

In addition to the lecture programme, CSCB postgraduates and postdoctoral scientists presented close to 80 posters. A judging panel of Dr Francesca Paradisi (UCD), Dr Mauro Adamo (RCSI) and Dr Stephen Connon (TCD) awarded prizes to the following posters:

Jean Luc Bouissiere, UCD “Synthesis of the Kdo Part of Oligosaccharides Corresponding to Neisseiria Meningitis Lipopolysaccharide Structures”
Gareth Cooke, TCD “The Coordination Chemistry of Novel Pyridazine-Centred Ligands”
Aoife Flanagan, RCSI “Biomimetic Metal Complexes of Azo-Salicylates and Azo-Salicylhydroxamates”
Niall O. Keely, TCD “Design, Synthesis and Biochemical Evaluation of Endoxifen Analogues and Dual-Acting Estrogen Receptor Conjugates”
Aisling O’Byrne, UCD “An Approach Towards the Synthesis of Hydnocarpic Acid Analogues”
Larry T. Pierce, UCC “Design, Synthesis and Development of Novel Indolocarbazole Derivatives as Potential Anti-Cancer Agents”
Syed Tasadaque A. Shah, UCD  “Stereoselective Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Noval Aromatic Lipoxin A4 Analogues”
Monika Zawadska, TCD “Porphyrins as Materials for Optical Limiting”

Each poster winner received €200 and as overall winners, Aisling O’Byrne and Niall O. Keely also won an annual subscription to Nature Chemical Biology.

Sponsors of the symposium included Eli Lilly, CEM, Servier, GlaxoSmithKline, Premier Laboratory Systems , JVA Analytical, Nature Chemical Biology, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Schering-Plough (Avondale) and Millipore.

Dr Una McCarthy and Ms Tracy O'Flaherty, CSCB
Dr Una McCarthy and Ms Tracy O'Flaherty, CSCB

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