Eoghan spoke this week at the 691st WE Heraeus Seminar this week. The meeting was held in Physik-Zentrum in Bad-Honnef near Bonn and was entitled “Physical Organic Chemistry: Recent developments in instrumentation, structure, theory, and mechanisms”. The meeting was organised by Prof. Christina Thiele (TU Darmstadt) and Prof. Peter Schreiner (Uni. Giessen) and had great talks from across the breadth of physical organic chemistry. Some of our highlights were talks by Profs Peter Chen (ETH Zurich), Ruth Gschwind (Regensberg), Derek Pratt (Ottawa), Steve Fletcher (Oxford) and Dan Singleton (Texas). There were lots of opportunities to engage with all of the participants at this excellent venue. Thanks to the meeting sponsors, the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation, for making this excellent meeting possible.
We welcome Dr Ande Chennaiah to the group. Ande joins us as an SFI-funded postdoctoral fellow. He was previously in the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, where the carried out his PhD under the guidance of Prof Y D Vankar in the area of carbohydrate chemistry. One of the highlights of Ande’s PhD was a TEMPO-catalysed synthesis of azido sugars from glycals (Org Lett 2018, 20, 2611). We are very much looking forward to having Ande as part of the group – Welcome!
We welcome Zohair Ansari to the group. He is carrying out his final year research project in the group as part of his BSc degree in Chemistry. He is going to work on a new organocatalytic asymmetric synthetic methodology. We hope you enjoy your time in the group and that you learn a lot while you are with us. We look forward to your contributions to the group’s research efforts.
We had a great lab Christmas dinner last night. Members of the McGarrigle and Gilheany groups had dinner in One Bistro on Richmond street. Thanks to Joe who was chief organiser. The McGarrigle group picture is below; the ‘serious’, ‘comedy’ and ‘smiley’ poses weren’t synchronised. Afterwards we visited some other establishments in the local area to continue the party!
Congratulations to Dionysia, who was awarded a poster prize at the CSCB Symposium last week. Dionysia’s research is funded by SFI under a CDA award to Eoghan (15/CDA/3625). The whole group attended the Centre for Synthesis & Chemical Biology’s annual symposium “Recent Advances in Synthesis & Chemical Biology XVII” which this year was held in the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. Eoghan chaired the Eli Lily Lecture given by his former colleague Prof. Kevin Booker-Milburn from the University of Bristol. Other lectures were given by Profs. Jonathan Nitschke (Cambridge), Chris Braddock (Imperial), Ed Tate (Imperial), Helma Wennemers (ETH Zurich). It was an excellent day of science with the 5 lectures from world-leaders complemented by approx. 50 posters presented by PhD students and Postdocs. Well done to our labmate Claudio Monasterolo from the Gilheany group who also won a poster prize.
We have published an article in Chem. Sci. describing a cheap, low molecular weight glycosylation catalyst at loadings down to 0.1 mol%. Just 0.25 mg of thiouracil as catalyst was required to make 1 g of disaccharide product. The work evidences that the mechanism of activation is not through double H-bonding catalyst but rather by Brønsted acid/base catalysis. We also demonstrated application to the synthesis of glyconjugates and 1,1′-linked trehalose-type sugars (with relevance to TB studies).
Special congratulations to joint lead authors Gary and Avene; this paper contains key results from both their PhD theses and reflects a lot of hard work. Well done also to Mairead who contributed to the research as part of her final year BSc project. Ultimately a lot of hard work was put in by all the authors so well done too to Nathan and Ren, and thanks to Yannick for his work on special NMR experiments. Thanks also to our funders: SFI (SIRG and CDA awards supported Gary, Eoghan and Ren), IRC (PG Scholarship to Avene), and UCD (funding for Nathan).
The article is available as an open access article:
Chem Sci 2019, advance article. G A Bradshaw, A C Colgan, N P Allen, I Pongener, M B Boland, Y Ortin and E M McGarrigle* — Stereoselective organocatalyzed glycosylations – thiouracil, thioureas and monothiophthalimide act as Brønsted acid catalysts at low loadings. DOI: 10.1039/C8SC02788A
The closing date for the SFI-funded postdoc position in the group had now closed. Interviews for selected candidates will occur shortly and the successful candidate will be appointed thereafter. Thanks to all those who applied. There was a strong field of applicants but unfortunately we can only appoint one person.