Plenary Lectures

André B. Charette, Université de Montréal

Andre B. CharetteBio: André B. Charette received his B.Sc. in 1983 from Université de Montréal. He then moved to the University of Rochester to continue his graduate studies under the supervision of Robert K. Boeckman Jr. where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1987. Following an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University with D. A. Evans. After three years at Université Laval he joined in 1992 the Université de Montréal, where he is Full Professor since 1998. He is the holder of a Canada Research Chair in Stereoselective Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules, the Co-Director of the FRQNT Centre in Green Chemistry and Catalysis, the Co-Director of the NSERC CREATE Training Program in Continuous Flow Science, and the Head of his Department of Chemistry since 2014. His research lies in the development of new methods for the stereoselective synthesis of organic compounds. He has devised novel and practical approaches to the design of catalysts and new green transformations. His awards include a Doctorate Honoris Causa from INSA-Rouen, the CSC Alfred Bader Award, the Marie Victorin Award and an ACS Arthur C. Cope Award. He has been trained and developed over 200 researchers into highly qualified scientists.

Abstract: A Journey Into Organic Synthesis: Evolution of Methods and Techniques to Tackle 21st Century Problems

This presentation will be an overview of the new synthetic methods developed in our laboratories over the last decade. The first part of the presentation will focus on cyclopropane chemistry, catalysis, green chemistry and heterocyclic chemistry. The second part of the presentation will be dedicated to new methodologies relying on reactor technology, more recently known as continuous flow science. Continuous flow synthesis is an emerging technique that enables rapid reaction screening, leading quickly to the identification of reaction conditions that are suitable for production. Furthermore, the inherent safety associated with the use of small reactor volumes enables us to develop reactions and reactive intermediates that were thought to be too hazardous for a production environment.

François DiederichEidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Bio: Professor Diederich (b. 1952) received his diploma in 1977 and his doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat.) in 1979 from the University of Heidelberg. Following postdoctoral studies at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) from 1979 to 1981, he was a research associate at the Max-Planck-Institute for medical research in Heidelberg. After his habilitation in 1985, he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA as an associate professor (1985-1989) and as a full professor (1989-1992). Since April 1992, he is a professor of organic chemistry at ETH Zürich. He received the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max-Planck-Society (1979), the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1987), the ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1992), the Otto-Bayer-Preis für Chemie (1993), the Janssen Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis (2000) and the Havinga Medal (2000), the Humboldt Research Prize (2005), the Burkhard-Helferich Prize (2005), the August-Wilhelm-von-Hofmann-Denkmünze (GDCh, 2006), the ACS Ronald Breslow Award for Achievements in Biomimetic Chemistry (2007), and the Adolf-von-Baeyer-Denkmünze (GDCh, 2011), the Ernst Hellmut Vits-Preis (2014), the Prix Paul Metz (2014), and the EFMC Nauta Award for Pharmacochemistry (2016). He is a member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina and of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW), and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and of the Real Academia Española de Ciencias, and a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. Since 2012, he holds an honorary doctoral degree from the Technion (Haifa). Work in the Diederich group has been documented in more than 750 original publications.

Abstract: Molecular Recognition in Chemical and Biological Systems: Chemical Model Systems and Biostructural Investigations of Protein-Ligand Interactions

We pursue a multi-dimensional approach towards deciphering and quantifying weak intermolecular interactions in chemical and biological systems.  Experimental study in this research involves the investigation of protein-ligand interactions, synthetic host-guest complexation, and dynamic processes in designed unimolecular model systems, such as molecular torsional balances.  It is complemented by computational analysis and exhaustive data base mining in the Cambridge Crystallographic Database (CSD) and the Protein Data Bank (PDB).  Examples of intermolecular interactions quantified by this approach are orthogonal dipolar interactions, organofluorine interactions, π-stacking on peptide bonds, cation-π interactions, halogen bonding, and chalcogen bonding.  Enantioselective complexation based solely on shape complementarity and dispersion interactions is investigated with new chiral alleno-acetylenic cage compounds.  Extensive protein and small-molecule crystallographic work is essential in all study.  We also explore the energetics of the replacement of conserved water molecules in protein co-crystal structures by ligand parts. 

This multi-dimensional approach is illustrated in examples taken from a variety of structure-based drug design projects.  Lessons learned are directly applicable to ligand design and optimization in drug discovery and crop protection research, but equally to the assembly of synthetic supramolecular systems.  Specific examples for investigations of protein-ligand interactions presented in the lecture include (i) addressing the Gly-rich ATP-triphosphate-binding loop of protein kinase A (PKA), (ii) complexation at the allosteric site of IspD, an enzyme from the non-mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis and deciphering of the allosteric mechanism, (iii) halogen-bonding at the active site of the cysteine protease hCatL, and (iv) ligand development against a novel targets for antimalarials, serine hydroxymethyl transferase (SHMT), a key enzyme from the folate biosynthesis cycle.

Jeffrey MooreUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Bio: Professor Moore received his B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Materials Science in 1989 from the University of Illinois. Thereafter, he was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech and an assistant professor at the University of Michigan before joining the faculty in 1993. Professor Moore served as "Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society" from 1999-2013. He is a faculty member of the Beckman Institute and the Frederick Seitz Material Research Lab .

Abstract:  Organic Chemistry at the Interface of Materials and Mechanics 

In this talk I will discuss the molecular design of organic structural materials that mimic the ability of living systems to protect, report, heal and even regenerate themselves in response to damage, with the goal of increasing lifetime, safety and sustainability of many manufactured items.  I will emphasize recent developments in frontal ring-opening metathesis polymerization (FROMP) to manufacture composites with minimal energy consumption.  The talk will also present a workflow for the design, evaluation, and development of new “mechanophores”, a term that has come to mean a molecular unit that chemically responds in a selective manner to a mechanical perturbation.  Mechanophores are building blocks for the development of mechanoresponsive materials with protection and sensing functions. The impact and challenges of introducing these capabilities in real-world situations will be mentioned.