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ChemComm is delighted to present its 100th issue of 2012

2012 has been an exciting year for ChemComm as we faced the challenge of becoming the first chemistry journal to publish 100 issues in a year. This move was made in response to the increasing number of submissions and having published over 3000 articles for the 2nd year in succession, ChemComm is now recognised as the largest international publisher of high quality communications within general chemistry.

After much hard work and dedication, the 100th issue of the year has just been published online and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made this possible.

In particular, thanks have to be paid to our Editorial and Advisory Boards for their continued input and support, to our Associate Editors around the world, our Editorial Staff within the RSC and of course our loyal authors, readers and dedicated referees, without which this achievement would simply not have been possible.

Despite moving to 100 issues, we are still maintaining the service and quality that our authors and readers have come to expect. Our times to publication are still around 50 days and our most recent Impact Factor has once again increased to 6.169 (from 5.787 last year). We will continue to be what we always have been; the home of urgent high quality communications from across the chemical sciences.  

Thanks again for everything in 2012 and here’s to doing it all again in 2013!

Dr Robert Eagling,

Editor, Chemical Communications

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Final stop for the ChemComm Symposium

The international speakers assembled early on Thursday morning to make the final journey to Nankai University, Tianjin. After a flight and a two hour journey on the ChemComm minibus, we arrived at our hotel directly opposite the entrance gates to Nankai University. The first thing that struck us about the hotel was the enormous rooms. I actually got lost in mine between the two bathrooms, the study and the lounge area. Apparently they were all like this – what a hotel!

After a formal dinner with our host Professor Qilin Zhou (Director of the State Key Laboratory of Elemento-organic Chemistry and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences), most retired to bed but Professor Rawal, Professor Maruoka and I were taken to a live Chinese comedy show. Lots of clapping with plastic clapping hands, much laughter and, of course, all sketches in Chinese. It was a great experience even if we did not understand anything apart from ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’.

The following day started with eager anticipation as an audience in excess of 100 watched Professor Feringa give his final scientific presentation on motors and switches. He was followed by local Professor of Energy, Yun Chen, who spoke about some of his latest research into new nanomaterials for batteries, a key challenge with the ever increasing energy demands around the world. Before lunch, Veronique Gouverneur gave her presentation looking at the latest developments in organofluorine chemistry.

After lunch, the five poster judges took to their duties for one last time with each asked to examine ten posters and select just one. With the final five selected it was left to Professors Feringa and Maruoka to rank the winners. All five received money from the State Key Lab thanks to the generosity of Professor Zhou, plus journal subscriptions and books from the RSC, amongst other things, as additional gifts.

The scope of the meeting then switched to green chemistry as Professor Buxing Han spoke about his latest research using ionic liquids, supercritical fluids and a mixture of the two as solvents for organic reactions. Professor Han was followed by Professor Rawal who gave his third different talk in five days covering his group’s total synthesis of a member of the Welwitindolinone group of natural products. This was a particularly insightful talk as Professor Rawal not only discussed things that worked but also routes that had failed. There was certainly a good lesson here for total synthesis students, namely things may not always work out but perseverance is the key to success.

In the last session of the day, Professor Maruoka spoke about some of his latest results in the field of organocatalysis. He was followed by Zhen Yang who gave a second total synthesis masterclass. The retrosynthetic analysis slides certainly gave me a trip down memory lane and the overall synthesis in 26 steps (micrandilactone) showcased the real power of organic chemistry and the creative thought processes needed to succeed.

After the poster presentations had been made, the speakers and other key faculty members walked to a very famous restaurant called Goubuli for steamed dumplings. They are a local speciality, filled with vegetables, fish and, traditionally, pork. Normally six is enough, but I was proud to exceed the average! The other highlight of the dinner was the stinky tofu, a delicacy providing you can get past the tremendously bad smell, much stronger than the bluest blue cheese. This was a real challenge – the stink was just so bad!

After dinner, the speakers and faculty members retired to a German bar for one last drink to celebrate the day and the past week. Over the course of the seven days we had travelled many thousand of miles, seen 21 scientific talks covering many different aspects of the chemical sciences, with a total audience close to 700 and nearly 200 posters judged. All in all, it was a great week and the only thing left to do is to thank all the speakers and, of course, the local hosts, without whom none of this would have been possible.

Robert Eagling

View the Nankai Symposium schedule

Related posts:

ChemComm Symposium heads west…..

The 5th ChemComm International Symposium gets underway….

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ChemComm Symposium heads west…..

A 5am start was always going to be tough, particularly after such a successful event in Kyoto. That said, with cases packed, we headed to Kansai Airport…. next stop Beijing!

After a three hour flight, the ChemComm International delegation arrived at Beijing International Airport where we had a four hour layover. After lunch, we were joined by the RSC Publisher for China, Dr Daping Zhang, and Professor Keiji Maruoka, the final international speaker for the next two events. The flight to Lanzhou was smooth and, to our delight, we were met by the former director of the Key State Laboratory and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Yong-Qiang Tu. Following a buffet dinner accompanied by excellent regional red wine, the speakers retired early with one eye on the second symposium

The following morning, we were greeted at the entrance to Lanzhou University with possibly the largest ChemComm advertising sign I have ever seen. ‘Big’ was certainly the theme of the day, with Professor Wei Wang informing speakers that an audience of around 400 was anticipated with 80 posters to review over lunch.

Professor Tu opened events and chaired the first session, inviting Professor Xinhe Bao to the stage. Professor Bao gave a beautiful overview on some of his very detailed studies into heterogenous catalysis within nanotubes and other nano-confined systems. Using nobel metals or metals such as iron or nickel, it was shown that the conversation of syngas was much more efficient inside the tube than outside. The subject of the session then switched to metal-free homogenous catalysis, as Professor Maruoka spoke about some of his latest results in the field of organocatalysis. As you would expect, high enatiomeric excesses and yields were the order of the day.

 Following coffee, Professor Veronique Gouverneur gave another whistle-stop tour of her group’s latest organofluorine chemistry and the formation of  C–F bonds using palladium and gold homogenous catalysis.

As in Kyoto, the speakers worked hard over lunch analysing the 80 posters on show. They covered everything from organic methodology, to total synthesis, organic materials and supramolecular chemistry. If they thought judging them was tough in Kyoto, it proved even more so in Lanzhou! Unfortunately, Professor Ben Feringa was unable to act as a judge, because, due to a last minute laptop crisis, his presentation was being transferred to a spare laptop, with his own laptop in pieces, being fixed by helpful student Mr Woo.

After lunch, the conference switched gears to total synthesis. Professor Dawei Ma spoke first about the total synthesis of galbulimima alkaloids and communesins. Professor Ma was followed by Professor Viresh Rawal, who gave a different talk to that described in the programme. Professor Rawal described his recent total synthesis of Pederin and Mycalamide B, both part of the Pederin family of natural products isolated from the beetle Paederus fuscipas. He also introduced initial work looking at bioactivity of Mycalamide in cells, carried out with Milan Mrksich

For the final session, the audience were treated to a masterclass from Ben Feringa on molecular motors and switches. This was only made possible by Mr Woo, who had rebuilt his computer, replacing a transistor, and bingo! His synthetic motors, inspired by nature, are unidirectional with the direction controlled by the enantiomer used. By adding legs, the motors can be bound to gold surfaces and then used to change the orientation of liquid crystal films. A great talk and even Professor Bao, the session Chair, could not bring himself to cut it short. Thank goodness for Mr Woo! The final talk of the day was presented by Professor Deqing Zhang on tetrathiafulvalene-based switchable molecular systems towards functional materials. 

The evening social events were as memorable as the science, with the speakers joined by 50 or so guests including the vice Dean of Lanzhou University. The Chinese banquet was enhanced with locally produced red wine and Chinese liquor (only to be drunk in multiples of three – Chinese style…kambai). After many toasts and speeches, the speakers were taken to a local pub for some traditional Chinese music. The night was not done, however, as we then moved to a Tibetan bar. The speakers were told to expect local singing and dancing. Little did they know that they would be involved! After being sung to, each speaker was presented with a white Hada. What a great way to end such a action-packed day.

Next stop Tianjin for the final event of three…..

Robert Eagling

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The 5th ChemComm International Symposium gets underway….

The 5th International ChemComm Symposium got off to an excellent start in Kyoto, Japan, on Monday (16th May) under the Chairmanship of ChemComm Editorial Board member and distinguished Professor Keiji Maruoka (Kyoto University).

World leading authorities from the USA, UK, the Netherlands, China and Japan arrived on Sunday in time to be treated to a ten course western-style dinner. The dinner was a perfect start to proceedings but even the ten courses could not over-shadow the science that was to follow.

With an audience in excess of 100, I opened the symposium and thanked the local organisers, speakers and poster presenters. Special thanks were also given to Professor Maruoka for all his support in organising the event. As the first session Chair, Professor Maruoka then got things underway.

Professor Tsutomu Katsuki (Kyushu University) was up first, speaking initially about oxidation chemistry using ruthenium but then moving, like nature, to iron, for example. He was followed by Professor Kuiling Ding (Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry) who gave a talk of two halves, covering his group’s ongoing efforts to overcome the challenging issues in both homogenous and heterogeneous asymmetric catalysis.

A quick stop for refreshments was followed by Professor Véronique Gouverneur (University of Oxford) who spoke about her ongoing efforts to develop transition metal-catalysed reactions to generate C–F bonds. Not easy, but made even more challenging by the fact that the methods need to be incredibly quick so they can be used to incorporate hot [18F], which has a very short half-life. Such [18F] labelled compounds are used in positron emission tomography.

Ben Feringa discussed a posterOver lunch, the seven speakers interacted with the 35 poster presenters, putting them through their paces, with the five lucky winners scheduled to be announced at the end of the day.

The pace of the event did not slow after lunch. Professor Viresh Rawal (University of Chicago) wowed a packed auditorium with some of his latest results using H-bonded systems for asymmetric catalysis. Before the break, Professor Zhengfeng Xi (Peking University) spoke about the synthesis, unique reactivity, cooperative effect and applications of organo-di-lithio reagents.

The symposium was closed first by Professor Atsuhiro Osuka (Kyoto University), who spoke about some of his beautiful results in the area of Möbius porphrin chemistry, and then by Professor Ben Feringa (University of Groningen). Professor Feringa gave a wonderful overview of some of the ongoing research in his lab exploring chiral space in asymmetric catalysis. Some highlights included the latest examples of C–H and C–C bond formation using monodentate phosphoramidite ligands and also new results in the field of asymmetric catalysis using DNA with his colleague Professor Gerard Roelfes. The later certainly generated a number of interesting questions about the length and sequence requirements of the DNA involved in the reactions.

symposium speakers, poster prize winners and chairmanAfter the formal poster prize presentations, the speakers and organising committee were treated to a traditional Japanese meal. Before dinner, the historic nature of the Japanese tea ceremony was explained in detail and served to the group by a Maiko (a young training Geiko). Through dinner, the speakers were also treated to some traditional Japanese singing and dancing performed by the Maiko. The music and dance showcased the four seasons of Kyoto.

The dinner finished with the speakers retiring to bed in preparation for their early flight first to Beijing and then Lanzhou, the next venue for the second of three ChemComm symposia.

Robert Eagling

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ChemComm symposia

We left the rain of Osaka and just one hour later arrived bathed in Korean sunshine at the impressive Incheon Airport. We followed a relaxed dinner in the hotel with a walk around Seoul’s lively streets. It seems the city does not sleep – it was Wednesday evening but it seemed like a Friday or Saturday. Apparently it’s the same every night! The day finished with discussions over red wine about who would win the 2010 Nobel prize in chemistry, but not before some confusion over price and the corking of a bottle…..

Professor Nam opened day one of the ChemComm symposium at Ewha Womans University and I was invited to say a few words. Short and sweet with many thanks!

After finishing proceedings in Japan, Professor Harry Gray opened the show in Korea. He spoke about his very early work in the 1960’s on the metal-oxo wall, before moving on to his current focus: building an artificial leaf without wires aided by a solar army of high school kids (see the interesting critical review by Woodhouse and Parkinson from the Chem Soc Rev Renewable Energy themed issue and the EES Opinion article by Parkinson). Professor Fukuzumi followed but he didn’t need a microphone - his voice boomed!  

At lunch I took a stroll around campus. The building where the symposium was being held was truly spectacular but I passed very few men on campus. Now I understand: Ehwa Womans University.

The night ended with a dinner reception for all speakers and a mixture of drinks, including a local favourite, the atomic bomb (soju and beer).

The second day continued in equally impressive style. High quality talks on water oxidation from Brudvig and Llobet were followed by the ChemComm speakers, Jonathan Sessler, Adrian Mulholland and Luet Wong. To finish the day, Jonathan Sessler became the ruthless session chair under strict instructions to finish by 6pm. Five presentations were given by young researchers and assistant professors. It was nice to see Youngmin You give an excellent talk on the sensing of biological zinc. The results had been published in ChemComm and highlighted in Nature Chemical Biology.

In closing the symposium, Professors Nam and Fukuzumi thanked the speakers but also the tremendous efforts of the local organisers, and in particular, girl power! A fabulous Korean banquet and performance showcasing Korean music and drums was the perfect way to finish the symposium…well almost. That honour was given to Adrian Mulholland, who in true British style could not resist the opportunity to join the performers on stage and bang the drum…

This was a tremendous serious of events, intense, with around 50 lectures in four days. The hospitality from both organisers was incredible and the selection and quality of the science was first rate. A big thank you also to Luet, Jonathan and Adrian for doing such a great job as the ChemComm speakers.

Next stop is Japan and China in May 2011 for the 5th ChemComm Symposia on organic chemistry and catalysis. Sign up for the ChemComm Chronicle and e-alert to receive more information as soon as it is available.

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ChemComm Symposia – day 2

As day 2 dawned, many of the international speakers were sleep-deprived due to jet lag and the fantastic Japanese hospitality. To ensure everyone remained focused it was essential that the science was of the highest order. Delegates were not disappointed!

Toni Llobet gave an impressive presentation on ruthenium-based water oxidation catalysts. These have been attached to surfaces so they can be incorporated into devices. Toni briefly spoke about his newest system, giving the analogy of a caged lion. This certainly got the attention of the audience. The new system has been designed only to allow water oxidation and not organics due to size constraints. Furthermore, as the ruthenium molecules are anchored to a surface, they can not attack and destroy each other.

Following another hefty lunch, it was the turn of the ChemComm speakers. Associate Editor Jonathan Sessler was first up, talking about results he recently published in Science. Following Jonathan, both ChemComm speakers (Luet Wong and Adrian Mulholland) gave outstanding talks to around 150 delegates. In the latter, Adrian highlighted that quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) ‘would not save the world’ but certainly has a place in understanding reactivity, as currently the methods give good alignment with experimental data.

To finish the day, Harry Gray received the 60th Japanese Coordination Chemistry Award and spoke on the topic of electron transfer in bioinorganic chemistry. It was a beautiful talk, in Harry’s own unique style, covering 50 years of research. There were a few malfunctions with laser pointers but Felix Castellano stepped in to assist. His blue laser pointer was particularly impressive, very cool and expensive at $300.

The highlight of the day was the symposium banquet. There was plenty of great food and drink, with Harry Gray lead the celebratory opening of the saki barrel. I also enjoyed the traditional Chinese music entertainment. Thanks to the efforts of Shinobu Itoh (Dalton Transactions Regional Associate Editor for Japan) and Susumu Kitagawa (CrystEngComm Editorial Board member), RSC journals other than ChemComm were also well promoted.

The end of the banquet also marked the end to the first part of the ChemComm Symposium. Next stop Ehwa Womens University in Seoul, Korea.

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ChemComm Symposium – Day 1

Day one of the ChemComm symposium was packed with 12 talks and a two hour poster session. A good hearty breakfast was essential to ensure energy levels remained high. At breakfast I was joined by Luet Wong, ChemComm Associate Editor Jonathan Sessler and the co-organiser of the event, Wonwoo Nam. Jonathan managed to work the conversation round to the topic of beer and its importance in collaborative research – a theme that would reappear later in the day! I also received an invitation to say a few words, as Editor, at the Korean ChemComm symposium. I accepted with pleasure, although I am sure I will be be less enthusiastic on Thursday with the onset of nerves.      

Following opening remarks from organiser Professor Shunichi Fukuzumi, Gary Brudvig (Yale) discussed model systems for water splitting based on photosystems 2 (it would be highlighted later that these systems currently rank as some of the best examples in the literature). My favourite talk of the day was given by Craig Hill (Emory). Craig discussed his cobalt polyoxometalates and highlighted that these are the most effective water splitting catalysts around to date, also benefitting from the fact that they are homogenous and simple to produce. He also alluded to new cobalt catalysts that have been produced in his lab, yet to be published, that are producing even more spectacular results.

Jonathan Sessler

Is that water or sake Jonathan's about to drink?

After such a great day of science there was only one way to finish: a speakers dinner consisting of 12 courses lubricated with fine Japanese beer and sake. En route to the dinner I shared the lift with 15+ Japanese ladies who appeared to be at a convention in the hotel. A surreal experience where I felt like a giant!

At dinner, Jonathan Sessler continued to highlight the importance of alcohol in research. I am sure this will not be the last time we hear this…. It should be added that such a philosophy has been wonderfully supported by our hosts already. The dinner ended with a group photo and three cheers for Wonwoo Nam and Shunichi Fukuzumi led by Harry Gray. A fine end to an excellent first day.

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ChemComm Symposia – the journey

As I set off for Japan and Korea I was eagerly looking forward to my first ChemComm symposium as Editor. At Heathrow I met up with Dr Luet Wong (University of Oxford), a speaker at the symposium, and the long trip to Osaka began (made even longer by a one hour delay for refuelling as we sat on the plane).

On arrival in Japan, the weather was grim, with low cloud and heavy rain – just what you need after a 12 hour flight. But on the plus side, the three hour journey from Tokyo to Osaka on the Bullet train was super efficient and on time to the second…just the Japanese way.

In Osaka it continued to rain contrary to the weather predictions. The hotel is fine; however, it amazes me, when WiFi is available in all McDonalds around the world, that a Sheraton hotel in a major city can not provide such a service.

Jet lag kicking in, we ventured out for dinner. With much choice, but everything in Japanese, the easy way is to just look at the pictures and plastic replicas. Despite the availability of a variety of Japanese restaurants, our final selection was a Chinese restaurant on the 12 floor of a department store. The food was great but after choosing a bottle of Chateau Bel Air, (from France and not Beverley Hills), the chilled glasses were sent back for room temperature equivalents. Alas, the wine was ice cold when delivered!

The final course of the meal was duck: four pieces of duck, enough for two, absolutely…. Unfortunately not, four pieces of duck skin, beautifully mounted on individual prawn crackers, great value at 2700 Yen (about £20).

Despite the duck, it was an excellent meal. Sensibly I retired to bed early in anticipation of a packed first day of stimulating lectures ahead…..

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Latest news: Cram Lehn Pedersen Prize announced

The International Committee of the International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry (ISMSC) is pleased to announce the inauguration of a new annual international prize for young supramolecular chemists.

The Cram Lehn Pedersen prize, sponsored by ChemComm and named in honour of the winners of the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, will recognise significant, original and independent work in supramolecular chemistry.

Those who are within 10 years of receiving their PhD on 31st December 2010 are eligible for the 2011 award. The winner will receive £2,000 and free registration for the ISMSC meeting in Brighton. In addition to giving a lecture at ISMSC, the winner will be expected to give two additional research presentations in the country in which the ISMSC meeting is held during the same visit. These will be arranged in consultation with the Editor of Chemical Communications, the sponsor of the award.

Nomination Details

Please send your CV and list of publications (divided into publications from your PhD and post-doc and those from your independent work) or those of someone you wish to nominate to Prof. Roger Harrison (ISMSC Secretary) by 31st December 2010.

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Enzymes and Proteins web themed issue

This web-based themed issue showcases high quality papers in the field of chemical biology, specifically research that deals with enzymes and proteins. The collated, invited, and peer-reviewed ChemComm articles highlight cutting edge contributions by international leaders in the field.

The guest editors of this web themed issue are Professors Nicholas Turner, Wilfred van der Donk and Herbert Waldmann. They are delighted by the overwhelming response that the letter of invitation produced and they express their sincere thanks to the authors.  The articles received and published cover a diverse range of contemporary topics in chemical biology including biosynthesis, biocatalysis, structure/function studies, drug design and proteins as sensors.

Articles in this web themed issue can be found here and will be added as soon as they are published.

Why not book mark this page and come back frequently to watch the collection grow?

If you like our collection, why not let us know by leaving some comments below?

If you are interested in submitting to the collection please contact the Editorial office. All articles must be approved by the guest editors of the issue before inclusion.

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