Author Archive

National Retrosynthesis Competition Final

On Friday the 27th of February, Burlington House was the venue for the final of the 2nd National Retrosynthesis Competition. This event was jointly organised by the Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Fine Chemicals Group and Young Chemists Panel of the SCI, under the lead of Rob Wybrow of Syngenta, UK.

From 50 teams who entered the preliminary round in December 2014, 10 were selected for the final by the judging panel, Professor Chris Willis (Bristol University), Professor Rob Stockman (Nottingham University), Dr Wes Heaton (GSK) and Dr Mike Mortimore (Vertex). The finalists were drawn from a broad cross-section of chemistry-based organisations, universities and academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, CROs and agrochemicals.

In the final, teams presented their synthetic strategies for the recently identified, as yet unsynthesized natural product, alistonitrine A, and answered questions from the audience challenging their reasoning and route selection. Trophies for the winning teams were generously provided by Chemglass Life Sciences, and the overall winners received an additional prize of a year’s subscription to Natural Product Reports, provided by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The winning team “One ED”, representing Charles River Laboratories, received a Huber Unichiller 003-MPC (donated by Huber). The runners up were “Oxford SBM Team” from Oxford University who received a Flashforge Creator 3D Printer  (donated by Chemglass Life Sciences), and the third place on the podium was taken by “Team Dalton Towers” from the University of Manchester, who received a J Young 5 port Vacuum Manifold (donated by GPE).

The organising committee would like to thank all of the teams who entered for their contributions, the finalists, judges, guests, attendees, sponsors and exhibitors for their significant input into the event. Based upon enthusiastic positive feedback from participants and special guests on the day the competition was hugely successful, underlining the key central importance of synthetic organic chemistry in both fundamental and applied research in the UK. Taking that positive momentum forwards, the organising committee has already begun their planning for the 3rd National Retrosynthesis Competition, to be held in early March 2016.

Retrosynthesis winners “One ED” from Charles River Laboratories

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Agri Innovation 2015

Join us on 22 April at the Society of Chemical Industry in London for Agri Innovation 2015: Emerging Technologies in Crop Research

This one-day meeting aims to provide an update on several areas of crop research, including identifying target proteins for crop protection ingredients, the synthesis of new crop protection agents and understanding the mechanisms of resistance and immunity in plants and insects. If you are working in organic synthesis, chemical biology or biochemistry in relation to crop science, this meeting will provide an opportunity to catch up on the latest developments. Speakers from academia and industry from across Europe will come together to present and discuss the latest developments in this area.

The meeting is jointly run by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Chemical Industry Agrisciences Group and AGRI-net, the agriscience chemical biology network. For more details and to register, please visit the website.

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Editorial Board Changes

As the new year gets underway we would like to share some changes to our Editorial Board.

Editorial Board Retirements

After 6 years with Natural Product Reports we are very sorry to see Professors David L. Jakeman and Stefan Schulz step down from their roles on the Editorial Board. We would like to take this opportunity to thank both David and Stefan for all of their time and effort over the past 6 years, helping to make the journal the success it is today. Thank you!

However, we are pleased to say that although David and Stefan may be leaving the Editorial Board they will not be leaving us entirely. Both are now members of the Advisory Board for the journal and we look forward to continue working with them in the future in this new role.

Prof. David L. Jakeman

Prof. Stefan Schulz


New Editorial Board Members

We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome some new faces to the Natural Product Reports family.

Prof. Giovanni Appendino

Professor Giovanni Appendino, Universita del Piemonte Orientale, Italy.

Professor Giovanni Appendino did his Laurea Degree at the University of Torino (Italy) in 1979. He did Post-Laurea work at the Laboratory of Organic Synthesis, University of Gent (Belgium) with Prof. Pierre De Clercq. He has been a Full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Università del Piemonte Orientale, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Novara (Italy), since 2000.

Research activity in his laboratories takes inspiration from plant natural products to address problems in various realms of biomedical investigation, from pharmacology and nutrition (new drug leads and health-promoting dietary ingredients) to organic/medicinal chemistry (new synthetic methodologies and optimization of natural product drug leads) and cell biology (novel mechanisms of activity).



Prof. Mark Brönstrup

Professor Mark Brönstrup, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany

Mark Brönstrup studied Chemistry at the Philipps-Universität Marburg and at the Imperial College in London. In 1999 he received his doctorate from the Technical University Berlin in Organic Chemistry. After his graduation, he worked from 2000 to 2004 as a laboratory head for Mass Spectrometry at Aventis, complemented by a research sabbatical in 2003 at Harvard Medical School. From 2005 to 2010 he led the Natural Product Sciences section at Sanofi-Aventis in Frankfurt with the goal of discovering leads from natural sources and optimising them to clinical candidates. He dealt with translational research projects from 2010 to 2013 as a section head for Biomarkers & Diagnostics in the Diabetes Division, and a domain head for Biomarkers, Bioimaging & Biological Assays at Sanofi. Since December 2013, he heads the department Chemical Biology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research; additionally, he holds a Professorship (W3) at the Leibniz Universität Hannover.

Mark Brönstrup’s research uses chemical biology tools to understand mechanisms for the treatment of infectious diseases.



Professors Appendino and Brönstrup began their roles as Editorial Board members from January 2015, and we look forward to working closely with them over the coming months and years.

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Seth Herzon wins 2015 NPR Emerging Investigator Lectureship

Seth Herzon winner of the 2015 NPR Emerging Investigator LectureshipWe are delighted to announce that Professor Seth Herzon from Yale University (USA) is the winner of the 2015 NPR Emerging Investigator Lectureship.

The NPR Lectureship is an annual event which is held at an international meeting, the recipient being a researcher who has made a significant contribution to any natural products-related research in their early independent career.

The conference at which the lecture will be delivered will be announced in due course.

Read more on Seth’s research on the Herzon lab Homepage

Previous winners include:

Emily Balskus, Harvard University, USA (2014 winner)
Rebecca Goss, University of St Andrews, UK (2013 winner)
Dean Tantillo, UC Davis Chemistry, USA (2012 winner)

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Q2 Top Ten most accessed articles

During the months April – June 2014, the most downloaded Natural Product Reports articles were:

Explorations of fungal biosynthesis of reduced polyketides – a personal viewpoint
John C. Vederas
DOI: 10.1039/C4NP00091A

Microbial biosynthesis of medicinally important plant secondary metabolites
Myoung Chong Song, Eun Ji Kim, Eunji Kim, Kris Rathwell, Sang-Jip Nam and Yeo Joon Yoon
DOI: 10.1039/C4NP00057A

Marine natural products
John W. Blunt, Brent R. Copp, Robert A. Keyzers, Murray H. G. Munro and Michèle R. Prinsep
DOI: 10.1039/C3NP70117D

Natural product isolation – how to get from biological material to pure compounds
Franz Bucar, Abraham Wube and Martin Schmid
DOI: 10.1039/C3NP20106F

Fungal polyketide biosynthesis – a personal perspective
Thomas J. Simpson
DOI: 10.1039/C4NP00065J

Natural product synthesis in the age of scalability
Christian A. Kuttruff, Martin D. Eastgate and Phil S. Baran
DOI: 10.1039/C3NP70090A

Recreational drug discovery: natural products as lead structures for the synthesis of smart drugs
Giovanni Appendino, Alberto Minassi and Orazio Taglialatela-Scafati
DOI: 10.1039/C4NP00010B

Thinking big about small beings – the (yet) underdeveloped microbial natural products chemistry in Brazil
Laura P. Ióca, Pierre-Marie Allard and Roberto G. S. Berlinck
DOI: 10.1039/C3NP70112C

Recent advances in deep-sea natural products
Danielle Skropeta and Liangqian Wei
DOI: 10.1039/C3NP70118B

Ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptide natural products: overview and recommendations for a universal nomenclature
Wilfred A. van der Donk et al.
DOI: 10.1039/C2NP20085F

Access to these articles is free until the end of October through a registered RSC account – click here to register for free

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RSC Organic Division Poster Symposium 2014

RSC Organic Division Poster Symposium 2014, headline sponsored by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd.

The poster symposium, for final year organic chemistry PhD students, will take place at The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, London on Monday 01 December 2014.

The symposium offers final year PhD students a chance to showcase their research to their peers, leading academics and industrial chemists, and is open to all branches of organic chemistry. The symposium has a tradition of being the most competitive and highly regarded organic chemistry symposium for PhD students in the UK and ROI and we would like to thank F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd. for their generous support of the event.

There will be a first prize of £500, two runner-up prizes of £250, and a “selected by Industry Prize”. Industrial delegates will make this selection by considering the research’s potential for application in an industrial context; the winner will also receive a prize of £500.

Closing date for submissions is Wednesday 01 October 2014.
For more information and to submit your abstract go to http://rsc.li/organic-poster

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Make your journal work for you

Want to know about the latest research we publish in Natural Product Reports? Want to be told about upcoming themed issues, or the most read articles, or other journal news?

Here are a few ways you can stay in touch with us and all that is happening:

RSS Feed for Natural Product ReportsMost recent articles

Be informed about the latest articles published on our website by adding us to your RSS Feed.


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Sign-up to NPR issue alertsGet the table of contents of the latest issue of Natural Product Reports sent direct to you when we publish the issue.


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Register for NPR news alertsBy joining our news alerts we can let you know about:

  • Up-coming themed collections (print & electronic)
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Follow Natural Product Reports on twitter

We can also be found on Twitter @NatProdRep, add us and say hello.


And of course you can always come back to this blog to find out about our journal news.

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New Editorial Board Members for Natural Product Reports

We are very pleased to welcome two new members to our Editorial Board this month: Professor Julia Kubanek (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA) and Professor Wen Liu (Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, China).


Professor Julia Kubanek

Prof. Kubanek received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1998 from the University of British Columbia. Following this she held postdoctoral positions at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University California San Diego (1998–2000) and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (2000–2001). In 2001 she joined the Georgia Institute of Technology becoming a Professor in 2011.

Her current areas of interest include:

Aquatic chemical ecology; Chemical signaling; Chemical communication; Marine natural products chemistry; Chemical biology; Secondary metabolism; Drug discovery; Plankton ecology; Metabolomics

I’ve been reading Natural Product Reports since I was a graduate student in the early 1990’s. I’m pleased to join the NPR family as a member of the Editorial Board and looking forward to working with authors to bring important research to the attention of the natural products chemistry community.” Prof. Julia Kubanek



Professor Wen Liu

Prof. Wen Liu obtained his Ph.D. degree from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (Peking Union Medical School) in 2000. After postdoctoral studies at the Department of Chemistry, University of California, Davis (2000-2001), and the School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2001-2003), he joined the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2003.

His research interests focus on:
1) natural product biosynthesis (genetics, biochemistry and chemistry)
2) combinatorial biosynthesis for production improvement and structural diversity
3) genome and/or transcriptome mining for discovery of novel microbial natural products

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Natural Product Reports at conferences in 2014

Dr Marie Cote, Deputy Editor

Dr Richard Kelly, Managing Editor

The Natural Product Reports team will be attending a number of conferences in 2014 and we would be delighted to meet you there.

We’re also the team behind Natural Product Reports’ sister journals Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, MedChemComm, and the latest addition to the portfolio, Toxicology Research, so we’ll happily discuss your interdisciplinary research work. In fact, many of our authors choose to publish their research across all of these titles.

Here are just some of the conferences where you can meet us in the coming months:


GRC marine natural products 2-7 March Ventura, CA, USA – Meet Rich

Society of Toxicology annual meeting 23-27 March Phoenix, USA – Meet Marie

National Organic Symposium Trust 11-14 April Agra, India – Meet Rich

ISMSC-9 7-11 June Shanghai, China – Meet Marie

GRC Bioorganic Chemistry 8-13 June Proctor Academy, USA – Meet Rich

BOSS XIV 13-18 July Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium – Meet Marie

Fall ACS meeting 10-14 August San Francisco, USA – Meet Rich

Gregynog Young Chemists’ Workshop 10-12 September Gregynog, Wales – Meet Marie

EFMC-ISMC 7-10 September Lisbon, Portugal – Meet Rich

Eurotox 7-9 September Edinburgh, UK – Meet Marie

 

Let us know if you are planning on attending any of these meetings, as we would be happy to meet you there!

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RSC Organic Division Poster Symposium: Deadline for poster abstracts 02 October 2013

RSC Organic Division Poster Symposium: Deadline for poster abstracts 02 October 2013

The RSC Organic Division Poster Symposium is still accepting abstracts, but not for long. If you are a final year PhD student based in the UK/ROI and would like the opportunity to showcase your work to leading chemists in industry and academia, as well as your peers, make sure you submit your poster abstract by Wednesday 2nd October.

The symposium will take place on Monday 2nd December 2013, at The Chemistry Centre, Burlington House, London and there are several prizes available on the day. Alongside the £500 First Prize, there will also be a £500 “Selected by Industry” prize and two runners-up prizes of £250. And this year our headline sponsor,  F. Hoffmann-La Roche are offering a further prize of a visit to their site in Basel, Switzerland, to the First and Industry prize winners.

Reasonable travel costs will be covered for the students who are selected to present at this meeting. If you would like to find out more about the symposium and submit an abstract, visit our symposium website

We would like to thank F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd. for their generous support of this event.

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