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Outstanding Reviewers for Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry in 2016

Following the success of Peer Review Week in September 2016 (dedicated to reviewer recognition) during which we published a list of our top reviewers, we will continue to recognise the contribution that our reviewers make to the journal by announcing our Outstanding Reviewers each year.

Outstanding Reviewers for Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry in 2016, as selected by the editorial team, have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

A big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal, helping us to get decisions to authors in under 3 weeks, on average. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Professor Kyo Han Ahn, Pohang Univeristy of Science and Technology

Professor Barry Carpenter, Cardiff University

Dr Justin Chalker, Flinders University

Dr Bobo Dang, University of California

Professor Concepción González Bello, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Dr Alakananda Hajra, Visva-Bharati University

Dr Charles Heath, CSIRO

Professor Colin Suckling, University of Strathclyde

Professor David Yu-Kai Chen, Seoul National University

Professor Jian Zhou, East China Normal University

We would also like to thank the Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry boards and the organic chemistry community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé.  You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre

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Time to Publication 2016

At OBC, we know one thing important to our authors is getting a decision to them quickly after they’ve submitted to us. That is why we worked extremely hard in 2016 to make this incredible fast, again.

We are proud to announce that in 2016, Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry got the first decision to authors in 12 days for Communications and 18 days for Papers on average, based on articles sent for peer review.

Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry’s Publication Times for 2016

Our average time from submission to Final Article Publication in 2016 was only 34 days for Communications and 43 days for Papers. As well as this, if an author opted for our Accepted Manuscript option, the unedited version of their manuscript was online a week earlier!

We would like to thank our referees for sending us thorough reviews so quickly as we could not have done this without you. We will be celebrating our referees more in the coming months so make sure you check back on this page.

If you would like to submit to OBC for rapid consideration of your high-quality organic chemistry research please see our website.

 

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@OrgBiomolChem) and Facebook (@obc.journal)!

Stay up to date with the latest from Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry by signing up for our weekly e-mail alerts. Fill in the online form today at http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journals/forms/V5profile.asp

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Top 10 Reviewers for Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry

In celebration of Peer Review Week, with the theme around Recognition for Review – we would like to highlight the top 10 reviewers for Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry in 2016, as selected by the editor for their significant contribution to the journal.

Name Institution
Professor Dean Tantillo University of California, Davis
Reviewer has requested to remain anonymous.
Dr Alakananda Hajra Visva-Bharati
Dr Concepcion Gonzalez-Bello CIQUS, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
Dr Hiroshi Matsubara Osaka Prefecture University
Professor Jonathan Clayden University of Bristol
Dr Zhiyi Liu Houston Methodist Research Institute
Dr Rob Young GlaxoSmithKline
Dr Marco Di Antonio University of Cambridge
Dr Koji Hirano Osaka University

















We would like to say a massive thank you to these reviewers as well as the Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Editorial and Advisory Boards and all of the Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

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New Editorial and Advisory Board Members

We are very pleased to welcome two new members to our Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Editorial Board and two new members to our Advisory Board – Dr Géraldine Masson (Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, France) and Professor Govindasamy Mugesh (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India), and Dr Gonçalo Bernardes (University of Cambridge, UK) and Dr Ratmir Derda (University of Alberta, Canada).

Géraldine Masson received her PhD in 2003 from the Joseph Fourier University, (France), under the supervision of Dr. Sandrine Py and Prof. Yannick Vallée. In the years 2003–2005 she was a Marie Curie postdoctoral research fellow with Prof. Jan van Maarseveen and Prof. Henk Hiemstra at the University of Amsterdam (Holland). In 2005, she joined the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (CNRS, France) as Chargé de Recherche and was promoted to Director of Research 2nd class in 2014. Her group’s research activities are directed toward the development of new organocatalytic enantioselective reactions and novel synthetic methodologies, and photoredox catalysis and their application in the synthesis of diverse natural and unnatural molecules displaying biologically activities.


Mugesh received his B.Sc. (1990) and M.Sc. (1993) degrees from the University of Madras and Bharathidasan University, respectively. He obtained his Ph.D. (1998) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Technical University, Braunschweig, Germany and a Skaggs postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA. Mugesh is an author of more than 120 publications in international peer reviewed journals. He received several awards and recognitions, which include: J. C. Bose National Fellowship, Government of India (2016); Asian Rising Star Commemorative Plaque, Asian Chemical Congress (2013), Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC, 2013), Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (2012), Fellow, The National Academy of Sciences, India (2012), AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award (2012); Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences (2012); Swarnajayanti Fellowship, Government of India (2006-07).

His research interests include:

  • chemistry of thyroid hormone metabolism,
  • development of novel therapeutics for endothelial dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases, and
  • nanomaterials for biological applications.

Gonçalo Bernardes graduated in Chemistry from the University of Lisbon in 2004 and soon moved to the University of Oxford where he completed his D.Phil. in 2008 under the supervision of Prof. Ben Davis. He was then awarded a Marie-Curie Fellowship to perform postdoctoral studies with Prof. Peter H. Seeberger. After a short period in Portugal working as a Group Leader at Alfama Lda., Gonçalo moved to the ETH Zürich to join the lab of Prof. Dario Neri. Gonçalo started his independent research career in 2013 at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge after being awarded a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Simultaneously, he founded a pioneering research unit in Chemical Pharmacology at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon. Despite his early age, he has published >50 papers and 5 patents. He has picked many accolades during his research career such as the European Young Chemist Award – Silver Medal in 2014, and more recentlythe Chem Soc Rev Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2016 and the RSC Harrison–Meldola Memorial Prize. For his efforts in translational research, Gonçalo was distinguished by the Portuguese Ministry of Health (MH) of Portugal for relevant services to Public Health and Medicine.

He now spends his time between his labs in Cambridge and Lisbon, directing a research program at the interface of chemistry and biology with a focus on the development of novel chemoselective reactions for the modification of biomolecules, and their use to understand and influence human disease.

Ratmir Derda received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 2001 and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008, under the supervision of Laura L. Kiessling. From 2008 to 2011, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University working under the supervision of George M. Whitesides and Donald E. Ingber. He joined University of Alberta in 2011 as an Assistant Professor in Chemistry and the Principal Investigator at the Alberta Glycomics Centre.

The Derda Lab centers on the development and mechanistic investigation of chemical transformations of genetically-encoded substrates. We employ genetically-encoded chemical libraries to attack unsolved problems in molecular recognition to aid the discovery of new therapeutics, biomaterials and molecular diagnostics.


Find some of their most recent RSC publications below or find out more about the other members of our Editorial and Advisory Boards here.


Catalytic, highly enantioselective, direct amination of enecarbamates
Audrey Dumoulin, Claudia Lalli, Pascal Retailleau and Géraldine Masson
Chem. Comm. , 2015, 51 , 5383-5386, DOI: 10.1039/C4CC08052A, Communication

One pot and selective intermolecular aryl- and heteroaryl-trifluoromethylation of alkenes by photoredox catalysis
Aude Carboni, Guillaume Dagousset, Emmanuel Magnier and Géraldine Masson
Chem. Comm. , 2014, 50 , 14197-14200, DOI: 10.1039/C4CC08052A, Communication

Insights into the catalytic mechanism of synthetic glutathione peroxidase mimetics
Debasish Bhowmick and Govindasamy Mugesh
Org. Biomol. Chem. , 2015, 13, 10262-10272, DOI: 10.1039/C5OB01665G, Review Article

Introduction of a catalytic triad increases the glutathione peroxidase-like activity of diaryl diselenides
Debasish Bhowmick and Govindasamy Mugesh
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2015, 13, 9072-9082, DOI: 10.1039/C5OB01294E, Paper

Iminoboronates are Efficient Intermediates for Selective, Rapid and Reversible N-Terminal Cysteine Functionalisation
Hélio Faustino, Maria José Silva, Luis F. Veiros, Gonçalo J. L. Bernardes and Pedro M. P. Gois
Chem. Sci., 2016, Accepted Manuscript, DOI: 10.1039/C6SC01520D, Edge Article

Natural product modulators of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels as potential anti-cancer agents
Tiago Rodrigues, Florian Sieglitz and Gonçalo J. L. Bernardes
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2016, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C5CS00916B, Tutorial Review

Phage-displayed macrocyclic glycopeptide libraries
Simon Ng and Ratmir Derda
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2016, 14, 5539-5545, DOI: 10.1039/C5OB02646F, Communication

Heat-enhanced peptide synthesis on Teflon-patterned paper
Frédérique Deiss, Yang Yang, Wadim L. Matochko and Ratmir Derda
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2016, 14, 5148-5156, DOI: 10.1039/C6OB00898D, Paper

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Revitalizing palladium-catalyzed α-arylation of enolates to generate diverse isoquinoline-based compounds

Research efforts carried out by Professor Timothy Donohoe of Oxford University have been focussed on connecting new methodologies in organic synthesis and catalysis with impactful applications to the fields of medicinal chemistry and natural product synthesis.

One of the group’s most recent endeavors includes the development of a generalized strategy to access highly functionalized and diverse isoquinoline cores without the use of expensive and highly-specialized starting materials.

The isoquinoline motif and its derivatives are ubiquitous in a number of natural products, pharmaceutical agents, and chiral catalyst ligands. However, classical syntheses are often centered on electrophilic aromatic substitution of electron-rich systems, resulting in limited chemical diversity in accessible products. New routes are still highly desirable and a resurgence in synthetic efforts has resulted in a number of notable contributions using modern synthetic methodology.

In 2012, Prof. Donohoe and coworkers reported a sequential palladium-catalyzed α-arylation of enolates and cyclization to access isoquinolines based on chemistry originally and independently reported by Buckwald, Hartwig and Miura in 1997. Though a powerful reaction, it remained underutilized in the assembly of complex aromatic compounds. Using clever reaction engineering, Donohoe and coworkers envisioned synthesizing a psuedo-1,5-dicarbonyl accessible through α-arylation of enolizable ketones with aryl halides possessing a protected aldehyde or ketone in the ortho-position. In addition, trapping with reactive electrophiles resulted in functionalization at the C4 position. This methodology can be carried out in one pot, tolerates a wide range of substituents and most notably, provides a route to synthetically challenging electron-deficient isoquinoline scaffolds.

Palladium-catalyzed enolate arylation as a key C–C bond-forming reaction for the synthesis of isoquinolines

Their current study presents significant extensions of this earlier work and further demonstrates the innovation possible through transition metal catalysis in enabling the construction of complex architectures in interesting ways. The three- and four-component coupling procedures involve multiple bond formations in one pot from largely commercially available starting materials. Reaction versatility is demonstrated through the use of ketone, ester or nitrile enolates as well as electron-rich, electron-deficient or even sterically hindered aryl halides and in situ functionalization of intermediates to directly access a number of highly functionalized isoquinoline based compounds.

In addition to rejuvenating interesting and underexplored chemistry, Prof. Donohoe and coworkers have appreciably impacted the areas of natural product synthesis and medicinal chemistry through their innovative and streamlined synthesis of isoquinoline-based compounds and it will be interesting to see where their future endeavours will lead.


To find out more see:

Palladium-catalyzed enolate arylation as a key C–C bond-forming reaction for the synthesis of isoquinolines
Ben S. Pilgrim, Alice E. Gatland, Carlos H. A. Esteves, Charlie T. McTernan, Geraint R. Jones, Matthew R. Tatton, Panayiotis A. Procopiou and Timothy J. Donohoe
DOI: 10.1039/C5OB02320C


Victoria Corless is currently completing her Ph.D. in organic chemistry with Prof. Andrei Yudin at The University of Toronto. Her research is centred on the synthesis of kinetically amphoteric molecules, which offer a versatile platform for the development of chemoselective transformations with particular emphasis on creating novel biologically active molecules.

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Applying old tricks to new problems: Acyl Fluorides in Sterically Hindered Amide Coupling

It comes as no surprise to those with a background in organic or medicinal chemistry that one of the most important and often-overlooked synthetic transformations is the formation of amide bonds.

Amide linkages are one of the most prolific moieties in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and biologically active molecules. However, despite their prevalence there remain synthetic challenges, as even the simplest amides can be difficult to make.

A group at the University of Southern Denmark led by Prof. Trond Ulven has developed a protocol for amide coupling through in situ formation of acyl fluorides.

Initially, the researchers were working toward the synthesis of a molecular inhibitor for the free fatty acid receptor 2 (FFA2/GPR43), which has recently generated some interest as a target for treating various metabolic disorders.

While attempting the synthesis of an intermediate, coupling between their sterically hindered and sensitive carboxylic acid with an electron deficient and hindered amide understandably led to unsatisfactory results using standard coupling procedures.

Given the multiple steps required to generate both intermediates, the group decided to explore alternative methods to solve their problem. Indeed, acyl fluorides proved to be ideal as they behave like activated esters due to the unique nature of the carbonyl-fluoride bond while also minimizing steric hindrance between the two coupling partners.

Literature protocols are available for the generation of acyl fluorides and there are disadvantages associated with some. In recent years however, a number of alternative fluorinating agents have been reported that are capable of generating the acyl fluoride in situ under mild reaction conditions.

Prof. Ulven’s group was able to further improve the efficiency of this methodology by utilizing an alternative fluorinating agent, BTFFH, which is normally used in solid-phase peptide synthesis. This reagent reduces byproduct formation observed with reagents such as DAST, Deoxo-Fluor and XtalFluor-E. High conversions and isolated yields were obtained as a result and Ulven’s method was also successfully applied to amide coupling reactions previously reported as low yielding.

There is still a need for chemists to develop better ways to synthesize complex amide-containing structures without the need for external reagents. In the meantime, solutions such as these overcome synthetic challenges and are critical to further development and understanding in organic reaction design.


To find out more see:

A protocol for amide bond formation with electron deficient amines and sterically hindered substrates
Maria E. Due-Hansen, Sunil K. Pandey, Elisabeth Christiansen, Rikke Andersen, Steffen V. F. Hansen and Trond Ulven
DOI: 10.1039/C5OB02129D


Victoria Corless is currently completing her Ph.D. in organic chemistry with Prof. Andrei Yudin at The University of Toronto. Her research is centred on the synthesis of kinetically amphoteric molecules, which offer a versatile platform for the development of chemoselective transformations with particular emphasis on creating novel biologically active molecules.

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Dr Keith Stubbs joins Advisory Board

New OBC Advisory Board memberWe are pleased to announce that Dr Keith Stubbs, University of Western Australia, has recently joined the Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Advisory Board.

Dr Keith Stubbs completed his undergraduate and PhD studies at UWA, followed by a two year post-doctoral position at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. He currently is an ARC Future Fellow.

His research group mainly focusses on carbohydrate research ranging from new therapeutic targets against antibiotic and herbicide resistance to tools to study carbohydrate-processing enzymes, as well as on microfluidics as a new technique in organic synthesis.


Selection of his most recent publications:

Gaining insight into the catalysis by GH20 lacto-N-biosidase using small molecule inhibitors and structural analysis (Open Access)
Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 15008-15011. DOI: 10.1039/C5CC05494J, Communication

An interactive database to explore herbicide physicochemical properties
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2015, 13, 5586-5590. DOI: 10.1039/C5OB00469A, Communication

A simple and robust preparation of N-acetylindoxyls: precursors for indigogenic substrates
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2015, 13, 905,-908. DOI: 10.1039/C4OB02248C, Paper

Photoredox catalysis under shear using thin film vortex microfluidics
Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 11041-11044. DOI: 10.1039/C5CC02153G, Communication

Thin film microfluidic synthesis of fluorescent highly substituted pyridines
Green Chem., 2014, 16, 3450-3453. DOI: 10.1039/C4GC00881B, Communication

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Tagetitoxin – real structure finally revealed?

For centuries, natural products have been linked to medicine through traditional remedies and since played an important role in drug discovery.

New structure of tagetitoxin

New tagetitoxin structure based on 2D NMR correlations

Despite competition from other drug discovery methods, natural products have provided their fair share of clinical candidates and commercial drugs. Furthermore, the isolation, synthesis and biological evaluation of natural products often lead to lasting impressions in science.

In a recent study lead by Dr Abil Aleiv of the University College London, the structure of the known natural product tagetitoxin has been revised based on a detailed analysis of newly acquired NMR and MS data. The group employed 2D 1H–13C HMBC correlations and long-range JCH couplings in conjunction with computational analysis to correlate JCH couplings with predicted values.

For several years, the structure of tagetitoxin remained a mystery. First identified in 1981 by Mitchell, the structure was only partially characterized by MS and was proposed to be an 8-membered heteroatomic ring.  Revised structures have since been published by Mitchel (1989), Vassylyev (2005) and Gronwald (2005). Despite all these efforts, conflicting results and incomplete analyses resulted in the absolute configuration remaining undetermined.

Structures of tagetitoxin previously published by Mitchel (1989), Vassylyev (2005) and Gronwald (2005)

Early analysis of complex structures was generally difficult as spectrometers were relatively insensitive and experiments were performed at low-fields strengths. Through the increasing prevalence and utility of modern 2D NMR experiments in the past decade, NMR has become a powerful and enabling tool for structure elucidation and confirmation.

In addition, the key to Dr Aliev’s findings lies in confirming the purity of the tagetitoxin sample the group had acquired. They noted that the compound gradually decomposed in aqueous solutions if left for prolonged periods of time, which they suspect led to additional peaks being observed in previously reported NMR spectra.

This exciting work showcases the importance of technical advances in determining the structure of biologically active natural products with greater ease and confidence. As a result, advances in lead development and the identification of important families of pharmacophores for drug discovery can be attained with greater efficiency, which may contribute to a revival of interest in natural products for drug discovery purposes.

To find out more see:

The structure of tagetitoxin
Abil E. Aliev, Kersti Karu, Robin E. Mitchell and Michael J. Porter
DOI: 10.1039/c5ob02076j


Victoria Corless is currently completing her Ph.D. in organic chemistry with Prof. Andrei Yudin at The University of Toronto. Her research is centred on the synthesis of kinetically amphoteric molecules, which offer a versatile platform for the development of chemoselective transformations with particular emphasis on creating novel biologically active molecules.

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OBC Call for Papers – Selective Chemistry with Peptides and Proteins Themed Issue

Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry is delighted to announce a call for paper for its latest themed issue on: Selective Chemistry with Peptides and Proteins

Guest Editor: Philip Dawson (The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, USA)

Deadline for Submission: 11 April 2016

OBC offers fast decisions and publication (average time from receipt to first decision for peer reviewed articles is 12 days for communications and 19 days for papers). Colour publication is free and all articles are indexed in MEDLINE. You can choose for your article to be handled by the Cambridge office or one of our Associate Editors: Christian Hackenberger, Lei Liu, Margaret Brimble or Jin-Quan Yu.

Scope

This issue will cover topics including native chemical ligation and other chemical reactions to prepare proteins and peptides, and selective protein modification. We would welcome either a primary research article or a review.

Research in OBC is published as communications (for urgent work – up to 5 pages in length) or full papers. There is also the opportunity to write a Perspective or Review article for the issue, and if you would be interested in this please let us know. All submissions will be subject to rigorous peer review to meet the usual high standards of OBC. Guidelines are available at rsc.li/1K0EgYx and rsc.li/1OoQWQh.

If you are interested in taking part in this issue, please email OBC: obc-rsc@rsc.org

Manuscripts can be submitted using the Royal Society of Chemistry’s online article submission service. Please clearly state that the manuscript is submitted for the themed issue on Selective Chemistry with Peptides and Proteins.

To view recent articles or find out more about OBC, please visit the journal’s homepage:

Organic & Biomolecular ChemistryRapid publication of high quality organic chemistry research


Please note that articles will be published online as soon as ready to ensure no delay in dissemination of your work. Articles for the web theme will be published in regular issues of the journal. The themed issue will then be published online once all articles have been published. Click here for an example of a previous web theme issue in OBC.

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2016 RSC Prizes and Awards in Organic Chemistry & Chemical Biology now open for nomination

The 2016 RSC Prizes and Awards are now open for nomination!

Nominations will close on 15 January 2016.


For more than 140 years, our Prizes and Awards programme has been acknowledging and celebrating exceptional talent in the chemical sciences, and with your support we are hoping that 2016 will even more successful!

Last year’s winners include Chemists such as Prof. Wilfred van der Donk (University of Illinois), Prof. Tim Donohoe (University of Oxford), Prof. Shuli You (Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry), Prof. Philip Gale (University of Southampton), Prof. Herman Overkleeft (Leiden University), Prof. Alison Ashcroft and Prof. Sheena Radford (University of Leeds).

This year we have 63 prizes and awards open for nominations of individuals, teams and organisations covering the breadth of the chemical sciences across academia, education and industry.

This year’s prizes in the field of Organic Chemistry & Chemical Biology include:

CBID (Chemistry Biology Interface Division) awards –

Organic Awards –

For 2016 our Longstaff Prize is also open – since 1881 we have awarded this prize once every three years to one of our members who has achieved the most to advance the science of chemistry.

Submit your suggestions now!

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