25th International Symposium: Synthesis in Organic Chemistry

17 - 20 July 2017, Oxford , United Kingdom

The Synthesis in Organic Chemistry conference is a flagship event for the international organic chemistry community.

The first meeting of this internationally renowned symposium was held in Oxford in 1969, and since then the meetings have alternated on a biennial basis between Oxford and Cambridge.

The Synthesis in Organic Chemistry Symposium traditionally provides an international showcase for the core area of organic chemistry - synthesis - covering all aspects of contemporary organic synthesis and providing a forum for the ever more exciting methodologies and strategies that continue to emerge.

Poster abstract submission is now open! Please see the poster abstract submission section for the link to submit.


Varinder Aggarwal, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Varinder K. Aggarwal studied chemistry at Cambridge University and received his Ph.D. in 1986 under the guidance of Dr. Stuart Warren. After postdoctoral studies (1986-1988) under Prof. Gilbert Stork, Columbia University, he returned to the UK as a Lecturer at Bath University. In 1991 he moved to Sheffield University, where he was promoted to Professor in in 1997. In 2000 he moved to Bristol University where he holds the Chair in Synthetic Chemistry. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2012.

John Bower, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

John Bower obtained his PhD degree in 2007 from the University of Bristol. He then undertook postdoctoral appointments at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oxford, before commencing his independent career in 2010. His research focusses on the design and mechanism of transition metal catalysed N-heterocyclic methodologies.


Nicolai Cramer, EPF Lausanne, Switzerland

Nicolai Cramer obtained a PhD from the University of Stuttgart and was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford. After a Habilitation at ETH Zurich, he moved to EPFL where he is currently Professor of Chemistry. His research interests focus on enantioselective functionalizations of inert bonds enabled by tailored ligands and implementations of these methods for the synthesis of biologically active molecules.


Ian Davies, Merck & Co. Inc, United States

Ian obtained his PhD with Tim Gallagher in 1992, completed a NATO Postdoctoral fellowship with Barry Trost and then joined Merck as a Senior Research Chemist in 1995.  Since then Ian has developed broad experience and led chemical innovation within Merck & Co., Inc. across Process Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Labeled Compound Synthesis and RNA Therapeutics. Ian is passionate about hiring and developing a diverse team of scientists to enable the next generation of sustainable chemical innovation.

Abigail Doyle, Princeton University, United States

Abigail Doyle received her AB and AM from Harvard University and then spent a year at Stanford University conducting research with Prof. Justin Du Bois. Abby returned to Harvard for her PhD studies, working with Prof. Eric Jacobsen in the area of asymmetric catalysis. Abby joined the faculty at Princeton University in 2008, where she is currently a Professor of Chemistry. Her group’s research interests center on the invention of new approaches to chemical synthesis that harness unique properties of transition metal catalysts. https://chemists.princeton.edu/doylelab/

Stephen Fletcher, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Stephen Fletcher studied chemistry at Mount Allison University and the University of Alberta in Canada. After Postdoctoral stints with Professors Ben Feringa (Groningen) and Jonathan Clayden (Manchester) he started a research group at the University of Oxford in 2009. Steve’s research interests include asymmetric catalysis, the origins of life, and dynamic stereochemistry. 

Makoto Fujita, University of Tokyo, Japan

In view of constructing nanoscale discrete structures, Fujita has pioneered a novel principle of metal-directed self-assembly, in which transition-metal ions induce the spontaneous formation of targeted large frameworks.  His method features an extremely elegant use of palladium's square planar coordination geometry which was first demonstrated in 1990 by the self-assembly of a Pd(II)-bipyridine square complex.  Later on, a large variety of related molecules has been synthesized such as, in particular, cages, capsules, tubes, catenanes, and spheres.  Most of these structures have large hydrophobic cavities, within which Fujita elaborated and studied unique molecular recognition events that led to controlled chemical reactions and induced physical properties, at a very early stage of this research area.  These earlier studies have strongly contributed to trigger the rapid development of molecular self-assembly in the course of the last twenty years.  Since 1994, Fujita has also strongly contributed to the field of porous coordination networks.  A hot topic in due course is single-crystal-to-single-crystal guest exchange that has led to a new X-ray technique (crystalline sponge method) as discussed in this lecture.

Matthew Gaunt, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Matthew Gaunt graduated from the University of Birmingham having completed undergraduate research in the labs of Professor Richard Walker and Dr Jonathan Percy. He moved to the University of Cambridge for graduate studies with Dr Jonathan Spencer in 1995, graduating in 2000. After PhD, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania for postdoctoral research with Professor Amos B Smith III, as a GlaxoWellcome Postdoctoral Fellow. In 2002 he retuned to Cambridge as a Junior Research Fellow and Ramsay Memorial Fellow with Professor Steven Ley. He began his independent research career in 2003 at the University of Cambridge, firstly as a Royal Society University Research Fellow, then as Lecturer in 2006, Reader in 2010, and as Professor from 2012. He is currently Chair of Synthetic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry.

The group’s research has been acknowledged through a number of awards comprising 2016 ACS Cope Scholar Award, 2015 Novartis Lectureship, 2015 Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award, 2013 Royal Society of Chemistry Corday Morgan Medal, 2009 Eli Lilly Young Lecturer Award, 2008 Astra Zeneca Research Award, 2008 Novartis Young Investigator Award, 2008 Chem. Soc. Reviews Emerging Investigator Award, 2005 DowPharma Prize for Creativity in Chiral Chemistry. 

Matthew Gaunt is an Associate Editor for the RSC journal, Chemical Science.

VĂ©ronique Gouverneur, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Véronique Gouverneur secured a PhD in chemistry at the Université Catholique de Louvain (LLN, Belgium), under the supervision of Professor L Ghosez. In 1992, she moved to a postdoctoral position with Professor R Lerner at the Scripps Research Institute (California, USA). She accepted a position of Maître de Conférence at the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg (France). She worked with Dr C Mioskowski and was Associate Member of the ISIS Institute directed by Professor J-M Lehn during this period. She started her independent research career at the University of Oxford in 1998, as a faculty member of the Chemistry department. 

Her research aims at developing new approaches to address long-standing problems in the synthesis of fluorinated analogues of natural products, pharmaceutical drugs and probes for PET imaging. Since her appointment in Oxford, she holds a tutorial fellowship at Merton College Oxford where she teaches organic chemistry. She is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford since 2008, and her research has been published in > 160 peer-reviewed publications and presented at > 120 conferences.

Seth Herzon, Yale University, United States

Seth Herzon obtained a BS from Temple University, a PhD from Harvard University, and conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign.  He is currently a Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology at Yale.  His research focuses on synthetic and translational studies of bioactive natural products and catalysis.


Michael Krische, University of Texas at Austin, United States

Professor Michael J. Krische (B.S. UC Berkeley; PhD Stanford University) holds the Robert A. Welch Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has pioneered a broad, new class of C-C bond formations that merge the characteristics of catalytic hydrogenation and carbonyl addition.


Andrew Lawrence, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Andy Lawrence obtained his MChem and DPhil at the University of Oxford. He spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Australian National University, before moving back to the UK for a lectureship at the University of Edinburgh, where he is now senior lecturer. His research focuses on the total synthesis of structurally complex natural products.

Ang Li, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, China

Ang Li obtained his B.Sc. at Peking University and his Ph.D. at The Scripps Research Institute, and conducted postdoctoral studies at Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences in Singapore. He joined the faculty of Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC), Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2010. His research focuses on the total synthesis of structurally and biologically interesting natural products.

Cristina Nevado, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Cristina Nevado graduated in chemistry at the Autónoma University of Madrid in 2000. In October 2004 she received her PhD in organic chemistry from the same University working with Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren in late transition metal catalyzed reactions. After a post-doctoral stay in the group of Prof. Alois Fürstner at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (Germany), she joined the University of Zürich as an Assistant Professor in May 2007. In 2011, Cristina was awarded the Chemical Society Reviews Emerging Investigator Award and the Thieme Chemistry Journal Award in recognition of her contributions in the field of synthetic organic chemistry. In 2012 she received an ERC Junior Investigator grant and has been awarded the Werner Prize of the Swiss Chemical Society. In 2013 she became Full Professor at the Organic Chemistry Institute of the University of Zürich. Rooted in the wide area of organic chemistry, her research program is focused on complex chemical synthesis and new organometallic reactions.

John Sutherland, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, United Kingdom

John Sutherland studied chemistry at Oxford, and then spent a spell as a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard. Upon return to the UK, he carried out his doctoral work with Jack Baldwin at Oxford, and then stayed in Oxford as a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry. In 1998 he took a chair at Manchester, and in 2010 moved to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. He is interested in chemistry associated with the origin of life.


Michael Willis, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Michael Willis received his undergraduate education at Imperial College, and his PhD from the University of Cambridge working with Prof. Steven Ley.  After a postdoctoral stay with Prof. David Evans at Harvard University, he was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Bath. In January 2007 he moved to the University of Oxford, where he is a now a Professor of Chemistry. His group’s research interests are based on the development and application of new catalytic processes for organic synthesis.

Tehshik Yoon , University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States

Tehshik Yoon obtained his AB from Harvard University and his PhD from Caltech.  After postdoctoral studies at Harvard, he joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he is currently Professor of Chemistry. His research interests center on the application of photochemistry and radical chemistry to organic synthesis.


Poster Abstract Submission
Poster abstract submission is now closed.

Due to the popularity of the event and space limitations at the venue, it is only possible for us to accept 80 poster abstracts to present at this event. Please submit you abstract by 13 February 2017. You will be notified by the end of March 2017 if your poster has been accepted.
Registration for this event is now open.

Registration fees

Included in your registration fee:
  • Attendance at the welcome reception 17 July
  • Attendance at all lectures 18 - 20 July
  • Attendance at the late evening lectures and evening drinks receptions 18 and 19 July
  • Event materials pack
Earlybird (by 31/3/17) Standard (by 02/06/17)
Member £375 £425
Non-member* £475 £525
Student member £220 £270
Student non-member £250 £300

For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2017, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event.

Accommodation and evening meals packages

Accommodation and evening meals are not included in the above registration fee however you can purchase and add-on package during registration.  
Accommodation will be located at St Catherine's College and rooms are single occupancy singles on a B&B basis.
Package Cost
Accommodation & Dinner package (17, 18 & 19 July - includes the conference banquet) £320
Dinner only Package (dinner 17, 18 & 19 July - includes the conference banquet) £120
Additional night's accommodation 16 or 20 July (single occupancy single B&B) £76


Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry

We have a limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 for PhD and early career scientists travelling within their home country. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis and are available to members in the associate category and above.

We also offer grants of up to £800 to assist with travel expenses to participate at this meeting. These are available to members in the associate category and above, who are PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians) within 10 years of leaving full time education. 

Please note that we recommend you submit your application a minimum of three months before you need a decision. We will be unable to consider any applications received within 8 weeks of the start of the conference (22 May 2017)
Please see the programme in the Introduction section of this page
Sponsors and Exhibitors
A selection of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the 25th International Symposium: Synthesis in Organic Chemistry.
As well as booking a table top exhibition space, there are opportunities to sponsor social events, advertise in the abstract book or place a promotional item in delegate packs. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.
Please note that exhibition spaces are now SOLD OUT
If you would like more information about sponsoring the 25th International Symposium: Synthesis in Organic Chemistry, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on solutions@rsc.org.

We would like to thank the following companies for their support of the 25th International Symposium: Synthesis in Organic Chemistry

Sponsorship Menu
St Catherine's College

Bernard Sunley Lecture Theatre, St Catherine's College, Manor Road , Oxford , OX13UJ, United Kingdom

St Catherine's College is the University of Oxford’s newest college and also one of the largest. It developed out of the St Catherine's Society, and was founded in 1962.

The College admits both undergraduates and graduates, and offers a wide range of subjects with a roughly even split between science and arts. Its modern buildings and restful, open spaces give the College a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Situated at the end of Manor Road off St Cross Road, and surrounded by parks and water, St Catherine's College is close to University faculties and libraries.
College History

College History

Following the 1852 Royal Commission, which recommended that access to Oxford and Cambridge Universities needed to be widened, a Delegacy for Unattached Students was formed in Oxford in 1868. This allowed students to be members of the University without being a member of a college, thus avoiding (what were considered for many) the prohibitive costs of an Oxford college.
Initially occupying just one room, with students living in affordable lodgings around Oxford, the Delegacy quickly banded together in quasi-collegiate fashion. In 1884 the Delegacy for Unattached Students was renamed as the Delegacy for Non-Collegiate Students, but lack of an identifying name for social and sporting purposes continued to frustrate students.
In response to this problem, the Boat Club and other groups began using the name St Catharine’s (sic) Club, taken from a hall used for club meetings. The spelling later changed to St Catherine’s (probably to differentiate itself from its Cambridge namesake), and in 1931 the Delegacy was officially renamed the St Catherine’s Society – the origins of St Catherine’s College were well under way.
Following the Second World War, grants to fund university education become widely available, in line with the post-war attitude of ‘education for all’. St Catherine’s Society had become more like a college, and in turn colleges had become more like the Society as they increasingly admitted students from a wider range of socio-economic backgrounds. In this new post-war era, the original purpose of the Delegacy (to allow wider access to Oxford) became less relevant. It was time for a new focus.
The 1950s saw the biggest change in the history of St Catherine’s. In 1952 the historian Alan Bullock became Censor (Head) of St Catherine’s Society. Bullock brought with him strong leadership and a vision to further develop the Society. In 1956, with University considering plans for expansion, Bullock obtained approval to transform St Catherine’s Society into a fully residential college – the search for a site and funding began.
An ambitious fundraising campaign began, focusing on the national shortage of scientists and on Bullock’s proposal of an increased number of science students at St Catherine’s than was usual for an Oxford college. St Catherine’s was to be an agent for change. In 1960 almost eight acres of Holywell Great Meadow was acquired from Merton College and the College’s chosen architect, Arne Jacobsen of Denmark, began to implement his design. His modernist masterpiece was to become the most important 20th-century collegiate building in Oxford, and is now Grade I listed.
In 1962 St Catherine’s College opened its doors (while still under construction) with Alan Bullock as its Master. The first undergraduates were admitted, and were quickly dubbed the ‘Dirty Thirty’ owing to the lack of running hot water. 1964 saw the ceremonial opening of the College by the then Chancellor of the University, Harold Macmillan, and ten years later in 1974, staying true to its forward-looking ethos, it became one of the first colleges to admit women.
Today, St Catherine’s remains as vibrant and dynamic as it has ever been. Its connection with the saint that shares its name is highly appropriate for a college founded on an ethos of high academic standards combined with a doggedly independent streak. The College celebrates its patron saint each year with a special Catz Night dinner.
More information on the College can be found using the useful venue link or by following the link to the 'History of the buildings and gardens'.
Accommodation can be booked as part of the accommodation and evening meals package during registration. Please see the 'Registration' tab for further details and prices.

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