The First International Symposium on Advancing the Chemical Sciences kicked off on Wednesday, focusing on challenges in organic chemistry and chemical biology. Set in the grand Fairmont Hotel in central San Francisco, around 200 delegates were treated to a spectacular line up of plenary speakers covering a broad range of organic chemistry and chemical biology. Day one saw outstanding talks covering hydrogen-bonded catalysis (Jacobsen), iridium-catalysed asymmetric hydrogenation (Pfaltz), C-H oxidation (White), carbohydrate chemistry and biology (Seeberger, Hsieh-Wilson), rapid formation of molecular complexity (Sorensen) and the use of transition metal catalysis for the formation of pharmaceutically interesting compounds (Buchwald).

ISACS 1 Speakers

Robert Eagling (Editor, Chemical Science) and James Milne (Editorial Director) with the ISACS 1 speakers

Day two continued in an equally impressive fashion with further insights into new concepts in organocatalysis (MacMillan, Maruoka). After the break, the focus moved to chemical biology, with talks on activity-based proteomics (Cravatt) and reprogramming the code of life (Chin). There was a further shift in subject after lunch with molecular switches, motors and molecular recognition all covered (Feringa, Hunter). The second day ended with talks on new synthetic methods to lactones (Dong) and the latest developments in gold catalysis (Toste).

David MacMillan

David MacMillan

Jason Chin discusses reprogramming the code of life

Jason Chin discusses reprogramming the code of life

There was plenty of high quality science on the final day, with cutting edge catalysis (Ooi) backed up by high quality chemical biology (Du Bois, Bertozzi).

The vibe at the conference was one of excitement and positivity. The Fairmont hotel is a stunning venue and acted as the perfect back drop to the outstanding scientific talks. The new ISACS conferences have certainly arrived with a bang. Next stop Budapest

Robert Eagling

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