Chemistry World was delighted to sponsor a poster prize at ISACS19 (Challenges in organic chemistry), held in Irvine, US, last month. Aubert Ribaucourt, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Oxford, UK, won the prize with his poster entitled ‘Total synthesis and structural revision of aruncin B.’

Aubert Ribaucourt

Aubert explains his work:

‘My doctoral research is focused on synthesising anticancer natural compounds, specifically inhibitors of anti-apoptic proteins; these proteins are present in every human cell but are often over expressed in tumoral cells, especially in the case of drug resistant cancers.

My poster at ISACS19 presented work I carried out on the synthesis of aruncin B, a natural compound isolated in 2011. Although its mechanism of action has not been fully established, early studies show anti-cancer activity against leukaemia cells and suggest inhibitive properties of anti-apoptic proteins. I carried out synthetic studies towards the reported chemical structure of aruncin B. Despite all my efforts to make it, initial experimental results suggested that this particular structure – as well as 2 closely related isomers – was intrinsically unstable, so I concluded that the reported structure was not correct and a significant structural revision was required. After careful analysis of the reported data and comparison with other isolated natural compounds, I hypothesised another alternative structure. This structure turned out to be the correct one.

The concise synthetic route I have developed allowed me to make sufficient amounts for biological evaluation. Tests on the anti-cancer activity of aruncin B are now in progress.’

Congratulations to Aubert on his great poster.


Submit a poster abstract for ISACS21 (Challenges in nanoscience), to be held in Beijing, China, in November 2016, here:



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ISACS19 poster prize winner: Aubert Ribaucourt, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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