Chemistry as a life science

(Newark)-Rutgers University-Newark will welcome a panel of internationally renowned chemistry researchers for the biennial Chemistry as a Life Science Symposium (CAALS) which will be held at the university's Paul Robeson Campus Center from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, March 17. The Paul Robeson Campus Center is located at 360 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Newark.

Professor Robert H. Grubbs, a 2005 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, from the California Institute of Technology is the featured speaker. Grubbs will lecture on "Olefin Metathesis Catalysts for the Synthesis of Complex Structures." Grubbs earned the Nobel Prize for his research which led to the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis. Metathesis is used daily in the chemical industry, mainly in the development of pharmaceuticals and advanced plastic materials. The contributions of Grubbs and his fellow Nobel honoree, Richard Schrock, have led to synthesis methods that are more efficient, simpler to use and more environment friendly. Grubbs and Shrock's work was hailed by the Nobel Prize committee as "a great step forward for 'green chemistry,' reducing potentially hazardous waste through smarter production."

In addition, the conference will feature the following presentations by these noted chemists:

  • Koji Nakanishi, Columbia University, "Nature and Natural Product Chemistry"
  • Amir Hoveyda, Boston College, "Solutions to Some Difficult Problems in Catalytic Enantioselective Synthesis"
  • Madeline M. Joullie, University of Pennsylvania, "Synthetic Investigations of Naturally Occurring Metabolites and Their Use as Atomic Agents"
  • Matthew D. Shair, Harvard University, "Discovery and Use of Small Molecules to Illuminate Life Processes"
  • F. Dean Toste, University of California at Berkeley, "Transition Metal Catalyzed Reactions for Organic Synthesis."

The conference begins at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast followed by opening remarks at 8:30 a.m. It concludes with a reception from 5-6 p.m. The symposium is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required. All registration must be completed at the following website: http://njacs.org.

The CAALS biennial, one-day symposia are held under the auspices of the American Chemical Society through its Division of Medicinal Chemistry, Division of Organic Chemistry and its North Jersey Section. The series began in 1982 with a symposium dedicated to the memory of Dr. Willy Leimgruber, an organic chemist and Director of Chemical Research at Hoffman-LaRoche in Nutley from 1973 until his death in 1981. Held in the heartland of the pharmaceutical industry, the symposium has served a scientific need of the research-based chemical and pharmaceutical community in New Jersey and the Eastern Seaboard's middle-Atlantic region. Each event addresses issues that are central to the focus of modern pharmaceutical research, ranging from synthetic organic chemistry to topics involving both chemistry and biology.

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