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The event which will take place on the 15th of March at the SCI’s prestigious headquarters in London will showcase the calibre of UK chemists from both industry and academia and provide a platform for them to demonstrate their retrosynthetic and forward synthetic prowess.The ‘Retrosynthesis of Aconicarmisulfonine A’ designed by Concept’s team “Live and Let Diene”  will be presented to a panel of the UK’s leading academic and industrial synthetic chemists.

The team comprises of :

► Robin May who has completed an MChem in Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of St Andrews. During his time at Concept he has worked on a range of projects from drug discovery to organic materials chemistry. This is the third consecutive year that he has reached the final.

► Alexandru Pop undertook  a 2 year  post-doc at the University of Southampton. His research there was focused on the synthesis of labelled organic molecules for applications in hyperpolarised MRI and lanthanides containing interlocked architectures for multi-modal imaging applications. Prior to that he studied for an MSci at INSA Rouen and a PhD at the University of Southampton.  He is particularly interested in promoting awareness of environmental issues, waste reduction and energy saving. This is the second time he has reached the final of the competition.

► Tom Sanderson was awarded an MSci from the university of Nottingham, with a final project in medicinal chemistry investigating integrin antagonists as a potential treatment for pulmonary fibrosis. He then studied for a PhD at the University of York, with a thesis titled ‘Exploring Design Concepts fo Siderophore-Fluoroquinolone Trojan Horse Antimicrobials’; research targeted against antimicrobial resistance . This is his second consecutive year reaching the final of the National Competition.

► Louise Dow completed her Masters of chemistry at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh. Her degree included an industrial placement at Takeda Cambridge Ltd working on the design and synthesis of biologically active targets and Masters project developing new building blocks for porphycene synthesis.Her particular interests lie in the synthesis of compounds for medicinal purposes.

► Alec Morrison completed his PhD at Florida State University in organic chemistry. His research was centered around thermal cycloisomerizations of 1,6-enynes for the synthesis of Illudinine and other high-value polycyclic aromatic structures. Novel fragmentation/olefination and Dehydro-Diels-Alder methodology featured prominently throughout. Outside of work he enjoys playing rugby for Canterbury RFC, cooking, and mint juleps. This is his second consecutive year reaching the final of the competition.

Site Director  David Fengas commented “The National Retrosynthesis competition has been an excellent personal development opportunity for Concept Life Sciences Chemists over the years. This year’s team have worked tirelessly on the competition. We wish the Concept team and all the other finalists the very best of luck.”