Solvay workshop on “Chiral symmetry breaking at molecular level” – Brussels, 28-30 November 2018

Chances are that you have most likely already seen the picture below if your background is related to either chemistry of physics, or if you’re interested in science in general! Very famous indeed is this group picture of the Solvay Conference on Physics of 1927 (held in Brussels every year), where leading physicists such as Albert Einstein and Marie Skłodowska Curie took part in what can be considered one of the most notable events in modern science. As a matter of fact, out of the 29 attendees at the conference that year, 17 were (or became) Nobel Prize winners.

Solvay 1
Figure 1 – The Solvay Conference on Physics in 1927.

Whereas these famous scientist had discussions on photons and electrons in 1927, the topics of the current Solvay conference alternate between physics and chemistry. The meetings give the opportunity for the world’s leading researchers to come together and discuss their advancements in the field. This year’s chemistry edition focused on the concept of chirality and symmetry breaking at molecular level, and was therefore an opportunity not to be missed as a member of the CORE project. Being active participants and getting in contact with many fascinating aspects of chirality sounded very attracting. The event completely met our expectations: we attended inspiring talks and suggestions from both academic professors and industrial experts. We also had the chance to meet and have face-to-face discussions with people that up to now we had just been reading/referring to in scientific papers.

In particular, we were enthusiastic and pleased to finally meet Professor Cristobal Viedma, from the Complutense University of Madrid, who kick-started our research with his (coincidental!) discovery of symmetry breaking by grinding, a milestone for the deracemization of chiral molecules.

Solvay 2Figure 2 – Getting to know Professor Cristobal Viedma!

Viedma Ripening: a (r) evolution in Chemistry?

It is clear that a completely new way to resolve speciality materials could fundamentally change traditional chemistry. In this last decade, Viedma ripening has become the most decisive step towards the revolution we are witnessing right now in chiral resolution via deracemization. Viedma and other pioneers inspired many of us (Early Stage Researchers) to work hard for the evolution of this process and its extensions to other types of compounds (racemic compounds). Why no serendipity in CORE Network? Who will be the next Viedma in CORE family? To be continued…

Jan Devogelaer, Giuseppe Belletti and Aliou Mbodji

Jan, Giuseppe and Aliou are three of the 15  Early Stage Researchers in the CORE Network.

Giuseppe Belletti
Department of Solid State Chemistry
Radboud University of Nijmegen is a PhD researcher at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, working under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Elias Vlieg, Prof. Dr. Floris Rutjes and Dr. Hugo Meekes, in the departments of Solid State Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. As part of the CORE Network, his PhD project is called “Viedma ripening-enabled chiral synthesis”. His research covers Viedma ripening and temperature cycling deracemizations of mainly pharmaceutical compounds, coupled with the use of specific additives to drive and speed up the process towards the formation of enantiopure products. He also focuses on discovering different racemization approaches and in the synthesis of new organic compounds, to somehow extend the applicability of the Viedma ripening technique. Visit Giuseppe’s profile  
Aliou Mbodji
SMS Laboratory
University  of Rouen-France
aliou.mbodji1@etu.univ-rouen.frAliou is a PhD researcher  at the SMS Laboratory –  University of Rouen, France working under the supervision  of Dr. Valérie Dupray, Dr Gabin Gbabode &  Prof. Gérard Coquerel.  His project work is to discover Conglomerate Forming Systems in Suspension using Second Harmonic Generation (SHG).   He also works on Continuous Resolution by Diastereomeric Salt Formation for  pure pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.  Visit Aliou’s profile   
Jan-Joris Devogelaer
Department of Solid State Chemistry
Radboud University of Nijmegen
Jan is a PhD Researcher at Radboud University.  His research interests predominantly lie in datamining, molecular modeling and chemoinformatics of chiral conglomerate systems. His goal is to develop a tool capable of investigating the behavior and finding rules behind conglomerate formation of complex multicomponent chiral systems (salts, solvates, cocrystals) based on Cambridge Structural Database entries. Therefore, he also plans to further specialize in crystallography of chiral systems and the principles behind enabling chiral resolution processes. Visit Jan’s profile 




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