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Nankai-Asymchem Lecture Successfully Concludes
2019-11-06 21:24

The Nankai-Asymchem Lecture was jointly held by Nankai University and Asymchem Laboratories (Tianjin) Co., Ltd. (SHE: 002821.SZ; “Asymchem”) on October 31, 2019, which marks the 6th year this event has been held. 


The lecture aims to promote dynamic academic exchange and development of innovative green technology in the industry while sharing the research and development progress of world-leading technologies. 


The program features lectures from Prof. Gregory C. Fu from MIT and Dr. Eric M. Simmons from BMS. Among the attendees weres Prof. Qilin Zhou, President of College of Chemistry, Nankai University, and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. James Gage, CSO of Asymchem, and Dr. Yi Hsiao, SVP of Asymchem. 



Prof. Gregory C. Fu lectured on “Nucleophilic Substitution Reactions: A Radical Alternative to SN1 and SN2 Reactions and Discovery”. Dr. Eric M. Simmons gave a talk on “Development and Mechanistic Study of Catalytic Transformations for the Multi-Kilogram Scale Synthesis of Pharmaceutical Intermediates”. Discussions with participants followed each lecture. 


Prof.Gregory C. Fu

Prof. Gregory C. Fu earned a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1991 and continued his post-doctoral research in California Institute of Technology. He returned to MIT, where he attended as an undergrad, as a member of the faculty from 1993–2012. In 2012, Prof. Fu was appointed the Altair Professor of Chemistry at Caltech. Prof. Greg Fu is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007) and the National Academy of Sciences (2014).  Prof. Fu serves as an associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.


The current research interests of the Fu laboratory include metal-catalyzed coupling reactions and the design of chiral catalysts. In particular, the group is focused on the development of nickel-catalyzed enantioselective cross-couplings of alkyl electrophiles. They also concentrate on photoinduced, copper-catalyzed carbon–heteroatom bond-forming reactions. 


Prof. Greg Fu received the Corey Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2004, the Mukaiyama Award from the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry of Japan in 2006, the Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from ACS in 2012, and the H. C. Brown Award from ACS in 2018.


Professor Gregory C. Fu first introduced the limitations of traditional pro-nuclear replacement SN1 and SN2 reactions in nucleophilic substitution reactions, notably the challenges of asymmetric control. They creatively developed a series of new Ni catalytic reaction systems through the free radical process and successfully realized the asymmetric selective coupling of various types of alkyl reagents traditionally considered almost impossible to complete, in addition to the reaction of the anti-cyclone substrate. Professor Fu also explained their new reaction systems for carbon-hybrid coin generation in photocatalytic/copper catalysis in recent years. A new high-efficiency preparation method was developed for traditionally challenging alkyl amines, alkylols and other compounds.


Dr.Eric M. Simmons


Dr. Eric M. Simmons received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley in 2009 then conducted post-doctoral studies in the areas of organometallic chemistry and catalysis with Professor John F. Hartwig at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2011, he joined the Process group at Bristol-Myers Squibb in New Brunswick, NJ. He is currently the Catalysis R&D group lead in the Chemical and Synthetic Development department. He has been a member of the American Chemical Society since 2006. Dr. Simmons won awards, including the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award in 2009-2011, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Chemistry Leadership Award in 2015, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Research Leveraging Technology (LevTech) Innovation Award in 2019.


Dr. Eric M. Simmons explained the strategies used in the design and optimization of various synthesis methods involved in drug process development and gave some classic examples. Neopentyl glycol can be used to effectively inhibit the side reaction of additive reaction of isopropylboron ester and cyclohexanone and the acceleration effect of low-soluble tetramethyl bromide in the direct alkylation reaction of niobium catalysis. The unique properties of the bialkali system in the pd catalytic aromatic halide amine reaction were also introduced.



Both professors shared new knowledge, new technologies and new ideas in front of more than 200 students and scholars from Nankai University and the pharmaceutical industry. They divulged their experiences in the current work of organic synthesis and drug research and development and discussed the opportunities and challenges facing contemporary pharmacy work. After academic discussion, President Qilin Zhou, Dr. James Gage and Dr. Yi Hsiao, presented awards to the two guest speakers for their excellent speeches and insight. 



Asymchem will continue to seek more opportunities for academic exchange and promote the innovative development of the pharmaceutical industry.



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