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Vol. 29 No. 6
November-December 2007

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Establishing an East Asian Network for Organic Chemistry

Estimates indicate that Asia produces some 30 percent of the chemistry research done worldwide. Although this is a positive development, this research is currently concentrated in only a few countries in Asia.

Earlier cooperative networks, such as the Network for the Chemistry of Biologically Important Natural Products and the UNESCO Network for Natural Products have either ceased operating entirely or languish through a lack of funding. There is now an opportunity—indeed, a responsibility—for IUPAC to take the initiative in this matter and establish a new Asia network. An Asia network would also complement a major initiative of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) to catalyze cooperative research in Asia.

Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol delivered the Nagoya Medal Special Awards Lecture on “Recent Investigations of Cytotoxic Natural Products from Thai Plants” at the first International Conference on Cutting-Edge Organic Chemistry in Asia (ICCEOCA-1) held in Naha, Okinawa, Japan on 16–20 October 2006.

The collaborative new East Asian Network for organic chemists have broad objectives, and is now closely linked to JSPS Asian Core Program, and the Cutting-Edge Organic Chemistry in Asia which started in October 2005 in order to build and foster a sustainable program of high-quality organic chemistry research, education, and chemistry-based applications.

The first meeting facilitated of the Network was held on 16 October 2006, as a satellite of the Asian CORE Program’s first International Conference on Cutting-Edge Organic Chemistry in Asia. The meeting was entitled Strategic Planning for a New East Asian Network for Organic Chemistry, and provided the following sessions: “Modern Mass Spectrometry,” presented by Matthias Pelzing of Bruker Daltonics, Australia, and “Computational Organic Chemistry,” presented by Yundong Wu of the Hong Kong University of Science Technology.

Asian Core Program
The JSPS Asian CORE program is designed to create world-class research hubs in selected fields within the Asian region while fostering the next generation of leading researchers by establishing sustainable collaborative relations among research and education institutions in Japan, Korea, and China (in both Beijing and Taipei). Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, and Malaysia are also IUPAC non-NAO member countries.

The Asian Core Program’s first International Conference on Cutting-Edge Organic Chemistry in Asia took place in Naha, Okinawa from 16–20 October 2006. Minoru Isobe gave the opening address. R. Noyori presented the gold medal in the Nagoya Medal Special Award ceremony to H.R.H. Dr. Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol of Thailand. The keynote speakers included H.R.H. Princess Chulabhorn, and Nobel prize-winning chemists R. Noyori and Y.-T. Lee. A report on the first International Conference is available free online, and published in Chem. Asian J. 2007, 2, 452–454, [doi: 10.1002/asia.200600423].

For more information and comments, contact Task Group Chair Minoru Isobe <isobem@agr.nagoya-u.ac.jp>.

www.iupac.org/projects/2005/2005-039-2-300.html


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