Vol. 31 No. 2
Biodiversity and Chemistry of Natural Products
by Russell Kerr
The IUPAC-sponsored conference on Biodiversity and Chemistry of Natural Products, held 13–18 July 2008 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, was an amalgamation of the International Conference on Biodiversity and the International Symposium on the Chemistry of Natural Products. At the opening ceremony, the Right Honorable Robert Ghiz, the premier of the Province of Prince Edward Island, formally welcomed the 200 conference participants and spoke about the tremendous growth in natural products planned for PEI over the next five years.
|A banquet on the beach.
Twenty outstanding scientists from academia, government, and industry gave plenary and invited talks; another 38 short talks were presented by an equally diverse group. Speakers represented 20 countries; poster presenters represented 28. Symposia topics included isolation and structure elucidation, biosynthesis, spectroscopy, synthesis, engineered biosynthesis, natural products as anticancer leads, new methods in natural products chemical ecology, metabolomics, and genomics. One highlight was the Royal Society of Chemistry’s “Natural Product Reports” lecture award by Jason Micklefield (University of Manchester) on the biosynthetic engineering of nonribosomal lipopeptides.
In addition to a stimulating scientific program, social events were very popular. For the opening reception, participants were led from the conference hotel to an informal dinner by re-enactors dressed in clothing of the mid-1800s, who spoke about the history of Canada, noting that Charlottetown was the country’s “birthplace.”
The meeting concluded with acknowledgements to the generous conference sponsors and presentations to the student poster award winners, Sutaporn Bunyajetpong (University of Prince Edward Island) and Arthur Lelono (Ehime University). Mary Garson presented an overview of the next meeting in this series, to be held in Brisbane, Australia.
Russell Kerr <email@example.com> is research chair in Marine Natural Products at the University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada.
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