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Vol. 28 No. 3
May-June 2006

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/symposia

Heterocyclic Chemistry

by Girolamo Cirrincione and Anna Maria Almerico

The 20th International Congress of Heterocyclic Chemistry (20th ICHC) was held in Palermo, Italy, from 31 July to 5 August 2005. ICHCs are major scientific events that have been organized all over the world since 1967, attracting attendees from both industry and academia. These congresses are broad enough in scope to cover the whole range of heterocyclic chemistry, from theory to practical applications. The 2005 congress was organized by Professor Girolamo Cirrincione and Colleagues in the Department Farmacochimico, Tossicologico e Biologico, of the University of Palermo, under the auspices of the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry (ISHC) and of the Società Chimica Italiana (SCI).

Heterocyclic chemistry has undergone a noteworthy and scientifically intriguing expansion. In addition to the more traditional subjects of heterocycle synthesis and studies related to heterocyclic natural products, the field has grown to encompass pursuits in areas such as bioorganic and organometallic chemistry, to mention just two. The 20th ICHC was in line with established tradition, offering a scientific program dealing with the latest developments in the following main topics: new methods in heterocyclic chemistry, biologically active heterocycles (pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals), heterocyclic natural products and analogues, and heterocycles in synthesis.

Award lectures were delivered by Larry Overman (University of California, Irvine, U.S.) for the Senior Award in Heterocyclic Chemistry, and by Alois Furstner (Max-Plank-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim/Ruhr, Germany) for the Katritzky Junior Award in Heterocyclic Chemistry.

The 32 invited speakers—26 from academia and six from industry—were organized into four parallel sessions. There were also 100 oral contributions in four parallel sessions and 282 poster presentations in three sessions. The plenary and invited lectures have been published in part vii of the 2006 volumes of ARKIVOC —the Free Online Journal of Organic Chemistry
<www.arkat-usa.org/ark/ARKIVOC/arkivoc_articles.asp>.
During the conference, editor Eric Scriven briefly reviewed the journal’s first five years of activity.

The opening ceremony took place at Massimo Theatre, a magnificent example of neoclassic architecture. On the stage, Prof. Girolamo Cirrincione (chairman of the congress), Prof. Domenico Spinelli (representative of SCI), Prof. David St. C. Black (representative of IUPAC), Prof. Marco Ciufolini (president of the ISHC), and Prof. Giuseppe Silvestri (rector of the University of Palermo) welcomed the participants. Since it was the 200th anniversary of the University of Palermo, the rector presented a brief history of the university and of Palazzo Steri, which now hosts the offices of the rectorate.

Two outstanding members of the ISHC were honored during the conference’s social banquet, held at the Palazzo Guglielmo, Monreale: past Secretary Prof. Hans Neunhoeffer and past President Prof. Steven Weinreb. Each received a plaque recognizing his enormous contributions to the organization. In addition, Hans Neunhoeffer was named a Fellow of the ISHC. During the banquet, awards were also presented to two young scientists, Dr. Atsuko Ochida from Hokkaido University and Dr. Clara Cena from the University of Torino, for the best poster presentations.

The congress was successful in that it attracted a large number of delegates discussing their latest results, presenting opportunities for suggestions for novel research ideas and for the creation of new relationships.

The main topics, covering the whole range of heterocyclic chemistry, offered an interesting insight into several promising fields of science that have an important role in improving the well-being of humans and their environment. The oral and poster presentations attempted to emphasise the state-of-the-art in key areas of the heterocyclic science as well.

ICHC organizers and staff with conference chairman Prof. Girolamo Cirincione (held aloft in back row) and ICHC President Prof. Marco A. Ciufolini (seated in center of stage).



Members of the heterocyclic community are invited to join the next ICHC, to be held in Sydney, Australia, on 15–17 July 2007 <www.chem.unsw.edu.au/research/conferences/ichc2007.html>. On behalf of the organizing committee, the authors would like to wish success to the 21st International Congress and to its chairman, Professor David St. Clair Black.

Girolamo Cirrincione <gcirrinc@unipa.it>, a professor at the Università di Palermo, was chairman of the 20th ICHC. Anna Maria Almerico <almerico@unipa.it>, also a professor at the Università di Palermo, served as secretary.


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