Welch Conference explores latest applications to biology, medicine, materials

HOUSTON, Oct. 16, 2017 – Some 500 scientists will gather in Houston Oct. 23-24 for “Advances in Synthetic and Biological Chemistry,” the 61st Welch Foundation Conference on Chemical Research. There, leading researchers will share their progress in discovering or creating compounds with useful new properties for potential applications in biology, medicine and materials.

Wednesday (Oct. 18) is the last day to pre-register for this free event at www.welch1.org/conference; on-site registration also is available.

“Chemists are improving on Mother Nature’s original designs by inventing new methods to discover next generation therapeutics with unprecedented pathway-specific activity,” said Peter B. Dervan, chair of both the conference and The Welch Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. “Fundamental advances in science and technology at the nanoscale are being developed with opportunities in personalized medicine as well as energy-related applications.”

The first day of the conference will focus on chemical biology. Six renowned scientists will describe their work on small molecules that control stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, the use of alpha/beta peptide unnatural oligomers in biology, base editing technology that enables programmable correction of point mutations in human genomes, redox chemistry at a distance mediated by DNA through long range signaling and coordination of DNA repair, synthesis of increasingly complex architectures for medicine, and new approaches to glycosylation-targeted cancer therapy.

Day two presenters will focus on new materials, with researchers spotlighting the evolution of enzymes that catalyze reactions not known in living systems, invent nanoscale materials at the interface between the physical and life sciences, reimagine 3D manufacturing based on continuous liquid interface production technology, innovate selective chemistry on colloidal nanoscale objects, assemble nanosheets for catalytically active late-transition metal nanoparticles, and apply quantum dots to bioimaging and energy harvesting.

For a complete program, please visit www.welch1.org. The conference will be held at the Hilton Houston North. Admission is free although registration is required.

The Houston-based Welch Foundation, founded in 1954, is one of the nation’s largest sources of private funding for basic research in chemistry. In addition to the annual chemical conference, it supports science through research and departmental grants to Texas colleges and universities, funding of academic chairs and support for other chemistry-related programs. The Foundation bestows the annual Welch Award in Chemistry, recognizing achievement in basic research internationally, and the Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research to Texas scientists who are early in their careers. Since its founding in 1954, The Welch Foundation has contributed some $866 million as part of its mission to support the basic chemical research that improves life.