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International chemistry conference coming to St. Johnís

By Sharon Gray

It’s taken more than two years of hard work, but Dr. Mohsen Daneshtalab, Pharmacy, said preparations are almost complete for the 22nd International Congress on Heterocyclic Chemistry (ICHC-22), which will be held at the Delta Hotel and Convention Centre Aug. 2-7, 2009.

The congress will feature plenary and invited lectures by globally prominent chemists, as well as contributed podium and poster presentations. In addition, a special symposium titled Focus on Heterocycles in Organic Synthesis Today and Tomorrow is planned as a tribute to Professor Victor Snieckus for his research accomplishments and long-time contribution to the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry (ISHC).

Dr. Daneshtalab is chair of the conference. The co-program chairs are Drs. Graham Bodwell and Sunil Pansare from MUN’s Department of Chemistry. Other members of the organizing committee are Drs. Paris Georghiou and Yuming Zhao, Chemistry; Dr. Marcel Musteata, Pharmacy; and Joseph Banoub, Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Dr. Daneshtalab expects between 500 and 600 delegates from around the world will attend this conference. The 11 plenary speakers include four from the U.S., three from Europe, two from Japan, one from China and one from Canada.

The themes for ICHC-22 are: new methods in heterocyclic chemistry; biologically active heterocycles (pharmaceuticals/

agrochemicals); heterocyclic natural products and their analogues; applications of heterocycles in organic synthesis; and heterocycles in materials science.

This is only the second time in ISHC, one of the oldest international chemistry societies in the world, has held their annual congress in Canada. The congress is held every second year, alternating between North America, Europe and Asia.

Dr. Daneshtalab first became involved with the ISHC as a student and in 1977 became a member. He has been involved in organizing previous conferences, and when he joined the faculty at Memorial in 2000 he first thought of putting in a bid to have the conference here. He credited past university president Dr. Axel Meisen and acting president Dr. Eddy Campbell for the support they have given to enable Memorial to host the conference.

Dr. Daneshtalab researches the design and discovery of novel drugs that are effective against infectious diseases and cancer. He also studies natural products based on plants, herbs and marine organisms with potential therapeutic or prophylactic effects against infectious diseases and cancer. He has published over 190 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, patents and conference proceedings and been an invited speaker at over 50 national and international conferences.

For further information on ISHC-22 please contact Dr. Daneshtalab at or visit