Research Event - Centre for Doctoral Training Complex Particulate Products and Processes (CP3 CDT)

The CP3 CDT held its first in-person research event since the start of the pandemic from Wednesday 19th to Friday 21st October at the Crown Spa Hotel, Scarborough.

This was likely to be one of the last CP3 CDT events before the final cohort, C#5, complete their PhD projects at the end of March 2023. The event, which was facilitated by Dr Jamie Cleaver, saw a good turnout with ~50 attendees overall.

10 of 13 students from cohort 5 and 3 CDT aligned students presented PhD project updates. These were interspersed with short talks from seven CP3 alumni from the first three cohorts on their current activities; and sessions to view and discuss posters from all student attendees. 

There were also representatives from six industrial sponsors (AstraZeneca, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC), Infineum, Pfizer, Johnson Matthey and Syngenta), nine Leeds supervisory staff and three academic advisory board members. 

All attendees took part in an interactive review session on the Thursday afternoon, looking at what had been good, what had been challenging, and what were attendees' 'interesting observations' about the CDT. 

After two years of virtual research events, the CP3 students very much benefitted from meeting face-to-face and the spontaneous conversations that can spark from such events. 

Amide Library Created at Speed with Machine Learning and Stopped-flow Chemistry 

A team of scientists based in Sweden and the UK have developed a synthetic screening method that uses stopped-flow chemistry and machine learning to accelerate drug discovery through diversity-oriented synthesis (read the full article on Chemistry World). 

Stopped-flow chemistry is an alternative method to traditional batch and continuous flow processes. By arresting the flow of reacting materials within the system, the platform allows high-speed reactions to be performed under superheated and high-pressure conditions in flow, with easily varied conditions. Compared to other methods, stopped-flow chemistry requires minimal reagent quantities and solvent volumes, does not depend on the flow rate used, and allows users to construct large libraries of chemicals rapidly and easily. 

A team based between the University of Leeds and AstraZeneca has now shown that merging predictive computational tools with stopped-flow chemistry can raise the success of library syntheses to 100% (read the abstract from the journal Chemical Science on Team leader, Prof Richard Bourne says their method "provides much more accurate data than well plate-based chemistry, which has much poorer heat transfer and the potential for degradation as the samples are not directly analysed after each individual reaction is completed."

The group hope that similar work will enhance the predictability of synthetic processes for diversity-oriented synthesis within drug discovery.

Stopped Flow Reactor integrated into a continuous platform.

Image: Stopped-flow reactor integrated into a continuous platform