Congratulation to Bart Gillis, a visiting Erasmus student with the PMBRC, for winning the Best Poster Prize at yesterday's Irish Mass Spectrometry Society (IMSS) Annual Conference, held in Dublin. Bart is studying for a degree in chemistry at University College Leuven-Limburg (UCLL), Belgium.

The poster was entitled ‘Synthesis and Application of enantioselective organocatalysts in the aldol reaction – A mass spectrometry guided approach’. The study involved the synthesis and application of a number of prolinamide based organocatalysts and the application of these in the enantioselective aldol reaction towards biologically relevant oxindoles. Throughout this work, Bart used both LC-MS and GC-MS to guide the synthesis and followed a strict go/no go approach as directed by these techniques. In addition, chiral HPLC was used to measure product yield, starting material conversion as well as enantiomeric excess. Conditions were optimised for each catalyst, modifying solvent, catalyst loading, reaction temperature and acid additive to identify the optimised system for each catalyst. The optimal conditions involved reaction in water at room temperature with a 67 hour reaction time giving 72% yield and 52% ee. The reaction did not proceed in the absence of catalyst.

BartandMike.pngBart (centre) receiving the Best Poster Prize from Patrick Ward (left), IMSS committee member. Dr. Mike Kinsella, PI at PMBRC & Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at WIT, is pictured on the right. 

Further images of the IMSS Annual Conference can be found on ths society's facebook page