Keynote Speakers:

Tom Maimone



Thomas J. Maimone was born and raised in Warsaw, New York, USA. He undertook undergraduate studies at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, and after two years, transferred to the University of California, Berkeley where he completed his BSc in chemistry with high honors in 2004. During his time at Berkeley, he conducted undergraduate research with Dirk Trauner. In 2005, Tom commenced his doctoral studies under the guidance of Phil Baran at The Scripps Research Institute where he completed the total synthesis of the alkaloids hapalindole U and ambiguine H, and made significant contributions to the first laboratory synthesis of the diterpene vinigrol, culminating in a PhD in 2009. He then moved to the MIT to work as a post-doctoral fellow with Steve Buchwald, focusing on palladium-catalyzed C-O and C-F bond formation. In 2012, Tom returned to UC Berkeley as an assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 2018. He was won a number of awards including the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2019), Amgen Young Investigator (2017), NSF Career Award (2016), and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow (2015). Current research pursuits in his lab include total synthesis of complex natural products, novel synthetic strategies, and simplifying methodologies to access complex natural product scaffolds.

Stephen Fletcher

Stephen P. Fletcher was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and received a BSc from Mount Allison University. He then went on to complete his PhD, working in the lab of D. L. J. Clive on radical cyclizations onto aromatic rings at the University of Alberta. Following this, he worked as an NSERC post-doctoral fellow with Ben Feringa at the University of Groningen and then joined Jonathan Clayden’s group at the University of Manchester in 2007. He began his independent career in 2009 at the University of Oxford as an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow and currently holds the position of Full Professor and Fellow at Keble College. His research interests include asymmetric catalysis, total synthesis, and investigations into the origins of life. Current endeavours involve copper and rhodium catalyzed asymmetric addition reactions, as well as generating far-from-equilibrium, self-replicating systems that mimic those found in biology.

Danica Rankic

Danica A. Rankic obtained her BSc from the University of Calgary in 2004 and stayed at the same institution for her doctoral studies. Working under the guidance of Prof. Brian Keay, she investigated the effects and applications of sterically congested xylBINAP ligands on asymmetric transition metal-catalyzed reactions, obtaining her PhD in 2010. She then moved to Princeton University to pursue post-doctoral research in the lab of Prof. David MacMillan. Her studies culminated in the development of methodologies for the direct β-arylation of ketones and aldehydes as well as C-H bond arylation utilizing a merger of organocatalysis with photoredox catalysis. In 2013, Danica joined Pfizer’s medicinal chemistry group as a Senior Scientist and was eventually promoted to Principal Scientist and Group Lead, where she worked on projects targeting Alzheimer’s Disease, depression, diabetes, and pain. In 2017, she brought her talents to Merck’s Discovery Process Chemistry group in Boston working at the interface between discovery and development in support of the early oncology pipeline.  In June 2020,Danica rejoined Pfizer as Senior Director and Head of Synthesis for Internal Medicine Medicinal Chemistry.

Cathleen Crudden

Cathleen M. Crudden was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and immigrated to Canada shortly after, settling in Toronto. She obtained her BSc from the University of Toronto and stayed at the same institution to complete an MSc with Mark Lautens. Afterwards, she moved to UOttawa to pursue a PhD with Howard Alper, during which she also had the opportunity to study with Shinji Murai and Naoto Chatani at Osaka University. Following her doctoral studies, the moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, working as a post-doctoral fellow with Scott Denmark. In 1996, she began her independent career at the University of New Brunswick and in 2002, relocated to Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. She currently holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair and is a recipient of the 2019 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award. Since 2013, is a member of the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University, where she runs a full-time satellite lab. Research in her group includes asymmetric catalysis, organoboron chemistry, and self-assembled monolayers on gold.

Philip Dawson

Philip E. Dawson completed his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Washington University, receiving his A.B. in 1992. He then moved to The Scripps Research Institute for this graduate studies under the guidance of Steve Kent, obtaining his PhD in 1996. Afterwards, he completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Caltech and returned to Scripps as an Assistant Professor in 1997. Widely known for his work in native chemical ligation, he is a pioneer in the field of chemoselective ligation methods for the synthesis and modification of macromolecules. He has also applied these tools to a large number of areas to better understand biological systems. Current investigations in his lab include novel methods for chemical protein synthesis and ligation, site-specific bioconjugation methods, and synthesis on solid support enabled via Reversible Adsorption to Solid Support (RASS).