Jul 5, 2019
The Houk group hosted the CCHF Virtual Symposum 14 sponsored by the Center for Selective C-H Functionalization (CHF).
 
Professor Ken Houk's group hosted the live virtual symposium on July 2, 2019, at UCLA in a conference room in the Molecular Sciences Building. The virtual symposium, projected on to a screen via YouTube, featured talks by Richmond Sarpong (UC Berkeley), Erik Alexanian (UNC Chapel Hill), and Frances Arnold (Cal Tech), followed by a question and answer session. Students and postdocs in attendance enjoyed light refreshments.
 
It is a tradition for Prof. Ken Houk to take a "selfie" with attendees at the virtual symposium.
 
The CCHF Virtual Symposia Series is designed to bring cutting-edge C–H Functionalization research to a broad expanse of the scientific community. Since 2015, three times a year, the CCHF has brought together research pioneers in the frontier field of C–H functionalization field, for the symposia. 
 
Carbon–hydrogen bond functionalization (C–H functionalization) is a type of reaction in which a carbon–hydrogen bond is cleaved and replaced with a carbon-X bond (where X is usually carbon, oxygen, or nitrogen). The term usually implies that a transition metal is involved in the C-H cleavage process. C–H functionalization represents a fundamental paradigm shift in the way organic chemists think about constructing organic molecules, which underpin much of modern manufacturing and technology. 
 
Each symposium features three to four speakers, from the CCHF and from the broader C–H functionalization community, who give concise and information-packed 20 minute talks. The CCHF Virtual Symposia are accessible via YouTube broadcast or VidYo portal. Questions are asked via an online chatbox managed by the meeting moderators. The sessions are recorded and the talks are edited and made available online as part of our OPEN program three months after the live event.
 
The series is sponsored by the NSF Center for Selective C-H Functionalization, of which Houk is a member.  Houk receives research funding from the center and collaborates with other members of the center, including a weekly 90 minute videoconference of center members and their groups. According to the center's website, their goal is to bring together "experts from across a broad range of chemical disciplines in order to address the challenges inherent to bringing this field into the mainstream of chemical logic. This collaborative network has an equally broad geographical distribution, with institutes from across the United States. Despite the physical dispersion of the research groups we have come together to foster an exciting and vibrant intellectual environment that provides the means to address challenges and problems that it would be impossible for groups to consider individually."
 
All our encouraged to attend the CCHF Virtual Symposia, either remotely or at the UCLA sessions. To learn how to connect to future CCHF Virtual Symposia, subscribe to the CCHF mailing list here
 
To learn more about the Houk group's research, visit their website.
 
Julio Gonzalez, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, jgonzalez@chem.ucla.edu.