Team Fürstner wins Merck Synthesis Challenge
"Find the best way to synthesize the molecule epiisopilosine. We will analyze the number of synthesis steps, obtained yield and achieved purity. You have 96 hours." This was the task of the Merck Synthesis Challenge, which the pharmaceutical-chemical company announced on the occasion of its 350th birthday. A team consisting of PhD students and postdocs from the Fürstner Group successfully took up the challenge and won the Merck 350 Synthesis Challenge endowed with 10,000 euros. The route to the small molecule epiisopilosine by Dr. Felix Anderl, Tobias Biberger, Fabio Caló, Dr. Bart Herlé, Marc Heinrich, Julius Hillenbrand, Lorenz Löffler and Sebastian Peil comprised six synthesis steps and was successful in the anonymous evaluation. The team was delighted to receive an invitation to the award ceremony in Darmstadt. Also among the winners was the Aggarwal Group from Bristol. Further information can be found in Merck's press release on Twitter.