Aimed at providing graduate students with a real-world perspective on the role of organic chemistry in the drug discovery process, Roche has recently awarded 12 Ph.D. candidates and two professors the Excellence in Chemistry Award for their research accomplishments in the field of chemistry.
The award gave students and faculty an opportunity to participate in Roche's third annual chemistry symposium, designed to demonstrate the application of cutting-edge chemical research in a pharmaceutical setting.
The symposium alternates annually between Roche sites in Palo Alto, California and Nutley, New Jersey.
"The symposium is a unique opportunity to expose the awardees to life in the pharmaceutical industry while showcasing the cutting edge science Roche has to offer," said Dave Smith, principal research scientist and the organizer of this year's symposium.
"As a leading pharmaceutical company, we feel it is important that students are aware of the central role organic chemistry plays in the drug discovery process and that their expertise and dedication to chemistry are highly valued."
The symposium included talks covering the students' current research. Other activities included overviews of the drug discovery process by Roche scientists, case histories in medicinal and process chemistry, site tours that highlight the key technologies, and plenary lectures by this year's faculty awardees, Professors F. Dean Toste and John L. Wood, members of the University of California, Berkeley and Yale University Chemistry departments, respectively.
Each year, Roche chemists in Palo Alto and Nutley select the awardees jointly. 40 faculty members at 19 prominent universities were invited to nominate students to participate in the symposium.
Professors were asked to consider students who might be interested in the pharmaceutical industry and who are one to two years from completing their Ph.D. Submissions required a supporting letter from the nominee, the student's resume and a short research summary.