From September 14-15, 2023, the 13th Paul Walden Symposium on Organic Chemistry took place in the heart of Riga. Since 1998 every two years, this symposium unites scientists, students, and industry leaders from the Baltic States to highlight the newest discoveries in organic chemistry.
Throughout the conference, renowned and distinguished researchers in the field of organic chemistry shared their groundbreaking studies. This included Lutz Ackermann (Germany), Nicolai Cramer (Switzerland), Olafs Daugulis (USA), Paolo Melchiorre (Italy, Spain), Rebecca Melen (United Kingdom), Pierangelo Metrangolo (Italy), Zoltan Novak (Hungary), and Andrew Smith (United Kingdom).
The symposium tradition commenced with the awarding of the Paul Walden Commemorative Medal. Professor Olafs Daugulis received this honour for his pivotal contributions to the development of transition metal catalysis methodologies and the education of Latvian chemists. Professor Māris Turks, the dean of the Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry at Riga Technical University (RTU), underscored Daugulis’ remarkable achievements, including an h-index of 62 and a total citation count of about 17,200. Prof. Daugulis have provided postdoctoral position to RTU graduates and LIOS employees – Liene Grigorjeva and Lukass Tomass Lukasevics, and doctoral training to Kristine Klimovica.
As the symposium places special emphasis on student education, for the two best Latvian PhD students there was an opportunity to give oral presentations on their research. This year their dissertation findings in lecture format were presented by doctoral student Gļebs Jeršovs (University of Latvia) and PhD Renāte Melngaile (RTU graduate). Additionally, the poster session for students has been organized. Thirty-two students from Latvia and Estonia—comprising 19 doctoral students, 9 master’s students, and 4 bachelor’s students—presented their research in the poster session. For the first time, doctoral students had the unique opportunity to pitch their posters.
The best poster price, sponsored by the biggest Ukrainian fine chemical supplier, Enamine Ltd were awarded to outstanding students: Anastasya Krech (Tallinn University of Technology), and Georgijs Stakanovs (RTU, LIOS) among the doctoral candidates, Artjoms Ubaidullajevs (RTU) in the master’s category, and Laura Laimiņa (University of Latvia) among the bachelor’s students.
The Symposium was organized by the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis and the Riga Technical University. Financial support was provided by the project “Support for Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis International Collaboration Projects in Research and Innovation,” led by LIOS and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (Agreement No. 184.108.40.206/18/I/007).