2020 Southern Highlands Conference on Heterocyclic Chemistry


The Southern Highlands Conference on Heterocyclic Chemistry
30 August - 1 September 2020
Sebel Harbourside, Kiama NSW

This annual, two full-day residential conference has become a feature of the heterocyclic calendar over the past 30 years. It has been held at one of a select few venues in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, south of Sydney. In 2020 the meeting will move slightly to the equally convenient and attractive coastal town of Kiama, NSW. Famous for its Blowhole, this picturesque township is situated 90 minutes by rail from Sydney and offers many local attractions, including the stunning 22 km Kiama coastal pathway walk, options for winery and food tours, the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre and the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk.

The new Conference venue, the Sebel Harbourside Kiama, comprising the beautifully restored 1871 heritage listed bluestone Infants’ School and the adjacent contemporary waterfront accommodation site, is a popular conference and wedding venue. It offers a high standard of accommodation, fine food and conferencing that provides an ideal setting, for the renowned lively scientific discussion and exchange of the Southern Highlands Conference on Heterocyclic Chemistry. Adequate break time is also allowed in the programme to sample optional off-site excursions or a stroll along the waterfront.

Conference Invited Speakers

Confirmed speakers include:

Prof. Joanne Blanchfield (University of Queensland)

Professor Joanne Blanchfield is a teaching and research academic in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland.  She is an organic and medicinal chemist having trained at UQ, Johns Hopkins University and the Australian National University.  Her research interests include the identification of active compounds from natural sources, particularly from herbal and traditional medicinal plants.  She studies the bioavailability of these natural products in order to elucidate the mechanism of absorption and to identify the most likely active components of crude extracts.  Her research also focuses on the synthesis of small molecule mimics of complex epitopes for use in synthetic vaccine development.


Dr Lori Ferrins (Northeastern University, USA)

Dr Lori Ferrins earned her Ph.D from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences before moving to the United States to take up a position as a postdoctoral researcher. Since joining the Laboratory for Neglected Disease Drug Discovery she has moved her way up the ranks and is currently a Research Assistant Professor. Her role is focused on running the research program for the lab, which is centered on repurposing early and late stage chemotypes that have been pursued for some other indication in humans. We now seek to re-optimize these chemotypes to treat a variety of neglected tropical diseases.


Dr Junming Ho (University of New South Wales)

Junming Ho is a graduate of the University of Western Australia and the Australian National University. Prior to joining UNSW in 2017, he was an A*STAR international research fellow at Yale University and a research scientist in the Institute of High Performance Computing (Singapore). He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemistry and his research areas include physical organic and computational chemistry.

Prof. Han Vinh Huynh (National University of Singapore)

Han Vinh Huynh completed his doctoral degree in 2002 at the University of Münster, Germany, and moved to the Department of Chemistry at the National University of Singapore (NUS) to start his independent research career as a Feodor-Lynen Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation. In 2007, he became Assistant Professor at NUS and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011. His research areas include organic and organometallic chemistry with particular focus on N-heterocyclic carbenes and related species.

Dr Fei Liu (incoming President, Macquarie University)

Fei did her PhD in Organic Chemistry at Yale in 2002, followed by an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Medical School. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Molecular Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Her research group is interested in biomimetic asymmetric catalysis, diversity-oriented synthesis with conformation control, and forward/reverse chemical proteomics in drug leads/targets discovery.

Dr Anastasios (Tash) Polyzos (University of Melbourne)

Dr Anastasios (Tash) Polyzos was awarded his PhD in 2005 from La Trobe University under the direction of Professor Andrew Hughes and appointed to Research Fellow at the Australian National research agency, CSIRO in the same year. In 2008 he pursued post-doctoral research at University of Cambridge under guidance of Professor Steven V. Ley FRS. In 2011 he returned to Australia and lead the flow chemistry and catalysis group at CSIRO in Australia. He began is independent career in 2015 when he was appointed to Senior Lecture at the University of Melbourne.  His group’s accomplishments have been recognised by a number of achievements including the 2018 Max O’Conner Award and Lectureship, La Trobe University (2018) the Thieme Chemistry Journals Award (2017), Visiting Professorship, ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) (2016) and the Julius Career Award, CSIRO, Australia (2013). His research interests include the development of new methods and enabling technologies for organic synthesis, photocatalysis, C-H reaction discovery, and the development of sustainable industrial process chemistry. He currently serves as Director of the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Chemical Industries.

In addition to the above, there will be two postgraduate student presentations (see below). There will also be a poster session at which contributed papers will be individually presented and later discussed. Prizes will be awarded for the best student posters.


Expressions of Interest, Registration and Call for Papers

Your participation in this outstanding conference is invited in 2020. Together with the Conference President, we invite as many conference poster presentations as possible in any field of heterocyclic chemistry. The number of delegates will however be limited to 50, so please record your expression of interest and register early. Completed registration forms & payment must be received by 26 June 2020.

Nominations for Postgraduate Student Awards

Postgraduate supervisors and Heads of Departments are advised of the opportunity to nominate senior postgraduate students for the award of postgraduate scholarships, valued at half the registration cost. Applications close 15 June 2020. These awards are designed to encourage participation in the conference by outstanding scholars with academic ambitions.

I look forward to your participation in the 2020 Conference. Please save the dates and watch this website www.chemistry.unsw.edu.au/SHC20 for more details.

Paul A. Keller
Professor and Conference Organising Chair and Secretary
School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences
University of Wollongong, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
Tel: Tel: 61-2-4221 4692 Fax: 61-2-4221 4287 Email: keller@uow.edu.au