FST Hosts 29th Mona Symposium on Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry

FST Hosts 29th Mona Symposium on Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry

Photo caption - (L-R): Dr. Peter Ruddock (Lecturer, Faculty of Science and Sports, University of Technology, Jamaica), Professor Emeritus Paul Reese (Chair, Organizing Committee, 29th Mona Symposium on Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry, The UWI Mona), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles (Vice Chancellor, The UWI), Professor Densil Williams (Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor, The UWI Mona ), Dr. Donna Minott Kates (Head, Department of Chemistry,  FST, The UWI Mona) and Professor Michael Taylor (Dean, FST, The UWI Mona) at the 29th Mona Symposium on Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry hosted  by FST, The UWI Mona from January 3 - 6, 2024.

The Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) at The University of the West Indies, Mona, recently hosted the 29th Mona Symposium on Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry from January 3 to 6, 2024.

Bringing together a diverse group of local and international chemists, the symposium served as a platform for the exchange of cutting-edge research insights and findings in various areas, including anti-tumour agents, products with medical imaging properties, anti-convulsives, anti-inflammatories, anti-obesity compounds, hallucinogens, and environmental monitoring.

Started in 1966, the biennial Mona Symposium has become the oldest Chemistry conference in the English-speaking Caribbean, showcasing the enduring contributions of local and regional scientists to this vital research area.

The event featured seven distinguished plenary lectures, fourteen short papers, and numerous poster presentations, creating a collaborative environment for attendees from the USA, Canada, Japan, Poland, Trinidad & Tobago, South Africa, and Jamaica. Notable figures included Distinguished Professor James Cook and the father-son duo behind 'Kare Chemical Technologies,' Dr. Kamaluddin Abdur-Rashid and Kareem Abdur-Rashid.

Graduate students and early career researchers seized the opportunity to present their research in a poster session, with Areka Rattery, Ronnique Blair, and Zoie Aimey winning top honours for their outstanding presentations.

A special session paid tribute to the late Dr. Trevor Yee, recognizing his integral role in the development of The Natural Products Institute. Beyond academic sessions, the symposium facilitated networking, socializing, and camaraderie through various events, including a cocktail reception, a concert featuring The UWI Panoridim Steel Orchestra, a conference dinner, and a day trip to UWI's Lyssons Beach.

The symposium, organized by Professor Emeritus Paul Reese and his team, transcended traditional academic boundaries, fostering a melting pot of ideas, collaboration, and celebration. Professor Reese expressed satisfaction with the excellent presentations and highlighted the symposium's evolution to cover all aspects of Organic Chemistry and its interface with other disciplines.

The Department of Chemistry and the Faculty of Science & Technology at Mona extend gratitude to all participants, partners, and sponsors, including the American Chemical Society, Scientific Research Council, The Office of the Vice Chancellor, The Mona Campus, Royal Jamaican Rums and Spirits Limited, Conrad Douglas & Associates Limited, and Coffee Solutions Limited, for contributing to the success of the Mona Symposium on Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry 2024. The exchange of knowledge during the event is expected to shape the future of natural products and medicinal chemistry globally.